Licences to move horses into and out of the foot-and-mouth protection zone (PZ) are being issued, but on priority basis, DEFRA told H&H this afternoon.

A number of readers have contacted H&H, angry at being unable to obtain a licence to move their horse out of, or in to, the 3km PZ around Pirbright in Surrey.

But a DEFRA spokesman said this afternoon: “We are issuing licences for horses but prioritise those on welfare and veterinary grounds first. It might be that some of those horses are not privately owned.”

The British Horseracing Authority yesterday announced plans to lift restrictions placed on trainers within the surveillance zone (SZ) for races on Monday 13 August.

The BHA will allow trainers to have runners on Monday, provided they have carried out the necessary biosecurity measure when transporting them.

Earlier today, a temporary 3km control zone was set up around a farm in Wootton, near Dorking in Surrey following the discovery a suspected case of FMD.

The DEFRA spokesman said at 5pm Friday there was no confirmation of the disease on the farm yet, and “no timescale” for the removal of the temporary zone.

Stay in touch with all the latest developments on the FMD outbreak on and in H&H magazine