Restrictions placed on hundreds of UK sheep farms as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 are to be lifted after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found that the risk to eating lamb or mutton is now “very low”. The controls were originally placed on 9,800 upland farms holding more than 4 million sheep in Wales, northern Scotland, and northern Ireland after rain dumped contaminated water from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster some 1,600 miles away. Only 334 farms however, of which just 8 are outside Wales, have been recommended to have these restrictions lifted. The restrictions dictate that farmers had to call in officials to check their highland sheep for radioactive poisoning by the element caesium. In return, the farmers receive £1.30 per sheep. If the animal passes the test, it is allowed to be slaughtered, but if it fails then it is marked with dye and not allowed to be killed until retested 3 months down the line. These sheep can only be decontaminated naturally by being moved down from upland pastures, where caesium remains in soil and grass.