The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that a suspected case of foot and mouth disease on a pig farm in Norfolk in England is a “concern”.

The UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) established a temporary control zone in response to the potential case.

In an official notice, Defra said that the control zone will cover parts of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, in the east of the country.

According to the department, the premises is located near Feltwell, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Norfolk.

IFA Animal Health Committee chair, TJ Maher, said UK authorities are actively investigating the incident and as is normal, they have set up a temporary control zone around the farm.

He said it’s hoped foot and mouth disease is not confirmed on the farm and further information to clarify the situation is expected over the course of the day.

“It’s critical the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, and his officials are in close contact with their counterparts in Northern Ireland should the case be confirmed,” Maher said.

“We must have an all-island approach to keeping the disease off the island,” he said.

Foot and mouth concern

Defra said that a suspicion of vesicular disease was found in a number of pigs on the affected premises.

Official tests will need to be carried out to determine the true nature of the disease.

The measure came into force from 10:00p.m yesterday (Thursday, June 23), and will remain in place until the Defra notice is withdrawn or amended.

The radius of the control zone is 10km.