Industry reforms and contingency plans are essential to dealing with the new outbreak, says Marsh

Marsh has issued advice for businesses affected by the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) among livestock in Surrey and those threatened by the spread of FMD across the UK.

The 2001 outbreak resulted in £3bn worth of direct costs to agriculture and £5bn worth of indirect costs to other sectors like tourism (source: National Audit Office).

The farming sector and related industries, such as haulage, food processing, tourism and exporting, should now focus on stopping the disease spreading and begin to apply the lessons learnt from 2001.

Key points:

  • Comprehensive contingency plans must be in place, exercised and co-ordinated;
  • The farming industry must be made less vulnerable by reforms in industry practice, which in turn will minimise the wider impact of an outbreak of FMD;
  • A high level of biosecurity is essential; and
  • Reaction should be with speed and certainty by applying well-rehearsed crisis management procedures.