Britain is rapidly running out of vets to deal with the outbreaks of foot-and-mouth-disease, according to The Guardian.

The shortage of vets has resulted in a delay between farmers reporting the disease and a vet arriving to confirm theoutbreak.

The problem is reported to be getting steadily worse because vets have to be quarantined for three days after contact with animals that are suffering from the disease. These precautions have been put in place to prevent vets from passing the disease when they inspect the next group of stock.

The government has increased the daily rate for vets in private practice from £150 to £250-per-day in an attempt to lure more practitioners from private practice. However, government vets – who have been working 14 hours a day since the outbreak began – are receiving less, despite recent pay bonuses.

There were 220 vets on the books of MAFF when the crisis began, and although that number has now increase to 700, the demandis still growing.

More than 100 final year veterinary students have been recruited from colleges to help with the outbreak, and 80 more are expected once they have sat their final exams.