The fear of foot & mouth has had an immediate impact on 1,300 individuals who had planned to visit one of Arla Foods’ three visitor centres in Denmark at Brabrand, Slagelse and Taulov. From March 2, the dairies have been closed to visitors for two weeks. This means that 47 groups have had their visits postponed.
“In general, people have been very understanding of the situation. A few, however, have questioned whether such measures are an over-reaction. Even if we cannot create a completely watertight system within Arla Foods, we can nevertheless reduce the risk of spreading the infection,” says Visitor Liaison Officer Sanne Vinther. “If foot & mouth in Europe is not under control within 14 days, we will suspend other visits. Taulov Dairy’s Visitor Centre has been particularly affected as 28 group visits involving 855 guests will have to be postponed, probably until the autumn.
The three dairies attract 20,000 visitors per year. A decision to cancel all farm visits arranged by Arla Foods has affected Sweden particularly badly as around 50,000 pupils visit Arla Foods’ co-operative members each year.