I am concerned about the threat of foot and mouth disease and its potential impact on the economy. In the light of this I have instructed my Department to take all measures necessary to ensure that the risk of the spread of the disease is reduced.
Detailed guidelines have been issued to all staff. In particular staff have been advised to cancel non-essential events involving the bringing together of people, particularly from farming communities and that visits to farms should be undertaken only if absolutely necessary. Disinfectant procedures – mats – are in place at the entrances to all of my Department buildings where members of the public or staff have access and where goods are received.