DEFRA issued a new Emergency Directive concerning diagnosis/slaughter, to their DVM's in England, Scotland and Wales on the 18th December -

To be known as 'Test On Suspicion'

Previously issued directives remain, ie:
a. Decide it is not a case of FMD
b. Slaughter on clinical diagnosis and
c. Slaughter on suspicion
Changes in the procedures for resolving fmd reported cases now have a fourth option as follows - 'testing on suspicion'

There is now a fourth option in the diagnostic repertoire under which holdings which cannot be positively excluded as FMD cases or which cannot reasonably be taken as SOS, should be placed under movement restrictions while the individual affected animals are killed and samples submitted for laboratory examination.

This will be called the "Test on Suspicion" option.
The Test on Suspicion option is designed to gain greater confidence that negatives are truly negative without the need to kill the entire herd / flock to prove the case. Where there is genuine suspicion of disease but where the signs presented are not sufficient to allow us to confirm on clinical grounds alone, the whole herd / flocks will continue to be dealt with as an SOS case.

What a pity 'Test on Suspicion' wasn't introduced many months ago. Nevertheless, I am 'grateful for small mercies'!