Page updated 4th march 2001

The attached documents show what advice farmers are being given and what precautions need to be taken by people working in the countryside.  It brings it home as to why it is very important that the fells and fell roads need to be closed to fellwalkers and climbers alike.  At the bottom of the page is a notice covering procedures for mountain rescue teams, specifically Penrith MRT

Up to date information can be found on the MAFF website

1.  Facts on the disease
2.  How to protect your farm
3.  Advice on precautions to be exercised by people working in the

Foot and mouth disease - factsheet 1

23 February 2001

Facts on the disease

Foot-and-mouth disease is an acute infectious viral disease causing fever, followed by the development of vesticles (blisters) chiefly in the mouth and on the feet. It is probably more infectious than any other disease affecting animals and spreads rapidly if uncontrolled. It affects cattle, sheep, pigs, goats. Wild and domestic cloven hooved animals and elephants, hedgehogs and rats are also susceptible.

Airborne spread of the virus can take place and under favourable climatic conditions the disease may be spread considerable distances by this route.

The virus is present in great quantity in the fluid from the blisters, and it can also occur in the saliva, exhaled air, milk and dung. Any of these can be a source of infection to other stock. At the height of the disease, virus is present in the blood and all parts of the body. Heat, sunlight and disinfectants will destroy the virus, whereas cold and darkness tend to keep it alive. Under favourable conditions it can survive for long periods.

Animals pick up the virus either by direct or indirect contact with an infected animal, or by contact with foodstuffs or other things which have been contaminated by such an animal. Indirect contact includes airborne contact with infected feedstuffs or any other which may be contaminated by an infected animal or by eating or coming into contact with some part of an infected carcase.

Cattle trucks, lorries, market places, and loading ramps - where infected animals may have been present - are sources of infection until effectively disinfected. Roads may also become contaminated, and virus may be picked up and carried on the wheels of passing vehicles such as delivery lorries, milk tankers etc.

Any person who has attended diseased animals can spread the disease; and dogs, cats, poultry, wild game and vermin may also carry infected material.

Previous outbreaks occurred in the eastern and south-eastern counties when the disease had been prevalent on the continent of Europe. In these cases infection was apparently brought to this country by airborne carriage of the virus under favourable climatic conditions. Imported meat, infected with the virus, may also be a source of infection.

Clinical signs to look for





(Infection recorded in reindeer, moose, white-tailed, sika, fallow and roe deer although the latter two species are less susceptible. Infected deer can shed virus amounts simular to cattle and some deer species can become carriers.)

The early reporting of any suspicion of disease is vital. If you see any of these symptoms, don't wait, telephone the local Animal Health Office immediately.

Advice to Stock Owners

If you report suspected disease, a veterinary officer will visit your farm as soon as possible to examine your animals, but until he arrives you should:

a.       lock your farm gates;

b.       put a "Keep Out" notice at the farm entrance; not allow persons to leave your farm;

c.       not allow visitors on to your premises;

d.       not allow vehicles to leave or enter the farm;

e.       not move any stock, crops or anything else off the premises;

f.         ensure that any goods delivered are unloaded at the farm gate.

If you are a milk producer you should prevent the collection of milk from your farm by placing a "do not collect" notice at your farm gate.


© MAFF 2001


Foot and mouth disease - factsheet 2

23 February 2001

How to protect your farm

This leaflet provides information on preventative measures on how to protect your farm against foot and mouth disease. Further measures apply if your farm is in a declared infected area.

The following measures should be followed:

If you have more than one farm, then:

Disenfection and approved disenfectants

A dirty surface must be cleaned before it can be satisfactorily disinfected. The dirt may make the disinfectant useless. It is therefore most important that anything which must be disinfected is first soaked with an approved disinfectant, then thoroughly washed and cleaned and finally washed down with an approved disinfectant.


A list of those approved for use against foot-and-mouth disease and the dilutions at which they must be used are available on this website.

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© MAFF 2001


Foot and mouth disease - factsheet 5

26 February 2001


The livelihoods of many people are closely linked to the countryside. Visits to farms and across farmland could bring contact with livestock susceptible to foot and mouth disease. It is possible, therefore, that inadvertently, infection could be carried to or from places visited.

Before visiting a farm/farmland you should consider:

Is your visit absolutely essential?

If so restrict number of people visiting.

Do not allow children to accompany you unless absolutely necessary and they too must be disinfected to the required standard.

Appointments or visits should be rearranged or arrangements made over the phone, by fax or e-mail. Should you still proceed with a visit follow all procedures requested by the owner of the premises. This could include leaving your vehicle outside the farm, disinfecting boots, and wearing boots or clothing supplied by the farm.

Infection could be introduced as soon as you get out of the vehicle, so check what precautions are required before getting out of the vehicle.

Information regarding previous contact with livestock and what disinfection took place are likely to be requested. Mention if you own or care for livestock yourself.

Restrict the movement of objects between farms as these could carry infections and, if they are essential, disinfection will be required. Advice on approved disinfectants is available on the website or from the local Animal Health Office.

On the farm

Whilst on the farm, visit only essential locations. Visit stock only if absolutely necessary and ensure you have the owners permission. Do not wander round buildings. If it has not been possible to contact the owner beforehand, delay the visit.

Take responsibility for your own actions whilst visiting farms and ensure the highest standards of personal disinfection and cleanliness is carried out at all times. Arrive at the farm clean. Ensure that your vehicle is kept clean.

Leaving the farm

Ensure that all mud, slurry or manure is washed off before leaving the premises.

Apply disinfectant after washing. Spraying is the most effective method, not forgetting tyres and the underside of the vehicle. Spraying should be undertaken even if there is a wheel dip or disinfectant mat in place. When applying note that concentrated disinfectant may be caustic and require protective clothing to be worn. Always check the label first.

Disinfectant (and water if needed) should be carried in vehicles at all times (Health and Safety guidelines will apply).

Once the vehicle is clean consider personal cleaning and disinfection. Ideally, disposable over clothes that fully cover your clothing should be worn. If this is not practical then wear a material that can be cleansed and disinfected Do this before you leave the farm. Disposable items should either be left on the farm or sealed in a plastic bag. They will disposed of by burning.

Ensure all clothing and boots are disinfected before they are put into the vehicle. A foot dip or spray should be provided.

It is essential that all visits to farms and possible contact with animals are recorded. Should disease occur on a farm then these records will be used to trace movements and possible spread of the disease. The records should include the date and time of visits.


© MAFF 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Horder []
Sent: 03 March 2001 16:34
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Subject: FMD - Further Advice

This originated from Ged Feeney Penrith MRT and is also in line with Keswick MRT policy. It may be of use to anyone not yet up to speed with their own policies.

The following statement is in accord with other LDSAMRA teams.

Team members will not use farmland or open fell areas for recreational use; this is now mandatory.

Team members support the efforts of the statutory authorities and the farming community in their efforts to eradicate this disease.

The team will respond to any call out, on the following conditions:-

1.      That our presence in the areas has been sanctioned by the police and the
        statutory authorities
2.     All boots must be disinfected before going on to farmland and land likely to
        contain stock
3.     All boots and waterproof trousers must be disinfected when leaving farmland or
        fell land
4.     If vehicles have to be driven onto farmland or the open fell, the vehicle tyres
        will be disinfected before crossing onto the land and again as the vehicle leaves
        the land.
5.     The team will avoid unnecessary access to any farm or fell land.
6.     Members must not attend an incident directly in their own vehicle.  They must
        assemble at base or some suitable pick-up point for transport in a team vehicle.
7.     Where equipment, especially the stretcher, is taken onto farmland or fell land, it
        will be disinfected both before it goes out and on return.
8.     Should a helicopter be deployed, suitable precautions must be taken to ensure
        contamination is not carried by the casualty, our equipment, the aircrew or the
        aircraft’s wheels

The team will equip all team vehicles with buckets, water and recommended disinfectant sufficient for the purpose.  This notice must be clearly displayed in each vehicle and at base.  Copies are to be given to all members.

G. Feeney
Further to the above, SARDA (Lakes) has its own precautions in place and all members are up to speed with these.  At the present time, it is not known what steps the other SARDA organisations have taken.  Please enquire locally if need be.
Paul Horder