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The Border Collie Rescue Foot and Mouth Farm Dog Rescue Program register was closed at Midnight on 31st January 2002. information of the current status of the program and dogs coming through is on or linked from the page you have left.

The information below is now Archived but is being kept on site as a record of what went on during the foot and mouth crisis. The original links on the page have been left on but external links have been disabled as organisations change their Website to suit current circumstances

Foot and Mouth Disease - a serious problem affecting our Farms and Food Supply.

Foot and Mouth Disease is caused by a virus. It is very contagious and is a noticeable disease under British Law. The virus primarily affects Pigs, Cattle, Sheep and Goats. It is spread through the air, by ingestion and by contact. The disease has been epidemic in the UK since February 2001 and has affected 2030 farms directly and an undisclosed number of peripheral properties culled as 'Dangerous Contacts' or simply as a precaution to prevent spread. It is estimated that the number of farms in the UK that have been affected by this disease now exceeds 10,000. Although new cases of Foot and Mouth now seems to have stopped - last confirmed case was 30th September - and restrictions across the country are being lifted by DEFRA with most of the countryside now open to the public, the consequences of the outbreak will be with us for some time to come with many farms incapacitated throughout the UK and unable to restock.

Dogs and Humans are not considered to be affected by Foot and Mouth, but can spread the virus by contact with infected animals or any material an infected animal may have been in contact with. As the virus is airborne, areas outside the immediate vicinity of an affected animal may also be contaminated.

Under current law, all property suspected to be infected is quarantined. All confirmed infected animals are slaughtered and incinerated. Movement of animals around the country are prohibited and access to and from suspected and confirmed infected property is restricted, subject to need and disinfecting procedures using approved chemicals.

Below are links to a variety of information sources about this crisis.



Picture - Dot ISDS Registered from farm in Wales - Photo copyright and courtesy of Guzelian Ltd

The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.

S.H.E.E.P. and S.H.E.E.P. Dog- Are fund raising enterprises in the USA to help UK Farms and WSD's affected by Foot and Mouth - Set up and run by US Sheepdog Handlers - To find out more and how you can help if you live in the USA - Click here.

Implications for Dogs and Dog owners   -   Implications for Farm Dogs and Pets

What We Are Doing   -   What You Can Do   -   Further Information on Foot and Mouth

Help For Farmers - Telephone help lines and links

This links to the Visit Britain Website for information on the effects of F&M disease on UK tourism & events

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Channel 4 News Website has a map showing how F&M is affecting regions of the UK + story links

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This links to an interactive map on the Guardian Unlimited Website tracing the spread of the Foot and Mouth outbreak

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This links to Guardian Unlimited news stories about Foot and Mouth
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Implications for Dogs and Dog owners

This information is Crown copyright. Reproduced from the DEFRA Website  by kind permission of  DEFRA.

Implications for dogs

How dog owners can guard against spreading Foot and Mouth. (3 March 2001)

Any dogs in a declared Foot and Mouth Infected Area must be kept under control by their owners. This means that they must either:

be kept in a kennel or enclosure from which they cannot escape


be effectively secured to a fixed object by a collar and chain


they must be accompanied by and under the effectual control of the owner or a responsible person authorised by the owner.

If you are in such an area you must not let your dog run free; if you do, it may be seized by the local authority or the police and treated as a stray.

In addition, an inspector may serve a notice on anyone in the infected area to keep a dog under specific controls.

Dogs which are kept under proper control are not prevented from being moved. Certain sporting activities involving dogs are not allowed in areas infected with foot and mouth disease.

If you feed your dog bones, please dispose of the bones carefully once your dog has finished with them so that wildlife cannot gain access to the bones.

We check and update the above information daily, but updates on the DEFRA site may occur between our checks. If you would like to check the status of the current situation regarding Dogs, use the link below to go straight to the page.

DEFRA - Foot & Mouth Disease - Implications for Dogs


The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.


As of 17th March 2001 some restrictions of movement in the countryside have been relaxed. This is principally due to pressure from the UK Tourism industry who are also suffering from loss of income during this crisis. On their F&M Website, DEFRA have issued new guidelines for the public who wish to use the country side. 

A leaflet can be down loaded from the DEFRA site titled -

 Restrictions/precautions on outdoor activities in infected areas 

It can be read using 'Acrobat reader' which is also available as a download from the DEFRA Website

The principal implications for dog owners to consider are the following.

Farmland and farm animals should be avoided as should all land where farm animals may have or are being grazed.

Public footpaths that have been closed by order should not be used.

Dogs should be kept on a lead at all time and should never be allowed to run free as they may cross onto infected land or disturb livestock in adjacent areas.

Although much of the countryside is now open, we are not out of the woods yet and we urge dog owners to bear in mind these precautionary measures. The virus could still be present on the ground and further outbreaks may lead to restrictions being levied again.

To link to the DEFRA Foot and Mouth Website - click here

The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.


Implications for Farm Dogs and Pets on Farms

This section has been added due to the fact that we have received a number of reports from the public expressing concern that working dogs, pet dogs and other pet animals on farms infected with Foot and Mouth are being slaughtered along with infected livestock.

The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.

In view of these concerns, Border Collie Rescue has, today 20/3/2001, been in contact with appropriate departments of MAFF at HQ and Regional level and have discussed these concerns with a number of veterinary officers, including officers involved in the supervision of the slaughter and disposal of livestock on infected farms in Cumbria.

From all departments and quarters of MAFF we have received the same information and assurance to effect that - with the exception of cloven hoofed animals - there is no compulsory slaughter of Working dogs, Horses or other pets on infected farms and no pressure or advice is given to farmers or stockmen to have such animals destroyed.

All the people we have spoken to at MAFF expressed concern that any animals, other than infected livestock may be being destroyed, but it has been pointed out that if a farmer should request that other animals are PTS along with infected livestock, the veterinary officer in charge would be obliged to comply.

Such decisions, if any are being taken, are at the request of the farmer involved.


Border Collie Rescue has enquired about the possibility of the removal of Working dogs from farms to a quarantine area for isolation until the infected farm is declared clear. Under current legislation, relating to the movement of stock in infected areas, this would be in breach of regulations and an offence subject to prosecution unless a MAFF / DEFRA license is obtained.

On suspicion of an outbreak, a farm is subject to a restrictions (form A) notice, classifying it as a case of suspected F&M, no movement on or off the farm is allowed without permission and the premises are placed in complete quarantine, subject to test confirmation. A DEFRA veterinary officer may also issue a restrictions (form C) notice that prevents the movement of any livestock within a radius of 8KM of the infected farm. We are informed that these notices remain in force for 3 weeks, even if tests prove the farm clear or until DEFRA is satisfied that the property is cleansed.

If the infection tests positive an 'infected area' notice is imposed that extends the restrictions of movement to a radius of 10KM of the farm, the quarantine security is controlled by an Inspector or the Police, all cloven hoofed livestock is slaughtered, the entire farm is disinfected and foodstuffs, if contaminated and unable to be disinfected are destroyed to prevent the continued production and spread of the virus. The quarantine remains in effect for 6 weeks or until DEFRA is satisfied that the farm is cleansed and the farm cannot restock for 6 months.


It may be understandable that some farmers might request the destruction of their working dogs along with their livestock and that cats, being difficult to restrain, may offer a source of infection to neighbouring properties. In these cases, dogs and cats will have to be restricted for at least 6 weeks and cannot run free, only being allowed out under strict control and restricted to the immediate farm premises.

We are aware that this, followed by an enforced period of inactivity for over six months would be seriously disturbing to some dogs that have been used to a working lifestyle and level of exercise. Under these circumstances we should understand that in some cases, this action may be the most appropriate and kind option and the owner of the dog knows best - even though it is abhorrent to the rest of us. Those of us that are not directly caught up in this situation should consider ourselves lucky that we do not have to face such decisions

There are no easy decisions about any aspect of Foot and Mouth

Border Collie Rescue - Foot and Mouth Farm Dog Rescue Program 

To help in this situation, Border Collie Rescue has set up a special rescue service for dogs on farms that has been approved by MAFF / DEFRA and has government backing. If you are a farmer with redundant working dogs, please phone us on 0845 6044941 or e.mail your details to - (closed)

This service and register is now closed and the link above disabled as from 1st February 2002.

We are still taking in unwanted farm dogs but through our general register along with unwanted pets. Please contact us by telephone on 0845 6044941 if you have a dog to re-home. See the section HQ information for current office hours.

Before any dogs can be removed from a farm that has been infected with Foot and Mouth, we would need to liaise with the DEFRA veterinary officer in charge of the case, and would only be able to remove a dog from an infected farm with DEFRA approval and license. This applies to premises under Form A and Form D restriction. DEFRA liaison is not needed for un-infected farms. 

ALL Dogs taken in under this scheme will be washed, disinfected, isolated and quarantined to ensure complete eradication of the virus before they are assessed for re-homing. These procedures will be carried out under veterinary supervision and we have worked with MAFF to set guidelines and operational procedures. 

After assessment, Dogs will be re-homed under our normal working procedures to appropriate suitable homes or through other agencies working with BCR on this program.

More details about the program and the people who have helped us

Please note that this facility is only for the use of farmers or stockmen who have surplus dogs to re-home during the Foot and Mouth Crisis. This program is available to be used by any farm or stock dog in the UK, even if the premises concerned have not been directly affected by Foot and Mouth disease. If you have a dog to re-home under any other circumstances, please call our office and speak to one of our staff, who will assist you further.


What We Are Doing

After consultation with MAFF / DEFRA and our veterinary advisors, Border Collie Rescue has suspended all movements of Dogs on and off of farms during the period of  restrictions on animal movements imposed by the Ministry Of Agriculture

Although there are no legal restrictions in force regarding Dogs, and Canine's are not known to be susceptible to Foot and Mouth, it is possible for them to act as carriers of the virus. Moving a dog from any farm in the UK during this crisis carries a risk of spreading the disease unless suitable precautions are being taken to disinfect and isolate the dog

As a precaution, Border Collie Rescue has voluntarily suspended its activities regarding farm dogs and dogs with unknown backgrounds referred to the organisation. This includes all stray dogs and dogs from pounds. The only exceptions to this will be under the Farm Dog Rescue Program approved by MAFF / DEFRA and described elsewhere on this page.

Effective from 25th February 2001

All dogs on our waiting lists from farm environments will have to remain on the farms until the restrictions are lifted. We will not be homing dogs onto farms or small holdings until the restrictions are lifted. Any dogs fostered on farms will remain on the farm until the restrictions are lifted.

Our members are advised not to enter any farm or agricultural property for any reason without proper disinfecting precautions using an approved product and not to walk or exercise any  dogs on any land used for the grazing of livestock.

For members use,  a short list of approved products is available from BCR HQ and the full list from DEFRA.

The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.


General advice to Dog Owners and the Public regarding precautions to prevent the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease

What You Can Do

It is important to remember that this disease is very contagious and can be quickly spread through contact with infected stock or material as well as by air. A period of incubation allows the disease to be present and transmissible without any external indications, so you would not know if you were in contact with an infected animal or walking over infected ground.

Until this crisis is resolved it would be prudent for ramblers, walkers and dog owners to avoid walking any area where stock is grazed.

There are no legal restrictions to prevent members of the public walking dogs on agricultural land where there is an existing right of way, nor on open land where sheep and cattle are grazed - providing that no quarantine order is in force and the path is not over land where local authorities have used emergency powers granted by the government and placed an order restricting public access - but under the current circumstances it would be a responsible action for us all to cease to use any stock grazing land for walking and recreational purposes.

If we can put aside our arguments over rights of access and rights to roam, for the time being, it would be for the greater good of our National Community. For those not convinced by these arguments, we would ask you to remember that there are many factions that may like to use a situation like this for political ends and seek permanent restrictions on public access to some land in the future, and may do so successfully, if this situation gets out of control.  Let us not supply them with the ammunition.

Although we work only with one breed of dog, as an animal welfare organisation,  we are concerned about the numbers of animals that may have to be destroyed if Foot and Mouth continues to spread over the UK. This is another consideration.

Finally, there is the economic aspect of this problem. If our farming community is threatened and our national herds decimated by this disease, it will cost us dearly in the future.

Please do your bit to assist in the control of this terrible disease by avoiding assisting in the inadvertent spread of Foot and Mouth and keep off farm and grazing land until this crisis is over.

The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.


Further Information On Foot and Mouth Disease - Official sources.

For More information about Foot and Mouth Disease, the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have set up a public help line.

Telephone: 0845 0504141 (local rate)

The help line is open between 08.00 and 23.00 seven days a week.

Information is also available in greater details on their Website, including other phone numbers. The following link will take you to the page -

DEFRA - Foot and Mouth Disease Information


Information is also available from the Meat and Livestock Commission.

For information regarding your local/regional contact numbers

Telephone: 01908 677577

Information is also available from their Website - including regional contact numbers.

Meat and Livestock Commission - HOMEPAGE

The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.

Help for Farmers

Sick and tired of it all and just want to talk to someone with the time to listen ?

The Samaritans - 0845 7909090 - local rates - Click to visit Website.

Link to - Farming help Website - to assist farmers and all in the rural community.

National Help Lines

Taxation and Benefit

For advice on Business Rates Hardship Relief, Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit (for rented accommodation) CONTACT - Your Local District Council.

For advice on TAX/VAT/NIC's and Tax Credits CONTACT - Inland Revenue 0845 3000157

Working Family Tax Credit - CONTACT - Inland Revenue 0845 6095000



Citizens Advice Bureau - 0800 1381647

Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution - 01865 727888

The Farm Crisis Network - 0700 2326326

ARC Addington Fund - 0247 6858347

The Samaritans - 08457 909090

Border Collie Rescue - 0845 6044941

The Border Collie Rescue Farm Dog Rescue Program has been set up to take in and re-home surplus dogs on farms during the Foot and Mouth crisis - This Program is MAFF / DEFRA approved - Click here for more details.

General Advice - Foot and Mouth Disease

DEFRA Help line - 0845 0504141

The National Farmers Union - 0800 0646363


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