The pharmaceuticals company at the centre of the foot and mouth investigation in England has stopped production of a vaccine for the disease. Merial and a government research laboratory on the same site are suspected of being the source of the outbreak. Authorities have acted quickly to try to contain the disease. Prime Minister Gordon Brown: “The whole strategy is to contain, then control and then eradicate this disease. So the first priority has been, having identified potential sources of the disease, it’s now to find the transmission mechanism and that’s why the health and safety executive is now first of all at the Merial company and then at the whole research establishment, looking at what they can find. And I hope we can get results in 48 hours,” said the prime minister. Two herds of cattle have been destroyed since the discovery of the disease on a farm in Surrey, close to the two laboritories. A 10-kilometre protection zone has been set up around the area and exports of livestock, meat and dairy products have been banned in a bid to contain the outbreak. British farming was devastated by a foot and mouth epidemic in 2001.
UK labs under the microscope over foot and mouth