It was good to see Hilary Peters commenting on the fact that FMD did in fact hit East Anglia.
We were within a few miles of the outbreak at Cheales and were caught up from Day One. I know that we did not sufer anything like so many people did but it does grate when people repeatedly make comments like 'well,of course, you never had it did you?'
We were caught up in the 10 mile infected area around Chelaes and then got caught up in a second one coming from the other area. A good few farms were killed out including one of the Council Open Education farms. We lived with FMD from February 19th. Even once FMD left the area - we still had sporadic killing and usual Defra nonsense like people being allowed to walk theough the footpath of sheep belonging to a neighbouring farm and then being allowed to walk through the footpath that then ran through our Sanctuary and beside our sheep pen.
We were powerless to anything and then despite knowing the fear that we could at a whim lose our much loved pets and friends - we then also had to deal with people in the area who decided that FMD was over and could not understand why we were still taking precautions when no one else was.
Obviously we suffered nothing like Cumbria or Yorkshire or Devon but the South East certainly did get FMD and are still suffering the consequences of it. Our saving grace was the fact that the contiguous cull had not been dreamt up at this stage otherwise we would almost definitely have lost our animals. We were all threatened and had information kept from us at the bloodtesting stage.