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 New Laws to Curb Fly Camping

Agriculture Minister Alex Downie has prepared the Island for a pitch invasion - by banning camping anywhere but on approved sites. The new legislation is designed to minimise the threat of foot and mouth disease from those still travelling to the Island for the TT festival.

Despite the cancellation of racing, the government still expects a significant number of fans to arrive during the festival fortnight and fears fly camping could result in the first Manx outbreak.

Camping on all but authorised campsites has been outlawed until September - and authorised need permission in writing from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry before they can operate.

The order also requires disinfectant measures at the Island's entry points - which reinforces the current measures.

In order to tackle the perceived threat from bikers' leathers the Order approves the use of citric acid which can corrode metal but disinfects leather without harming it.

Mr Downie said: 'I would recommend any visitors to check with the Department of Tourism and Leisure before they come to make sure accommodation will be available, particularly to check the list of campsites approved by my department.

'It is not the fact that these people are motorcyclists, as some people have suggested, but because of potentially large numbers, for whom camping and the use of the countryside has been very much a part of the TT festival. 'With the circumstances as they are, this has to be carefully controlled this year.

'Though foot and mouth disease seems at last to be on the wane in the United Kingdom we cannot afford to drop our guard and take a late knockout blow.'

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