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Foot and mouth restrictions spread

The Ramblers' Association has urged its members to stay out of the countryside during the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

The organisation says ramblers should cancel any planned walks in England, Wales and Scotland which cross farmland or any other area where walkers might encounter livestock.

The RA says walkers should not rely on signs to show the danger areas, but should use common sense.

"Although not a danger to humans, foot-and-mouth is a highly contagious viral infection in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats which can devastate livestock yields. The virus can be carried in the air or can travel to previously uninfected areas on, among other things, clothing, footwear and car tyres," the RA warns.

It comes as more cases of foot and mouth disease are reported. Europe has a special section with the latest news and background information on the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The Royal Veterinary College has appealed to walkers not to use footpaths across its land and adjoining land.

In an e-mail to this site's Have Your Say section, John Fisher of the Royal Veterinary College in Hawkshead Lane, has appealed for the public's help in trying to stop the spread of the disease.

“We would like to urge everyone to support the current national advice - notably for people not to visit countryside areas for the time being: in particular for RVC we would be very grateful if people would not use public footpaths across our and adjoining land, not walk on our land with or without dogs, etc etc. Your help and support would be much appreciated,” he wrote.

Advice is also being offered by the Countryside Alliance which is urging people to examine whether any planned visits to farm land is absolutely essential.

The alliance says if so, people should restrict number of people visiting and not allow children to visit farm land unless absolutely necessary.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England warns: ‘Every effort needs to be made to eradicate foot and mouth disease and limit the impact of the outbreak on the farming community. The public should co-operate fully with necessary restrictions on access to the countryside which will help avoid spreading the disease.’

And the NFU is updating its site with the latest developments.

February 27, 2001

Recent News
Foot and mouth plea to ramblers - February 23, 2001.

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