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The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian


Foot & Mouth

As the county embarked into the 21st century, farming was to be dealt one of the most damaging and crippling blows seen in the industry. On 24th February 2001 a countrywide ban on the movement of all animals was announced as a result of an outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease in Northumberland. Scotland saw its first cases confirmed in early March; over the next few months many thousands of animals throughout the country were slaughtered as both government and the farming industry struggled to confine the disease. Exports and live markets were banned and strict disinfectant and movement restrictions of stock and people were adhered to. Many farms saw their entire livestock enterprises wiped out and it was to be almost fully a year before any form of normality was to return to the livestock industry.

East Lothian was fortunate in that no farms were infected; there were a couple of scares, and stock was destroyed at Sunnyside and at Wester Broomhouse, before the disease was ruled out. Nevertheless, farmers in East Lothian did not escape the effects of the disease on farming itself; no farmer could.

Further reading & references


Grateful thanks to Mr. George Barton of the Scottish Agriculture College, Edinburgh, for his considerable contribution to the content of this essay

Many thanks also to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions and hospitality


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