Daily Archives: August 4, 2007

Britain Rushes to Contain Cow Disease

Britain Rushes to Contain Cow Disease

By JANE PERLEZ

New York Times

The British authorities burned the bodies of 60 cattle found infected with foot-and-mouth disease on a farm in southern England on Saturday as they moved quickly to try to contain any spread of the disease, which devastated the British livestock industry in 2001.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown led a second emergency meeting at Downing Street on Saturday after canceling his vacation on the English seaside to deal with the crisis that raised fears of the need for the large-scale slaughter of animals. He promised immediate action to contain the disease.

The disease, highly contagious among animals, was discovered Thursday at a farm in Guildford in Surrey. The government announced the outbreak on Friday evening.

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British beef exports halted

British beef exports halted

USA Today

Britain banned the export of livestock and livestock products Saturday after foot-and-mouth disease was discovered on an English farm, and authorities halted the movement of cloven-hooved animals nationwide in a bid to control the highly infectious virus that devastated the farming industry six years ago.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said officials vowed to work night and day to halt the spread of a disease that led to the slaughter of 7 million livestock and badly damaged the agriculture industry and rural tourism in 2001. The government of the time was heavily criticized for being slow to act, giving the disease a chance to spread.

“Our first priority has been to act quickly and decisively,” said Brown, who returned to London from a summer holiday to deal with the outbreak. He chaired a meeting of the government’s crisis committee, COBRA, on Saturday.

“I can assure people … we are doing everything in our power to look at the scientific evidence and to get to the bottom of what has happened and then to eradicate this disease.”

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Britain tries to stem foot and mouth infection

Britain tries to stem foot and mouth infection

By Luke Baker

Reuters (Canada)

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain tried to contain an outbreak of highly infectious foot and mouth on Saturday, culling cattle at a farm outside London to prevent a repeat of the ruinous damage caused by the disease six years ago.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown broke off his holiday to return to London and chair an emergency meeting of senior ministers.

The European Commission said it had banned all live animal exports from the United Kingdom, as well as meat and dairy products from the infected area. Further restrictions could be brought in after EU veterinary experts meet on Wednesday.

The United States, which already has restrictions on imports of cattle and sheep from Britain due to other health scares, said it would also ban imports of pork and pork products.

Keen to avoid a repeat of the government’s much-criticized response to the 2001 crisis, Brown said officials would work “day and night” to stem the outbreak identified on Friday.

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