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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