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FOOT AND MOUTH CRISIS - UPDATED 4:20PM

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: FOOT-AND-MOUTH CLOSURES ...
IMPORTANT NOTICE: FOOT-AND-MOUTH CLOSURES
Due to the growing foot-and-mouth crisis two Manchester farms have been
closed: the Farm Centre at Heaton Park and the Community Farm at Wythenshawe Park.
This, in line with similar restrictions which are being imposed nationwide, has been done to protect the farm animals. Members of the public are urged to abide by the closure notices which surround the farm exclusion zones.
These closure notices have been erected to form exclusion zones and members of the public - whether they are walking pets, rambling, or simply out in the surrounding park - are urged to take them very seriously and to keep well away from these areas.
Anyone going inside them runs the risk of transporting the infection to the
animals. It can be carried in a variety of ways including in hair and cloths.
Councillor Glyn Evans, Manchester's executive member for culture and leisure, said:
'We have closed the farms at Heaton Park and Wythenshawe Park as a precautionary measure until further notice. This is to protect the welfare of animals and to minimise the risk of infection. Advice has been sought from MAFF and our own vets will continue to monitor the situation.
'This foot-and-mouth crisis is very serious and the public need to be alert to the need to contain the infection. I am therefore urging everyone to please abide by all exclusion notices for the sake of those animals currently at risk.'
EMERGENCY POWERS INVOKED FOR THIS WEEKEND
Following the latest foot and mouth cases across Britain, Suffolk CC has invoked emergency powers as a preventative measure in time for the weekend.
Suffolk is a popular weekend destination and tourism is the second largest industry in the county after agriculture. However, despite warnings to the public to stay away from the countryside during this crisis a small minority will still be planning day trips and excursions into local rural areas.
These people may be ignorant of the risk they pose to the county's livestock and local farmers and as a result Suffolk CC has imposed a ban on rural rights of way.
From 12 noon on Friday 2 March people will be prohibited from travelling across bridleways or footpaths which cover farmland, woodland or common land.
Ken Seager, lead officer for the county council, said: 'We recognise the limitations this action is putting on the people who use footpaths and bridalways and want to assure them we will lift the ban as soon as practical, but at the moment our prime concern is safety.'
Farmers concerned about access to their farmland should call the helpline number on 01473 584145 or 01473 584246. This number can also be used to report incidences of illegal animal movements and breaches of the legislation.
The seriousness of this situation means that anyone contravening these restrictions may be liable to a£5,000 fine.
NOTE
Farmers and landowners can obtain public notices warning people to keep off the land. These are available from public libraries and a copy can be downloaded from the Suffolk CC website.
New Measures to assist and inform Suffolk Farmers
A helpline has been established by Suffolk County Council to assist local farmers and landowners. It will handle calls on public access to farm land and requests for closure of public rights of way.
Any farmer or landowner can now call 01473 584145 and 01473 584146. The lines are open between 7am and 7pm seven days a week.
Calls after 7pm will be recorded and then responded to by animal health officers as soon as possible the following day.
Farmers will be able to report the points of public access to their farms and request notices to warn the public. Any requests for closure of public rights of way should come through these numbers, these will then be assessed by animal health officers who will speak to farmers individually.
Farmers and landowners can also collect warning notices from their local libraries. A copy is also available on the Suffolk CC website at the following address: www.suffolkcc.gov.uk.
Opening the phone lines Ken Seager, lead officer for the county council, said: 'Strict control of public access is vital to the containment of this disease. Farmers can now call Suffolk County Council to get warning notices and to apply for extra restrictions on their land.
'We will take all applications for closure of footpaths very seriously and the helpline will be open seven days of the week for this purpose. The public should also be aware that we will take immediate action if there is any evidence of breaches in the law.'
As a further precautionary measure the following leisure sites are now closed: Glemsford picnic site; Fen Alder Carr nature reserve; Brandon Country Park and Clare Country Park (the car park at Clare Country Park will remain open but there will be no access to the park); Thornham Walks; the Riverside at Claydon; The Pennings at Eye and Church Meadow at Combs.
The situation is being monitored on a daily basis and changes will be made to public access to rural areas as necessary.
Members of the public wanting further advice are recommended to view the MAFF website or call the Foot and Mouth national helpline on 0845 0504141 (local rate)
NOTES
All Suffolk County Council country parks are now closed - the sites listed
above are in addition to the ones closed yesterday
As a precautionary measure Suffolk County Council is posting warning notices across the county - these notices advise the public not to enter certain areas. Any member of the public seeing one of these notices should take the warning very seriously and not attempt to use the footpath.
Around 30 sites (farms which have had contact with the Essex abattoir in the last two weeks) have been designated as higher risk and public notices are being posted at these sites forbidding the public from entering these premises. Any memberof the public seeing one of these notices should not use the footpath and is liable for a£5,000 fine if they do.

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE UPDATE: SURREY CC CLOSES FOOTPATHS AND BRIDLEWAYS
Surrey County Council has closed footpaths and bridleways in rural areas of Surrey in response to mounting concern from farmers and the rural community over foot and mouth disease.
Although no case of the disease has been identified in Surrey, the County Council has decided to ban people from walking and riding along footpaths and bridleways on or near farmland, woodland and common land. The ban will remain in force until midnight on 16 March along with the nationwide restriction on livestock movements put in place last Friday (23 February) by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF).
County Council chief executive, Paul Coen, said: 'I must stress that this is a precautionary measure taken in response to the growing national crisis and the concerns of Surrey's rural communities. We are relieved that Surrey remains free of the disease, but there is no room for complacency and we are determined to do what we can to protect our county and its farming industry.
'We know we have the support of the wider community and partner authorities, and are confident that people will respond in an appropriate way that helps reduce the risk of foot and mouth entering the county.'
In addition the council has asked everyone to keep away from most of its 10,000-acre countryside estate. This covers Sheepleas, West Hanger, Hackhurst and White Downs and Abinger and Wotton Commons, Newlands Corner, St Martha's Hill, Silent Pool, Staffhurst Wood, Puttenham Common, Hogs Back, Worplesdon group of commons, Ockham, Wisley and Chatley Heath, Norbury Park, Brockham Hills, Hill Park and Shabden Park.
Countryside projects are also suspending some of their work parties out in rural areas and taking special precautions when they visit sites.
Earlier advice to people to avoid countryside visits still applies, and dog owners are asked to keep their pets on a lead. For details about access to local parks and open spaces in predominantly urban areas, people should contact their local borough or district council.
The council is using powers available to it under the foot and mouth disease control legislation. Some notices will be posted at certain locations, but the ban will apply even if a footpath or bridleway is not specifically signed.
FOOT AND MOUTH - WHAT THE MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS WILL MEAN FOR THE CONFIRMED SITES
Movement restrictions have been applied to two farms in Scotland which have been confirmed with foot and mouth and a stand-still notice is in effect for a 10 kilometre radius around the farms in Lockerbie and Canonbie, Dumfriesshire.
This means that there will be no movement of susceptible livestock into, out of or within these areas. It does NOT mean people will not be allowed to move in these areas.
Local authority and veterinary inspectors do, however, have powers to prevent people from entering any land or agricultural building by displaying a notice to that effect. People outwith these areas will, for the most part, be able to move freely, except where local authority or veterinary inspectors have closed particular areas of land.
The Scottish executive continues to stress the importance of vigilance and avoiding contact with livestock and livestock farms.
Movement of vehicles on main thoroughfares outwith the immediate area of the affected farms will be unaffected. Trains will also be able to pass through areas as normal.
The 10 kilometre radius follows topographic features and roads etc at its boundary.
If any local people have any concerns or queries, they should contact in the first assistance their local authority, police or the local animal health office.
FOOT AND MOUTH - CONFIRMED CASES IN DUMFRIESSHIRE
The first Scottish cases of foot and mouth disease have been confirmed at farms in Lockerbie and Canonbie, Dumfriesshire.
Movement restrictions have been applied to the farms and a stand-still notice is in effect for a 10 mile radius around the farms. The effect of this is that there will be no movement of susceptible livestock into, out of or within these areas.
The cattle at the farms will be valued for compensation before slaughter and disposal.
Minister for rural development Ross Finnie said: 'This is obviously a devastating blow - it goes without saying that this is a major concern, but, of course, not unexpected. The necessary controls are now in place around the affected farm.
'We will maintain our tough controls in Scotland and the rest of the UK until we have contained and eradicated the disease.'
BACKGROUND
As foot and mouth is a highly-contagious disease, the Executive reiterates its advice for people to stay away from livestock and livestock farms. It would be extremely helpful if the media could also follow this advice to help prevent the spread of the disease.
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