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Scotland's Stronger Defences Against FMD

by 5m Editor
31 August 2011, at 9:26am

SCOTLAND, UK - Scotland is in a stronger position to deal effectively with any outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the future, a new report finds.

That was the finding of a progress report, published following Professor Jim Scudamore's review of how Scotland responded to the FMD outbreak of 2007.

A Progress Report: The Scottish Government's Response to the Foot and Mouth Disease Review (Scotland) 2007 has been produced to coincide with the three year anniversary of the publication of Professor Scudamore's review in 2008.

The publication highlights that 31 of the 52 recommendations accepted by the Scottish Government have already been met or are under regular review. Due to the need to continually update contingency planning the remaining recommendations require a programme of on-going work.

Professor Scudamore said: "I am impressed by the considerable effort and speed with which the recommendations in the review have been adopted and implemented. This will put Scotland in a strong position to deal effectively with any outbreaks of disease in the future."

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "I welcome the publication of the progress report in response to the foot and mouth review 2007. The acceptance of Professor Scudamore's recommendations, and the taking forward of these, demonstrates our continued commitment to Scotland's agricultural and related industries."

FMD is an exotic notifiable disease named in section 88 of the Animal Health Act 1981. FMD is one of the most contagious diseases of cloven-hoofed mammals with the potential to cause severe economic losses and trade disruptions in animals and animal products. While it is usually a disease of low mortality in animals, and has no public health relevance, it has important consequences for animal welfare and production.

Without control measures, the disease spreads uncontrollably and becomes endemic. On confirmation of disease there is an immediate restriction on movement of susceptible animals in the UK. In 2007, when FMD was isolated to Surrey, the imposition of a movement ban in Scotland had considerable impact on the livestock sector and related industries.

Mr Lochhead commissioned Professor Jim Scudamore, with support from John Ross, to undertake a review of how Scotland responded to the FMD outbreak of 2007.