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The worrying outbreak of foot and mouth in North Yorkshire shows that there must be no let up in observing every possible disease control measure - including the rigorous clean up operation, says the NFU.

The Government announced today that every vehicle movement on and off 2,700 farms in a tight bio-security area around Thirsk must be licensed and that all milk tankers will be accompanied by DEFRA staff to check they are clean.

NFU President Ben Gill said he supported this but said farmers would be confused and angered at the other news today that new contracts for the second stage of cleansing and disinfection operations on farms have been suspended.

He said that he would be meeting ministers early this week to press the Government to reverse this decision.

Ben Gill said: "We have supported the tough new measures announced today in parts of Yorkshire because we recognise that these draconian rules may be the only way to crush the worrying outbreak there.

"But coming at the same time as news that some C & D operations are to be suspended, it sends out an extremely conflicting message to the industry.

"The Government must re-instate the full clean up programme. Cleansing and disinfection is an integral part of fighting the disease but farmers have no way of paying for it on their own. This ludicrous decision must be reversed."
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