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Foot and Mouth Disease

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce the incidence of foot and mouth disease. (269112)

Since the 2007 foot and mouth outbreak Government have accepted recommendations from both the Callaghan and Anderson reviews.

Sir Iain Anderson was invited by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State to conduct an independent review of the 2007 FMD outbreak on the most effective and efficient way to learn the lessons of FMD outbreaks quickly and respond accordingly. The Government have accepted all 26 recommendations. The full response is available on the DEFRA website.

Sir Bill Callaghan was requested by the Government to chair a review of the regulatory framework for animal pathogens, his review was published in December 2007. DEFRA was responsible for implementing phases 1 and 2 of the Callaghan review and responsibility for inspections of labs transferred to the Health and Safety Executive on 1 April 2008.

More details of reviews and measures, and the Government's response and actions, are available on DEFRA's website.

DEFRA also continue to control imports. No livestock imports are permitted from countries with foot and mouth and meat is only permitted from countries where FMD is present under strict guidelines issued by the World Organisation for Animal Health and only from areas of that country that are free of disease. The rules also ensure meat does not come from any animal that may have had contact with FMD before, during or after slaughter.

More generally we continue to encourage, through livestock market road shows, good on-farm biosecurity to help prevent the spread of disease, including foot and mouth.