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Farm animals destroyed as Foot & Mouth spreads

Park News
Wednesday, 7th March 2001 By Steve Taylor

It has been revealed that several animals that were in the Farm, which were susceptible to the Foot and Mouth virus currently sweeping the country have been destroyed.

This statement was released to the press:

Alton Towers FMD Precautions

In light of the recent spread of confirmed Foot and Mouth cases in Staffordshire and neighbouring counties, and the fact that Alton is now in an Infected Area as designated by MAFF, Alton Towers reluctantly took the decision to humanely destroy susceptible livestock from its small farm area. A decision taken because the large number of staff and visitors to the Park even during the closed season meant it was very vulnerable either to contract or potentially spread the disease, and therefore these few animals pose a disproportionate risk.

Commenting on the move, Ralph Armond Divisional Director for Alton Towers said: "This was a difficult decision, and was only taken after every other alternative had been examined including the possibility of moving the animals to a sanctuary - but our request for a license was turned down; and the potential for isolating them within the Park but again we were unable to provide sufficient distances between any quarantine site and the rest of the public areas. We also took advice from both MAFF and our own vets at every stage."

The animals concerned were one cow, 6 sheep, 3 pigs and 8 goats - this decision did not affect any other animals in the area which were not susceptible to the disease.

Although this is obviously very sad, we are certain that Alton Towers Management will have taken every option into consideration before arriving at this difficult decision.

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Take some wasp/insect repellant with you during the summer months - and suncream, too!