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Volume 9, Number 1—January 2003

Foot and Mouth Disease in Livestock and Reduced Cryptosporidiosis in Humans, England and Wales

William J. Smerdon*, Tom Nichols*, Rachel M. Chalmers†, Hilary Heine*, and Mark Reacher*Comments to Author 
Author affiliations: *Public Health Laboratory Service–Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, England; †Cryptosporidium Reference Unit, Singleton Hospital, Sgeti, Swansea, Wales

Main Article

Table 1

Key events during the foot-and-mouth-disease epidemic in livestock, United Kingdom, 2001a

Dates Cumulative cases Event

19 February
FMD case suspected at an abattoir in Essex, southeast England.
20 February
Index case confirmed.
21 February
Animal movements banned within infected area.
Ban on moving susceptible animals and nontreated animal products from the U.K. imposed by the European Commission.
23 February
Case confirmed in Northumberland, northeast England.
Environment Agency and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food issue joint statement that disposal of animal carcasses produced by culling constitutes an emergency under the terms of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
25 February
Case confirmed in Devon, southwest England.
27 February
Special rights to close footpaths and rights of way outside infected areas granted to local government.
First case in Wales (Anglesey).
28 February
First case in Cumbria, northwest England.
1 March
First case in Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway).
2 March
Animals intended for the human consumption permitted to be moved under license.
6 March
Environment Agency announces disposal hierarchy, placing rendering and incineration first.
15 March
Policy of culling sheep within 3 km of an infected premise announced by Minister of Agriculture.
20 March
Prime Minister initiates daily interdepartmental meetings chaired by Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods.
23 March
First meeting of Cabinet Office Briefing Room, chaired by the Prime Minister.
Government Chief Scientific Officer proposes a 24-h infected premises/48-h contiguous cull policy.
101 Logistics Brigade of the Army deployed at Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food headquarters.
26 March
First mass burial of animal carcasses at Great Orton, northeast England.
30 March
Largest number of new cases (50) reported in a single day.
15 April
14% of footpaths open.
7 May
Last carcasses buried at Great Orton. Last day of incineration of carcasses. Backlog of animals awaiting disposal cleared.
8 June
Prime Minister announces new Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs replacing Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
22 June
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announces intention to revoke most footpath closures.
30 September
Last confirmed case of foot and mouth disease in Cumbria, northwest England.
28 November
Last foot and mouth disease–infected area designations lifted from parts of Cumbria, northwest England, north Yorkshire, and County Durham, northeast England.
7 December
Guidance to lift remaining footpath restrictions issued.

14 January

Northumberland, northeast England, last county declared to be foot and mouth disease–free.
22 January

U.K. regains international foot and mouth disease–free status, clearing way to resume normal trade in animals and animal products.
21 June National Audit Office report published “The 2001 Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.”
Six million animals slaughtered.
Direct cost to public sector, 3 billion pounds (U.S. $4.7 billion).
Cost to private sector, 5 billion pounds (U.S. $7.9 billion), mostly in the tourism sector.
Up to 100,000 animals slaughtered and disposed of each day.

aSource, National Audit Office, U.K. (13).

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