August 17, 2007
August 17, 2007 - Following the identification of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the United Kingdom near Guildford in Surrey on Aug. 3 (and subsequently on a second nearby site), extensive work has been conducted to contain the outbreak and to identify its cause.
Based on further negative laboratory results for FMD and supporting veterinary advice, the decision has been made to lift the two temporary control zones in Kent and Surrey.
For farmers and other keepers of susceptible animals, the main priority remains the need for vigilance and for excellent biosecurity. The national ban on movement of susceptible animals remains in force although a number of specific movements have been licensed, subject to strict conditions, outside the area most directly affected.
Apart from a small area in Surrey (some land and rights of way in the protection zones), the countryside remains open.
FMD is not a public health threat, and it is not considered to have any implications for the human food chain.
Due to the specific strain of virus found, it appears very likely that the source of the infection is the Pirbright site where Merial Animal Health Ltd and the Institute of Animal Health are located. Latest news from www.defra.gov.uk