On the very day that the EU lifted the ban on British meat exports, another farm in Surrey has tested positive for foot and mouth. This time it's in Egham, near Windsor. Part of the royal grounds at Windsor Great Park are included in the exclusion zone that's been set up around the farm.
Windsor's only a few miles from here.
The Surrey outbreaks earlier in the summer was traced to a government laboratory near where the outbreaks occurred. Hundreds of cows were killed, and farmers were deprived of income for several weeks.
I'm desperately hoping this disease doesn't spread to Buckinghamshire. I don't think I could stand having my cows* culled—what a nightmare that would be. I'm also worried about the hiking season that's just starting up. Even if they don't close the footpaths, do I want to risk bringing anything back on my shoes? We don't hike in Surrey, but Windsor is awfully close to some of our hikes.
The cows are out there now, grazing contentedly, with no idea what's going on in the next county.
*For those of you just joining us, I don't own cows, but I do live next to a farm, where I have befriended the cows. I bring them apples, and promise not to eat their offspring, and they pose for my camera.