Farmers still 'cut-up' by foot-and-mouth

Farm animals on a pyre Animal carcases were burnt to stop the spread of the disease

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Farmers say they are still feeling the repercussions of the foot-and-mouth crisis - 10 years on.

Adam Quinney farms at Sambourne, near Redditch, and although his animals never had the disease his livestock was placed under severe movement restrictions.

He said he lost about 300 lambs which had to be culled for welfare reasons because they could not be moved to a suitable pasture where they would have enough food.

And he had to borrow money to buy in extra feed to look after animals he could not sell.

He said he still had another three years left on his loan before it would be repaid.

He said: "We got compensated half the market value to cover our losses.

"I had 400 cattle and I had to buy everything in for two months because we couldn't sell them.

"It was like having hotel guests who won't leave.

"We had twin lambs being born and it was so muddy we had to cull the weaker one so the stronger one had a chance.

"It was 10 years ago but I feel cut up by it still."

He added that although a lot of work had been done to prevent a future outbreak the disease could still be found around the world and he was concerned that it could return.

Tim Jones, is another farmer who faced tough restrictions despite not having foot-and-mouth disease on his farm.

He farms at Tenbury Wells, in Worcestershire.

Start Quote

It was 10 years ago but I feel cut up by it still.”

End Quote Adam Quinney Farmer

He said: "Because we lost the export market it was a massive financial knock.

"We're just getting back to the point where we're starting to feel positive now."

He said he lost 300 lambs because of a welfare cull after conditions became too muddy to keep them.

"It was heartbreaking to see that many good lambs going out, not doing anyone any good," he said.

He said it was good that the government had taken the lead at the time in shutting down livestock movement and restricting access to the countryside.

But he added: "Foot-and-mouth is still around and it is getting into countries that are not that far away."

Adam Quinney Adam Quinney remembers having to cull healthy animals

The disease control centre in Worcester reported that in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire there were 79 cases in total between 27 February and 11 May 2001.

Stafford's disease control centre covered Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and reported a total of 72 cases between 2 March and 26 July 2001.

Warwickshire was covered by a disease control centre in Leicester which also covered Leicestershire and Northamptonshire. It reported nine case between 27 February and 23 April 2001.

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the government has introduced many controls since 2001.

It said the controls included improved checks on passengers, freight and post for smuggled products of animal origin, improved education of farmers about the "crucial importance" of good farming practices and stricter rules on hygiene when transporting animals.

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