A THIRSK-based firm is pulling out all the stops to make and supply farmers with vehicle and stockman pads for protection against the foot and mouth virus.

Originally designed to combat more common foot diseases, the pads made by Power Plastics are encased in PVC and are covered with mesh fabric. They are then filled with a suitable disinfectant which, when pressure is applied by hoof, boot or vehicle wheel, is released.

More economic use is made of disinfectant than with the soaked-straw method, because the pads are simple to clean and refill and the chemicals are contained within them and cannot run into the ground.

Power Plastics' sales manager, Mr John Spencer, said: "We are working flat out to produce the vehicle and stockman pads so we can supply farmers not only in Yorkshire but nationwide.

"Once the current scare is over, the pads can be used continually to guard against animal foot diseases at the entrances and exits of farm buildings or fields, so they will continue to be of use to the farmer."