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The NFU tonight expressed its regret that a limited racing schedule will resume tomorrow, despite farmers' pleas for a further period of suspension.

Following a meeting with the British Horse Racing Board and the Jockey Club, NFU Director General Richard Macdonald said: "We explained to the horse racing authorities why farmers want them to continue their ban on racing for a further week.

"We are disappointed that they have decided to resume racing. It is now a matter for individual courses as to whether they proceed or not - we appeal to them not to do so.

"However, I must acknowledge that they have put in place extremely stringent precautions and that the resumption is on a very limited basis.

"We sincerely hope that these precautions are sufficient to prevent the spread of foot and mouth back onto farms.

"At our request, the racing authorities have agreed to keep matters under continuous review and respond positively to any further ideas the NFU has about how precautions can be improved."

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