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An emailer writes,

Veterinary Record article - Early dissemination of FMD through sheep marketing, etc 12 july 2003 - Mansley, Dunlop ,et al

Para - The initiation of the epidemic.

I found a further inconsistency - ie that some sheep at Ponteland had been treated for lameness on Feb 6, 10 and 12. If this was FMD then it pre-dates the Defra line that the infection arrived on the wind between 10 and 12 Feb. - based on lesions (9 days old on Feb 25) in the mouth of a heifer on the farm.

Furthermore why did Defra home in on Ponteland on Feb 23 - was it just because it was in the 10 k surveillance zone - did they inspect all the farms in the 10k radius?

Don't forget the paper also says that Ponteland had had no identifiable contact with any other infected holding - so why go there so quickly. Was it a Defra inspection - or did the farmer report suspected FMD?