80,000 carcasses await disposal

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SSUE 2127 Thursday 22 March 2001 80,000 carcasses await disposal

By Peter Foster, Mark Moulding, Michael Smith and David Brown


A HUNDRED more troops are to be deployed to help clear a backlog of 80,000 animal carcasses that are awaiting disposal on farms across Britain, the Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday.

The move followed pressure from farmers' leaders who accused the Government of failing to react fast enough to the foot and mouth crisis. Troops already sent to Devon and Cumbria were said to have found an "administrative shambles".

As the the number of confirmed outbreaks rose by 40 to 435, two cases were confirmed in Holland. Vets there fear that it could rapidly take hold in the country's huge population of pigs.

Nick Brown, the Agriculture Minister, defended the Government's handling of the crisis and denied reports that Maff covered up the epidemic weeks before it was announced on Feb 20. Downing Street also issued a denial.

Farmers in the worst affected areas of Devon, Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway, have been waiting up to seven days for slaughtered animals to be burned, buried or taken to rendering plants. The number of dead animals lying in rotting heaps - up from 64,000 three days ago - is expected to rise again if the proposed cull of hundreds of thousands of healthy sheep goes ahead.

The ministry said that its first priority was containment of the outbreak through the identification and slaughter of infected flocks and herds. Army logistics teams will go to five more counties - Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire - to oversee carcass removal.

Tim Bennett, deputy president of the NFU, said: "Delays in slaughtering and disposing of infected animals are simply not acceptable. We want infected animals slaughtered within 24 hours and disposal of carcasses within 24 hours. That is a target set by the minister and we expect him to deliver it."

The Prince of Wales is to stop voicing support for farmers caught in the crisis for fear of being accused of political comment before an election. A St. James's Palace spokesman said: "He has done what he can. He has announced his 500,000 donation . . . he has cancelled his skiing holiday. But he does not wish to become involved in party politics."

-- Swissrose (cellier3@mindspring.com), March 21, 2001


Thursday, March 22 7:25 AM SGT

http://asia.dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/world/article.html?s=asia/he adlines/010322/world/afp/Dutch_identify_third_foot-and-mouth_site.html

Dutch identify third foot-and-mouth site

THE HAGUE, March 22 (AFP) -

A Dutch agriculture ministry official announced early Thursday the discovery of a third site where they had found foot-and-mouth disease.

"We have confirmation of a third case of foot-and-mouth at a farm in Welsum," said spokeswoman Martine de Haan.

"The farm is between Olst, where we diagnosed the first case, and the farm at Oene, where all the symptoms observed tend to show that it is certainly another case of foot-and-mouth," she added.

-- Swissrose (cellier3@mindspring.com), March 21, 2001.

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