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The NFU has today thanked the long list of organisations and individuals that have thrown their support behind the efforts to tackle the spread of
foot and mouth disease.

NFU President Ben Gill thanked the many groups that had called on their members to co-operate with the advice by staying away from the countryside.

He also praised the efforts of organisations and those local authorities which have helped restrict movements, closed sites and footpaths.

He said: "The prompt and decisive actions of these groups have helped flag up the seriousness of this disease and, we hope, helped to prevent the more widespread transmission of this virus."

He added: "I know that I speak for the farming community as a whole when I say that this 'Dunkirk spirit' has boosted morale and demonstrates to farmers that they are not tackling this problem alone."

Mr Gill also praised the public for their co-operation and support for the farming community, which has lost out further by having to cancel farmers' markets and shut B&B operations that have become a vital source of income.

He said: "With the number of confirmed cases increasing daily, it is clear that we still have some way to go before we can say that the problem has been eradicated.

"However, the industry's gratitude to all those backing the efforts to control this disease is heartfelt. A united approach is vital and I hope that we can continue to rely on this level of support."

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