Great Britain this week declared that nation free of foot-and-mouth disease after 11 months battling the outbreak that cost more than 2 billion pounds. According to the British government, more than 4 million animals were slaughtered in efforts to bring the epidemic under control.
In Northumberland, the county where the outbreak began, there have been no new cases of the disease over the last three months, and tests on livestock have found no trace of the disease. It will still be weeks, if not months, however, before British meat exports kick back into high gear.
Such exports are highly restricted, and only allowed to European Union countries due to the foot-and-mouth epidemic. The Office International De Epizooties’ Foot-and-Mouth Commission will meet next week and may at that time decided to declare Great Britain free of the disease which would pave the way for a resumption of exports.
Farmers hail foot-and-mouth ‘victory’. The BBC, January 15, 2002.
UK to be declared foot and mouth free. Emma Young, New Scientist.Com, January 14, 2002.
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