Foot and Mouth Threatens TT Races

The foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK may now be threatening the Isle of Man TT. Those involved with the TT races, scheduled for May 26 - June 8, are taking precations against the disease as the rising crisis continues to raise concerns.

The Isle of Man Department of Tourism and Leisure claims that the two week road race festival will still take place.

"At this stage, the ITT is going ahead as usual," said Mike Ball, director of leisure, who speaks for the TT co-ordinating committee. "But we may have to take special precautions. We don't know how thesituation will develop. We're not talking about cancelling it at the moment but we'll need to monitor what goes on."

Several precautions have been taken to help prevent the spread of the disease...

The island's Department of Agriculture has banned livestock importsand closed all rural footpaths. Also, every vehicle entering the island is being sprayed with disinfectant and people must walk over disinfected mats.

"We'll have a logistical problem in doing this for up to20,000 visitors in one weekend," said Ball. "But that's a challengewe'll have to face at the time."

"If the situation is as it is now, it will be unlikely to effect the TT," continued Ball. "As far as we're concerned, it's still very much happening and should make a great TT."

Though Ball has confidence that the race will still take place, other races have not been so fortunate. The Scottish Six Days Trial has beencancelled, and the opening round of the British motocross championship, due to take place at Canada Heights, Kent, on March 25, has been postponed. The second round, at Lyng, Norfolk on April 22 is also at risk.

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Danielle Grossman
Danielle Grossman

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