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UK: hopes for end of FMD 'crisis'

Great Britain hopes that the recent crisis around Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks has ended.

A new suspected farm, near the village of Dorking in Surrey, proved negative of FMD - the animals were most probably suffering from pneumonia. Other outbreaks have not been found either, so the number of contained sites remains only two.

Most likely source of the infection is still one of the two nearby laboratories in Pirbright, Surrey, which were experimenting with FMD vaccines.

No vaccination
For now, the British government announced not to implement any plans on vaccination for the disease, that can affect pigs, cattle, sheep or goats.

Debby Reynolds, director general of the British Animal Health Welfare and chief veterinary officer, said she believes there is a low risk of the infection spreading outside the county.

Nevertheless, she emphasised that people could still transport the disease, that is why all security measures are not lifted yet.

Reynolds bases that assumption on a report by the National Emergency Epidemiology Group, stating that at the moment an infection from the primary source (moste likely the laboratories) is now unrealistic.

The British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) also said this weekend that a number of 280 pigs were also culled at one of the infected properties.

Related news items:
• FMD causes pig industry to plummet (10 Aug 2007)
• Two more weeks of pig export bans for UK (09 Aug 2007)
• FMD outbreak: worldwide concern (update) (08 Aug 2007)
• FMD likely caused by human mistake (08 Aug 2007)
• FMD outbreak: worldwide concern (07 Aug 2007)
• UK: pig transport ban after 2 FMD reports (07 Aug 2007)
• British pork to be banned in Korea (07 Aug 2007)
• Lab biosecurity not the cause of outbreak (06 Aug 2007)

Related websites:
• British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

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