Foot And Mouth 'May Have Spread In Floods'

UK - Flooding is being examined as a possible cause of the foot and mouth disease outbreak, the Government's chief veterinary office said today.
calendar icon 6 August 2007
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In pictures: Investigation at the lab

Inspectors fear that the infected animals may have contracted the virus through flood water at their Surrey farm.

"The investigation on the farm is taking all factors into account including flooding, movement, and everything that is related to events in the lead-up period to the report of suspicion being made," Debby Reynolds said.

"There is interest in a particular area on the farm where there was some flood water and that is one of the features that is being examined."

The disease is thought to have spread from two bioscience laboratories located nearby, both of which handle the same strain of the virus as that found in the infected cattle.

The new angle to the investigation came as Gordon Brown abandoned his family holiday in Dorset to deal with the crisis, amid rising concerns over the financial cost to British farmers.

He cut short his break after only a few hours on Friday, and Downing Street today said he would continue co-ordindating the Government's foot-and-mouth response from Chequers, the Prime Ministerial retreat in Buckinghamshire. He will be joined by his family.

Farmers are facing a bill for tens of millions of pounds as international bans are imposed on British produce after two cows in Surrey tested positive for foot and mouth disease.

Source: Telegraph
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