HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 c942W
Mr. Peter Ainsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the veterinary assessment of the risk to bio-security posed by cow-pats at agricultural shows; and if she will make a statement. [54340]

Margaret Beckett

Veterinary and scientific advice is that livestock shows pose a risk of the transmission of Foot and Mouth or other notifiable diseases because large numbers of animals, vehicles and people are brought together from a number of different farms. Hence strict biosecurity is needed. Animal faeces may contain Foot and Mouth virus and other animal pathogens, which may survive in faeces for a period of time. Show organisers are required to draw up a biosecurity operating plan and appoint a biosecurity officer to ensure that the show licence conditions are followed. These conditions include that if animals cross a public area, any faeces is removed as far as possible and the spot covered, for example with sawdust, as is normal hygienic practice.

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