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September 12, 2007 3:00 PM

Tim Farron has asked the Farming minister not to rush in to a nationwide animal movement ban following the outbreak of foot and mouth in Surrey this morning.

Mr Farron who is a member of the DEFRA Select Committee and the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming is concerned that a nationwide ban may be unjustified and could cause irreparable damage to the farming industry.

Mr Farron said, "Given that the latest case of foot and mouth is close to the outbreaks in early August, it is likely that it is related and from the same source. Therefore, a local movement ban affecting Surrey and surrounding counties should be considered. A national ban at this time may do no good and the same time cause immense damage to the farming economy. This is the worst time of year for this to happen. We are in the midst of the biggest livestock sales of the year. Farm incomes will be decimated by a national movement ban at this time. We need the government to take tough and effective action, we don't need an over-reaction that could cause unprecedented hardship in rural areas."