History of the United Kingdom and EU  Foot and Mouth Disease Epidemic - UK Outbreak 2001

History of Foot and Mouth epidemic in U.K. 2001
Part 3
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United Kingdom Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak 2001Foot-and-Mouth Disease FMD viruses reproduction


A Nation in Distress - from March 10th 2001
The Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF) still talk about the FMD situation as an "outbreak" and the media are befuddled into the same thinking - but the virus is replicating in a sustainable way in the sheep population...
FMD has become endemic in the UK!


use of word "endemic" rather than "enzootic"
we used to use "epizootic" and "enzootic", but recently international veterinary epidemiologists rejected these terms (which would make them "epizootiologists" rather than "epidemiologists", and even more awkward words than that if they deal with bird or fish epidemics!) so back to the old words, which have the advantage that lots of other people know what we are talking about! international epidemiology terms

*FMD News   History of UK FMD in 2001: Part 1   Part 2   Part 4   Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  *FMD resources


50 Cattle Being Shot with a Rifle: Foot-and-Mouth Disease UK 2001

March 10th (day 20)
12 outbreaks in U.K. today, making total of 139 (including 1 in N. Ireland): total of 100,000 animals destroyed or destined for destruction since the series of outbreaks began on February 19th

*Map of latest outbreaks   *550 vets fight FMD   *Desperate farmers flout controls  

National Farmers Union (NFU) is protesting about delays of several days in destroying infected animals and burning carcases. A spokesman said that there was "too much bureaucracy, too much red tape, and not enough people making decisions". BBC report
The "primary spread" (prior to movement controls) outbreaks of FMD have declined now that the incubation period of up to 2 weeks has passed, but outbreaks are still high, apparently due mainly to secondary spread from primary outbreaks to nearby cattle farms.
The Chief Veterinary Officer also suspects that the virus is still spreading in sheep, where the low incidence and mildness of symptoms makes the virus very difficult to detect.
The UK lambing season has begun and lambs are already succumbing to FMD (young animals are particularly susceptible)


March 11th (day 21)
25 outbreaks today (largest daily toll so far), bringing the total to 164 (including 1 in N. Ireland)
Kent and Gloucestershire infected for first time
other outbreaks were in Powys, Devon (4), Cumbria (8), Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Dumfries and Galloway (2), Tyne and Wear, Co. Durham (2) and Herefordshire.
The Gloucestershire outbreak is in the Forest of Dean where sheep roam freely over large areas of common land.
As the tourist season gets underway, there is concern about the effects on the tourist industry
Minister of Agriculture reiterated today that the disease is under control and that vaccination is not an option.
£253M per week cost of FMD arising from underinvestment: Economist
Carcase disposal problems to be tackled: BBC
Rare cattle and sheep breeds are at risk.


photo of Foot and Mouth - Heart and Soul Cumbria UK

-  over 50 first-hand accounts + 83 photographs  -
compiled by BBC Radio Cumbria

"Foot and Mouth - Heart and Soul"
A diary of the 2001 FMD epidemic
details & content



March 12th (day 22)
23 sheep at a mid-Wales abattoir have suspicous symptoms of FMD
New suspect outbreak reported in N. Ireland
, but only one suspect sheep: abattoir in Dungannon, County Tyrone
Foot and mouth disease - human consequences: British Medical Journal

19 outbreaks in UK today so far, bringing the total to 183 (including 1 in N. Ireland):
Devon (2), Worcestershire , Dumfries and Galloway, Cumbria (5), Wiltshire, Lancashire (2), Staffordshire (2), Derbyshire, County Durham, Gloucestershire (we have heard that this is at Etloe, on the main A48, Forest of Dean), Powys and Tyne and Wear.
How the virus spread to a herd of 90 cattle at a farm near Pelsall, near Walsall (first outbreak in West Midlands) is currently a mystery.
The Department of Health has issued National Health Service and social service workers with guidelines to avoid visiting farms unless absolutely necessary, plus instructions on disinfection of footwear and vehicles.
Plans are being considered to destroy 0.5 million sheep trapped by movement bans in winter grazing areas, their welfare is said to be increasingly compromised.
The impact on tourism and other industries of nation-wide movement bans and a general exclusion of people from livestock areas is a growing cause for alarm
114,082 animals slaughtered so far, 30,739 more to be destroyed

Forest of Dean: We have received the following message today from a correspondent near the FMD outbreak announced yesterday:
"I live in the Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire) and, along with the great majority of local inhabitants, am extremely concerned that the free-ranging sheep who inhabit the Forest still have not been rounded up and penned. These animals are often in very poor condition, and are regularly seen to be in need of veterinary attention. They are able to roam within a few feet of regulated flocks, separated only by wire stock-fences. Should one of them contract FMD - which is highly likely given that we are in an infected area -
a) no-one would know until it was far too late
b) the disease would undoubtedly spread to deer, and probably be carried far afield by other forest creatures. The results of this would be catastrophic.
Could you please use your influence to persuade MAFF that something must be done to control these animals immediately? I have written to them, but have had no reply whatsoever."

More outbreaks expected today: BBC   European Commission details of extended bans: UK trade


March 13th (day 23)

*Taskforce to tackle UK rural economy crisis: BBC
22 new outbreaks in UK today, making total of 205 (including 1 in N. Ireland): new outbreaks include: Dumfries & Galloway (2), Devon (2), County Durham, Cumbria (5), Gloucestershire and Staffordshire (2).
131,000 animals already destroyed, 47,000 more are awaiting destruction..
Major concerns about the impact on the rural economy of the prolonged nationwide movement bans and widespread closure of tourist parks and countryside access. The tourist industry is estimated to be losing £100 million a week.
Foot and Mouth Disease confirmed in France - 1,000 farms at risk
There are 1,000 farms within 10 km of the first confirmed outbreak at La Baroche-Gondouin, in the department of Mayene in north western France. The infected farm was already in a movement control zone (in place around a sheep farm that had imported sheep from the United Kingdom two weeks ago - the sheep were preventatively slaughtered at that time). Six cattle on the farm showed symptoms of FMD, entire herd of 114 cattle was destroyed yesterday and will be incinerated today
There are 3 more suspect animals on a farm East of Paris: Yahoo English   Yahoo Francais
Army called to help in UK FMD crisis BBC

- FMD Paranoia? -
U.S. government has today advised   "The following preventive measures should be taken by travelers to the United States from FMD infected countries: Before travel to the United States, launder or dry clean all clothing and outerwear. All dirt and soil should be removed from shoes by thorough cleaning prior to wiping with cloth dampened with a bleach solution. (5 tablespoons of household bleach in 1 gallon of water).
What! - bleach my best Gucci shoes?


March 14th (day 24)
28 new outbreaks in UK today, making total of 233 (including 1 in N. Ireland): Berkshire, Dumfries & Galloway (5), County Durham (2), Cumbria (2), Cheshire and Wiltshire.
Cheshire is a new county to be infected, infected sheep are believed to have moved to the county from an infected market at Welshpool in mid-Wales.
An announcement is expected tomorrow that about 100 thousand healthy sheep will be destroyed as a result of a thousand or so animal movements by two dealers in the period between first confirmation of FMD in the UK on February 20th and the general movement ban on February 23rd. Trading at livestock markets (e.g. Northampton on February 22nd) occurred in this period. There are 3 geographical foci where the virus may be out of control in sheep: Cumbria, Devon and the Mid/Wales/Welsh border area.
*UK Pig Veterinary Society: FMD advice sheet   *Virus spread in UK: diagram
*FMD in : Argentina   Argentina & Colombia (AnimalNet)
Australia, Canada, New Zealand & USA have banned all EU livestock & meat imports:
FMD in France: Telegraph


History of UK FMD 2001-2002
from Outbreak to Epidemic to Endemic (this page) to Depopulation to Disaster to Timebomb to Rural rasure to Recovery to Healing & Transformation

*Recent News of FMD   *FMD resources


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