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Number of outbreaks continues to increase

by John Mason
Financial Times ()


The government draws some comfort from the fact that most new cases continue to be in the three areas worst affected - Cumbria, Devon and Dumfries and Galloway. The spread beyond that remains limited. Why is the army being called in? It isn't yet, with the exception of a handful of army veterinary surgeons who are helping to inspect farms. However, the government is drawing up contingency plans in case the Ministry of Agriculture needs extra help. Marksmen would be used to help slaughter farm animals. Suggestions they might roam the countryside shooting wild animals are wrong. Unarmed troops might be used to help dispose of animal carcasses and provide escorts for animal movements. How much strain has been placed on Ministry of Agriculture resources? The strain on veterinary staff is considerable. Maff has 210 permanent staff. They are being helped by 240 temporary staff and others from private practice. Some 34 vets have come from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland.

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