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Foot and Mouth

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th November 2004.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the reports from James Dring that some of the evidence of foot and mouth disease discovered on Burnside Farm constituted old lesions.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

Mr. Dring, accompanied by an Animal Health Officer, visited the farm on 22 February 2001, as part of the investigation into the cause of the outbreak in Essex and saw the presence of FMD, clearly well established with old lesions in many pigs. Disease was confirmed on these premises on 23 February 2001. On 24 February the experts' opinion was that some pigs had 12 day-old lesions. This implies that disease was probably present on 12 February 2001 and with an incubation period of two-14 days it could have been present from as early as 29 January 2001.

Jim Dring's previous visit before 22 February was on 24 January, on which date he closely inspected the herd and found no visible signs of FMD.

This is all set out in the report on the Origins of FMD submitted to and published by Dr. Anderson.

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