Britain battles to control foot-and-mouth out...

Britain battles to control foot-and-mouth outbreak

The U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed a further FMD case in the protection zone.

As part of their surveillance activity within the larger Protection Zone in Surrey, Animal Health have identified a further herd of cattle which have clinical signs of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) has therefore ordered their slaughter on suspicion of FMD.

Samples have been taken to the laboratory for testing to confirm disease.

The current Protection and Surveillance Zones remain, and the disease surveillance is ongoing.

Advice from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is that foot and mouth disease is not a public health threat.

FMD is a disease of cattle and very few human cases have ever been recorded even though the disease is endemic in animals in many parts of the world including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. Foot and mouth disease only crosses the species barrier from cattle to human with very great difficulty. The last human case reported in Britain occurred in 1966. The disease in humans, in the very rare cases that have occurred, is mild, short-lived and requires no medical treatment.

The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) strain confirmed on a Surrey, U.K., farm over the weekend is not one known to be currently found in animals. According to Defra the strain of the virus is similar to those used in international diagnostic laboratories and in vaccine production.

The European Commission has been informed.

Source: UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

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