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The recent cluster of foot and mouth cases in Yorkshire in the last few days shows the need to be vigilant against the disease is as great today as at the start of the outbreak, says the NFU.

Sixteen farms have been confirmed with the disease in the Settle area of North Yorkshire in the last 10 days giving a grim reminder to farmers everywhere that it is too early to let down their guard.

NFU Vice President Michael Paske said: "There was much excitement last week about the fact that we had our first 24 hours with no cases since February. But the crop of cases in Settle shows that we were right to be cautious about this news.

"Thankfully, the general trend in the disease is still downwards, confirming that the stringent control measures are working.

"But we are only too aware that there are going to be many more cases before we are finally clear. And this could still be months away. We are not out of the woods yet, by any stretch of the imagination."

He added: "We would urge farmers and those connected with farming in both Settle and elsewhere to continue to observe the strictest disease control measures. And as the disease lessens nationally and we restore more access to the countryside, there will be a continuing need for people to stay clear of "hot spots" such as this."

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