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Suspected foot-and-mouth disease under investigation in Norfolk

Temporary restrictions have been placed around the premises after suspicion of vesicular disease in pigs.

The APHA has declared a 10km temporary control zone around the premises near Feltwell, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, as a precaution after suspected vesicular disease in pigs.

The premises remains under restriction pending the outcome of official tests.

Clinical signs of foot-and-mouth disease are indistinguishable from swine vesicular disease, therefore if swine vesicular disease is suspected, it must be reported and treated as suspected foot-and-mouth disease until laboratory tests prove otherwise.

Foot-and-mouth disease is highly infectious and can spread through direct contact with an infected animal or indirectly through equipment, vehicles, people, clothes, mud, bedding and any other item that has been in contact with infected animals.

Signs of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle include sores and blisters on the feet, mouth and tongue, as well as fever, shivering, lameness, slobbering and smacking lips and reduced milk production.

Sheep rarely develop mouth blisters; the main sign is severe lameness, which may develop suddenly and spread quickly among the flock. Sheep may also lie down more than usual, be unwilling to move when made to stand and experience a high number of stillbirths, abortions and lambs dying soon after birth – as well as tiredness in young lambs and ewes unwilling to allow lambs to suckle.

The main sign in pigs is sudden lameness which may spread quickly among the herd. Pigs may also loudly squeal from pain, tend to lie down and show unwillingness to move, and reluctance to feed. Blisters do not usually appear but can appear on the upper edge of the hoof where the skin and horn meet, the snout and the tongue.

Other cloven-hoofed animals including goats and deer can also be infected and introduce the disease to farm animals.

For further information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foot-and-mouth-disease

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