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March 1 2005

"Geographic spread was heightened by the predictable increase in cattle movements, and its associated disease risk, that followed the lifting of restrictions imposed during the FMD epidemic."

Extract from article http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/1000farming/tm_objectid=15243121&method=full&siteid=50082&headline=vets-urge-tb-badger-cull-name_page.html

After the foot-and-mouth epidemic of 2001, the NFU lobbied Maff - now Defra - to allow the movement of livestock from herds that were overdue for bovine TB tests.

In a report from the Government's Independent Scientific Group, published last month, the ISG reveals that it "forcibly expressed" concerns that such a policy would allow bovine TB to be spread by cattle to new locations.

The report says, "Geographic spread was heightened by the predictable increase in cattle movements, and its associated disease risk, that followed the lifting of restrictions imposed during the FMD epidemic."

The advice was ignored by Maff, which ruled that restricting cattle movements "would not be proportionate to the risk".

The ISG report comments, "We are now seeing the consequences of this lack of caution."