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Foot and mouth disease is a notifiable viral disease. It affects cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and other cloven-hoofed animals.

First published:
15 November 2018
Last updated:

The last outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Great Britain was in 2007. Outbreaks in the UK in 2001 and 2007 had a devastating impact on the farming industry.

Suspicion and confirmation

Contact your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office immediately on 0300 303 8268, if you suspect foot and mouth disease.

APHA vets will investigate suspected cases.

Cinical signs

The following clinical signs may be present:

  • high fever
  • vesicles (similar to blisters) developing on the coronary band (where the skin of the leg meets the horn of the foot)
  • vesicles around the nose, tongue and lips
  • lameness
  • loss of appetite

Transmission and prevention

The virus can spread:

  • on vehicles and equipment
  • through contact with an infected animal
  • through contact with contaminated foodstuffs.

Airborne spread of the virus can also occur in favourable climatic conditions.

You should follow strict biosecurity measures to prevent an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.