British vets have uncovered a second suspected case of foot-and-mouth in Surrey, close to the sight where the first outbreak was discovered. Cattle within the 3 km protection zone around the farm where the first cases occurred are being culled as a precaution. In response the European Union has banned all British exports of fresh meat, live animals and milk products.
Philip Tod EU spokesperson said: “This decision will be reviewed on Wednesday with a meeting of veterinary experts from all 27 member states and a new decision will be taken and it may be that on that occasion we will adapt this decision and that the high risk area which we have defined today will be changed and made less widespread than the whole of Great Britain.”
The National Farmers Union is warning of a deep economic impact if the ban on the movement, sale and slaughter of animals persists.
Richard McDonald is the Director General of the NFU: “We’ve lost our immediate export market, and we’re very concerned about damages to the marketplace, but – and the big but is, all of that gets a heck of a lot worse if we don’t contain and eradiate this disease”.
Meanwhile British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has cut short his holiday to deal with the situation. The foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001 cost the British economy some 12 billion euro with six-million animals slaughtered and burned on huge pyres.