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An outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) can have a serious impact on international trade, individual producers and on animal welfare.  Identifying and eradicating the disease as quickly as possible is key to minimising the cost of an outbreak.

To ensure that the Scottish Government is ready to deal with FMD effectively and efficiently it learns lessons from previous outbreaks and tests its preparedness through regular exercises,

The most recent occurrence of FMD in Great Britain was in 2007, and although there were no cases in Scotland, there was a review of Scotland’s response.

The Scottish Government’s preparedness was last tested in 2010 through Exercise Silver Birch which simulated a medium to large scale FMD outbreak that had spread from England to Wales and Scotland.  A number of recommendations flowing from that exercise are being implemented.