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Action against foot and mouth and bluetongue continues

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Exclusions zones in an attempt to halt the spread of foot and mouth disease and bluetongue are being extended.

Chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds has outlined the integrated, risk-based approach to deal with the disease situation.

Foot and mouth measures

In the current foot and mouth outbreak, there have been six infected premises. There is one temporary control zone on the Hampshire/West Sussex border and a further temporary control zone has been established at premises in Hampshire.

A further slaughter on suspicion for foot and mouth disease is taking place within the existing Egham protection zone.

Intensive surveillance is already underway on a precautionary basis in the wider Egham and Surrey areas. Further surveillance by cattle blood testing will take place.

Foot and mouth risk areas are:

Essex, Kent, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Greater London.

Low risk areas are:

The rest of England, Wales and Scotland.

Bluetongue

DEFRA has also identified a bluetongue temporary area while surveillance is carried out to determine whether the virus is circulating.

This area encompasses Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, and covers those additional areas which could be included in any further movement controls should an outbreak of bluetongue be confirmed.

Ms Reynolds said: "All these areas will be kept under active review and we will continue with a risk-based, staged approach. In the next 24 hours everyone needs to prepare for their own role in ensuring this important next step is successful."

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