- Title: UNITED KINGDOM: Foot and mouth outbreak spreads
- Date: 8th August 2007
- Summary: (W3) NEAR NORMANDY, SURREY, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 7, 2007) (REUTERS) MEDIA AT SITE MAN TAKING OFF BLUE PROTECTIVE SUIT
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2007 00:01
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Health,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAAZ0QJ52N5UF7H9YZIRSL4MYS6
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Britain confirmed a second outbreak of foot and mouth disease in a herd of cattle in southern England on Tuesday (August 7), raising fears the highly damaging animal disease may spread.
Police have cordoned off suspected infected areas on the land where the second outbreak struck as investigators work. Cattle at the farm have been culled.
Animals from both sites have been culled and 3 km exclusion zones and 10 km protection zones set up around the farms and the site of two research laboratories which have handled the virus.
The outbreaks were both in herds based near the laboratories, in the southeast of England near the town of Guildford, outside London.
A short, preliminary report by the government's Health and Safety Executive into the outbreak said there was also a "real possibility"
that the release of the virus involved "human movement".
Farmer Laurence Matthews, who owns the land, said the farmer and family whose cattle were culled in the second outbreak were "absolutely devastated".
The owner of the first farm where the disease broke out said the outbreak which forced the slaughter of his entire herd was a "disaster".
The outbreak poses an immediate threat to Britain's livestock industry, whose meat exports are worth more than 1 billion U.S. dollars a year.
Foot and mouth disease, which affects cloven-hoofed animals and can be carried on the wind, was confirmed in a small herd on Friday (August 3).
Government investigators found a "strong probability" on Tuesday that the strain of virus behind the outbreak came from two research labs near the site of the infection.
A short, preliminary report by the government's Health and Safety Executive said there was also a "real possibility" that the release of the virus involved "human movement".
The research laboratories -- one run by the government's Institute for Animal Health and the other owned by Merial Animal Health Ltd., a U.S.-French company -- are located about five miles (eight km) from where the virus infected the cattle.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said a great deal of checking had been done.
"The work goes on to isolate and control and contain and eradicate the disease," he said.
Both laboratories, which conduct research and develop vaccines against foot and mouth, handle the exact, rare strain of the virus that struck the herd, a strain isolated by British scientists 40 years ago.
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