Disease alert service for farmers

Disease alert service for farmers

New government system will help stop spread of animal infections like foot and mouth

The government agency responsible for animal welfare has developed a system to automatically alert farmers to outbreaks of disease.

Animal Health hopes the system will help prevent the rapid spread of infections like foot and mouth or blue tongue.

The key is getting people to subscribe to the service, said Animal Health communications manager David Shearn.

"We expect thousands of farmers and vets to take advantage of this new flexible service so that all can become proactive in limiting the cost of animal disease," he said.

The early-warning subscription service will be freely available to anyone.

Users can choose between email, voice or SMS messaging to their mobile or landline, and fax.

The system - from vendor Relay Station - will free up critical staff within the agency in emergency situations.