FARM LEADERS MEET WITH PRIME MINISTER
NFU President Ben Gill today warned the Prime Minister that there must be a swift response to sporadic outbreaks to ensure the slow-down in the number of new foot and mouth cases is not undermined.
He said: "We understand that isolated cases are to be expected but we made it clear that all the stops must be pulled out where these occur to ensure that these isolated cases don't create new centres of concern."
The comments were made by Mr Gill during a meeting of farm industry leaders* with Tony Blair at Downing Street this morning.
After the meeting Mr Gill said: "Mr Blair reiterated the Government's commitment to slaughtering animals on infected and neighbouring farms to rid the country of foot and mouth and views the use of vaccination as unnecessary."
Mr Gill also added that early signs indicated that at least some of the new isolated cases might have been caused by people moving from one area to another and inadvertently carrying the infection.
He called on those in high-risk situations, especially farmers and those within the agriculture industry, to be particularly careful to take the necessary precautions to guard against spreading the disease.
And he again called on the public as the Easter holidays approach, to follow common sense guidelines when visiting the countryside.
During the meeting with Mr Blair Ben Gill again outlined the need for the destruction and removal of infected and at risk animals to be carried out within the 24hr/48hr guidance offered by scientists to ensure the controls are as affective as possible.
"We all want to see this country clear of disease at the earliest opportunity. We must all, therefore, re-double our efforts."