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MP WELCOMES CHIEF VETS COMMENTS ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A REGIONAL APPROACH TO FOOT AND MOUTH

September 14, 2007 3:00 PM

"We must kill off foot and mouth, but we must not risk killing off farming in the process" - Farron

Tim Farron has welcomed comments by Chief Vet Debby Reynolds that suggest that she is considering a regional approach to controlling Foot and Mouth.

The new outbreaks of the disease are close to the earlier outbreaks at the beginning of August and are thought to be from the same strain.

Yesterday, Mr Farron spoke to Farming Minister Jonathan Shaw MP asking him to discuss with the vets the possibility of removing animal movement

restrictions in the north of England to allow farmers to make a living at what is the most important time of the year for livestock sales.

Tim Farron said "We must make certain that foot and mouth does not get a foothold, but at the same time Government must understand that if the

nationwide animal movement ban remains in place for long it will cripple the farming industry.

"This is the worst time of year for such a ban to be in place because it will prevent farmers taking livestock to market at the busiest time of year

for sales - for many farmers this is their big day and they look likely to miss it if the ban is not relaxed.

"Farming communities are deeply distressed given that many of them are already in a marginal position financially, this could be the end for a

significant number of farmers.

"Wales and Scotland are relaxing their movements. Wales is closer to Surrey than Cumbria, so it would seem odd not to consider allowing us to follow

suit so long as it is safe to do so.

"We must kill off foot and mouth, but we must not risk killing off farming in the process"