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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

UK Countryside Open 

According to DEFRA, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, apart from small, designated zones, the UK countryside remains open to visitors. There is no need for people to stop visiting the countryside, which is great news for walkers, cyclists and climbers.

There is an interactive map of Protection, Surveillance or Restricted Zones and you can enter a place name, postcode or map reference to check if it is in a designated zone.

Foot and Mouth disease is a disease of cattle and very few human cases have ever been recorded, even though the disease is endemic in animals in many parts of the world. The last human case reported in Britain occurred in 1966. The disease in humans, is mild, short-lived and requires no medical treatment. However, it is highly infectious in cattle and easily spread, hence the need for restrictions and special bio-safety precautions in designated areas.

Defra encourages users of the countryside to apply common sense precautions and follow standard practice in the countryside:
  • Do not stray from the right of way onto grazing land.

  • Avoid walking amongst livestock.

  • Never touch or handle livestock.

  • Keep dogs on a lead where there may be livestock.

  • Take any waste, including food, home.

  • Use any disinfectant footpads or baths which the landowner provides.

Specific restrictions and recommendations apply to the movements of horses and dogs in a Protection Zone.

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