The UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has established a temporary control zone in response to a suspicion of a case of foot and mouth disease in England.

In an official notice, Defra said that the control zone will cover parts of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the east of the country.

According to the department, the premises is located near Feltwell, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk.

Judging by the location of the control zone, it appears that the potential case was discovered just to the west of the town of Brandon.

Defra said that a suspicion of vesicular disease was found in a number of pigs on the affected premises.

Official tests will need to be carried out to determine the true nature of the disease.

The measure came into force from 10:00p.m yesterday (Thursday, June 23), and will remain in place until the Defra notice is withdrawn or amended.

The radius of the control zone is 10km.

While it is in place, animals susceptible to foot and mouth cannot be moved in or out of the zone, unless the animal is transported all the way through the zone without stopping, or for the completion of a journey started before the control zone was announced.

Image source: DEFRA foot and mouth
The temporary control zone straddling the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk

Within the control zone, susceptible animals cannot be moved from or to any premises, except to complete a journey already started when the zone was put in place, or under the authority of a licence granted by an inspector.

The keeper of a susceptible animal in a control zone is required to take all steps that are necessary to prevent it from straying from the premises on which it is kept.

An inspector may detain a susceptible animal that is found to have strayed.

Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have notified veterinary practitioners in the area that there is a suspicion of a case.

Foot and mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cattle, sheep and pigs. The last outbreak of the disease in Britain was in 2007.

It is a notifiable disease in the country, and failure to report it is an offence.