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
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
spread of the virus can take place and under favourable climatic conditions the
disease may be spread considerable distances by this route.
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.
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.
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.
person who has attended diseased animals can spread the disease; and dogs, cats,
poultry, wild game and vermin may also carry infected material.
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.
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
report suspected disease, a veterinary officer will visit your farm as soon as
possible to examine your animals, but until he arrives you should:
lock your farm gates;
put a "Keep Out" notice
at the farm entrance; not allow persons to leave your farm;
not allow visitors on to your
not allow vehicles to leave or
enter the farm;
not move any stock, crops or
anything else off the premises;
ensure that any goods delivered
are unloaded at the farm gate.
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
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.
following measures should be followed:
have more than one farm, then:
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
You must use an APPROVED DISINFECTANT
of those approved for use against foot-and-mouth disease and the dilutions at
which they must be used are available on this website.
© MAFF 2001
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.
visiting a farm/farmland you should consider:
Is your visit absolutely essential?
restrict number of people visiting.
allow children to accompany you unless absolutely necessary and they too must be
disinfected to the required standard.
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.
could be introduced as soon as you get out of the vehicle, so check what
precautions are required before getting out of the vehicle.
regarding previous contact with livestock and what disinfection took place are
likely to be requested. Mention if you own or care for livestock yourself.
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
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
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.
that all mud, slurry or manure is washed off before leaving the premises.
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.
(and water if needed) should be carried in vehicles at all times (Health and
Safety guidelines will apply).
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.
all clothing and boots are disinfected before they are put into the vehicle. A
foot dip or spray should be provided.
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.