EU to ban imports of cloven-hoofed animals from Britain

The European Commission (EC) Saturday announced a ban on imports of cloven-hoofed animals and their related products from Britain after reports of an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in southern England.

EU to ban imports of cloven-hoofed animals from Britain

The European Commission (EC) Saturday announced a ban on imports of cloven-hoofed animals and their related products from Britain after reports of an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in southern England.

The ban, which will become effective on Aug. 6, applies to cattle, sheep and pigs and related animal products, the EC said in a communique.

It added that related EC authorities will keep close contact with relevant British departments and the EC Pirbright Laboratory in Britain will conduct further tests to determine the exact cause of the disease.

The EC response came a day after the British government reported that some 60 animals at a farm near Guildford, Surrey, insouthern England were tested positive for the foot-and-mouth disease Thursday.

The British government said it had culled the farm animals according to the European Union regulations and had set up a 3-km "protection zone" and a 10-km "surveillance zone" around the farm. It had also banned the herding and transmission of cloven-hoofed animals nationwide to stop the spread of the endemic.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who cut short his vacation in Dorset in southwestern England Friday to return to London to preside over the second emergency cabinet meeting over the matter, told the media Saturday that the British government was doing its utmost to eradicate the disease.

All EU countries have reportedly stopped importing cloven-hoofed animals and related products from Britain since Saturday, and the United States and Japan have decided to do the same.

The latest outbreak of the highly infectious foot-and-mouth disease raised fears of another catastrophe like the one in 2001, which caused Britain an economic loss of 8 billion pounds (about 16 billion U.S. dollars), creating chaos in the country and leaving its farming and tourist industries devastated.

Agencies

Last Mod: 05 Ağustos 2007, 12:03
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