The British government has ordered the cull of livestock at a third farm in southern England as efforts to contain an outbreak of foot and mouth disease continue. However, a ban on sending animals to slaughter elsewhere has been lifted. Chief Veterinary Officer, Debbie Reynolds, said: “The decision has been taken today (Wednesday) to permit the movement of live animals direct to slaughter and the collection of dead animals from farms from midnight tonight (2300 GMT). These movements will be made under a general license and will only apply outside the protection and surveillance zones in Surrey.”
The search for the source of the outbreak is still centred on vaccine manufacturer Merial and a government laboratory which shares premises with it, close to the infected farms in Surrey, south of London. Meanwhile, veterinary experts from European Union member states meeting in Brussels have decided to maintain a complete embargo on live animal and animal product exports from Great Britain. The ban will remain effective until August 25th, although the situation will be reviewed on August 23rd.