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 No-Go Areas to be Set Up

Special 'no-go areas' will be created to try to prevent foot-and-mouth from spreading to the Island's 250,000 cloven-hooved animals during TT fortnight.

Measures will be put in place to ensure that risks of the virulent disease are kept to an absolute minimum during the fortnight, which is expected to see thousands of visitors despite the races being called off.

There will be a ban on rural camping as well restricted areas around the course. Full details have yet to be announced by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, but spokesman Bob Carswell said DAFF is looking at the immediate problem of camping in the countryside.

Footpaths, glens and hill land were declared out-of-bounds as soon as the threat of foot-and-mouth became apparent. Chief Minister Donald Gelling outlined plans for extra precautions in his speech to Tynwald last week, when he announced the cancellation of the races.

He said: 'We will be relying heavily on an extensive education and information programme to help our visitors cope with the special arrangements, but we also feel that there is a need to put in place some further legal powers to back up the education and publicity.

'We are proposing, therefore, to make additional orders under the Animal Health Act to put the force of law behind the ban on rural camping and no-go areas.' Mr Gelling outlined the risks that would have been posed if the races had gone ahead.

He said: 'Spectator access to the countryside is, perhaps, the greatest risk because the key to all precautionary measures is to ensure separation between people and animals. 'It is in the nature of the TT that spectators wander over the Island to different vantage points, or stop and sit on hedges to watch the racers and other fans go by.'

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