NFU calls for vigilance
Published:  13 September, 2007

NFU president Peter Kendall has described the latest FMD outbreak as a "hammer-blow" to the industry.

He called for farmers to remain vigilant and respect the movement ban but acknowledged that the outbreak has come at the worst possible time for farmers in the Lake District, Scotland and the Welsh hills, who should be preparing to move their stock to the lowlands for winter feeding.

"Our main focus now must be on controlling and eradicating the disease as quickly as possible. Farmers must be extremely vigilant and biosecurity is of paramount importance," he said.

"The imposition of movement restrictions is absolutely imperative to ensure the disease is stopped in its tracks.

"However, this outbreak could not have come at a worse time, with tens of thousands of stock moving from upland to low-land farm areas in the next few weeks.

"We must get movement restrictions narrowed down to the area known to be at real risk as quickly as it's safe to do so."

In order to provide extra support for farmers during the crisis, additional staff are on standby at NFU Callfirst this weekend to take calls from members who require information with regards to the FMD outbreak.

The helpline will be open on both Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 2pm. Members should call 0870 845 8458.