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BACK WITH A VENGEANCE.

FOOT and mouth struck again in the Scottish Borders yesterday - a full month after the last reported case.

The outbreak was confirmed as Prime Minister Tony Blair warned people not to drop their guard in the wake of a cluster of new cases in the Yorkshire Dales.

Last night, slaughter teams moved in to kill stock at Cothill Farm, south- west of Duns, Berwickshire, after vets found the disease present in a group of 60 ewes.

Animals on four other farms run by the same owner will also be killed.

No decision has been taken on whether to bring back the Army teams who returned to base after the last Borders outbreak, also in the Duns area.

MAFF divisional veterinary officer Arthur Griffiths said: "It is very disappointing after a month with no other cases.

"It is typical of this disease that you get a big peak early in the outbreak, but it takes a long time to be completely eradicated.

"There are only two farms with stock on them contiguous to the original outbreak.

"If we find the disease on the other farms operated by the owner we may have to go for a three- kilometre cull as well, but we will treat each case on its merits."

Meanwhile, almost 1000 farms in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have been placed under restrictions and livestock movements have been cancelled since the emergence of a major new foot and mouth hotspot.

One more case at Skipton was recorded yesterday while a fresh outbreak was confirmed in Cumbria, taking the total toll of cases to 1624.

Blair said: "We warned that there would carry on being some cases of foot and mouth disease and that it was vitally important that people carry on taking the measures of security."

MAFF chief Steve Hunter said up to 200 personnel had been drafted in to deal with the outbreak.

He added: "We are trying to get on top of this as quickly as possible, hence the rapid increase in staff."

Hunter said 17 cases of foot and mouth had now been confirmed in the Settle area in Yorkshire and around 69,000 animals were in the process of being slaughtered.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 23, 2001
Words:366
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