In the 2001 outbreak of FMD, the movement of cattle, sheep and other livestock was generally banned in an effort to prevent the spread of infection. Similarly in 2007, an outbreak of bluetongue virus lead to large-scale movement bans across eastern England.
Given that the livestock industry relies on the movement of animals (between farms or farm to slaughter) to make a profit, such movement bans can have a profound and wide ranging impact on farmers. Moreover, in 2001 the general message that "the countryside is closed" resulted in enormous losses to the tourist industry.
Research - Role - Movement - Restrictions - Economic
The research, "The Role of Movement Restrictions in Limiting the Economic Impact of livestock Infections" and published today (19 August 2019) by Nature Sustainability, found that the current UK government policy of national movement bans when an outbreak FMD is detected (and large-radius bans for BTV) may cause unnecessary economic harm, when a more localised movement ban could be as successful in halting the spread of the disease and would limit the subsequent negative economic impact.
Led by Dr Mike Tildesley, of Warwick's Zeeman Institute for Systems Biology and Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research (SBIDER), the researchers use state of the art predictive models to examine the consequences of different control options.
Researchers - Whilst - Livestock - Movements - Risk
The researchers argue that whilst livestock movements bring the risk of long-range spread of infection, this risk is strongest from farms in close proximity to where infections has been detected; therefore a limited movement ban (only preventing movements from farms near...
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