Animals culled after foot and mouth disease is detected on a farm in County Louth.

The news that no one wanted arrived this morning, when the Department of Agriculture confirmed that foot and mouth disease has been detected in animals on a farm on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth.

Culling of the six hundred and fifty sheep and one hundred and twenty cattle by Department of Agriculture vets began this afternoon on the affected farm.

The family who are well respected in the locality are devastated, says Father Seán Moore, parish priest of Jenkinstown, but are concerned about the impact this will have on other farmers in the area,  

They were very very concerned for their neighbours.

Raymond O'Malley from the County Louth IFA (Irish Farmers Association) says farmers here are in a state of shock but, 

We've got to move forward from here.

Local farmer Owen Woods believes the impact will be felt by everyone living on the peninsula,  

It's going to affect the whole way of life.

Farming communities are in shock confirms ICMSA (Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association) representative Pat O’Rourke, and people wonder,

Is it going to be confined in those two cases?

All animals within a one km radius of the affected farm will be culled by the Department of Agriculture over the next forty eight hours, in an attempt to contain the disease. 

Brothers Peter and Patrick Traynor who both have farmed on the Cooley Peninsula their entire lives face having their livelihoods wiped. They tell RTÉ News that they will start over again if they can,  

We're not used to doing anything else, you know.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 22 March 2001. The reporter is Orla O’Donnell.