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Another British herd has foot and mouth

/ Source: The Associated Press

Britain's livestock owners received more bad news Monday: Another herd of cattle tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease, and a second cow was found to have bluetongue disease.

Since the new outbreak of foot and mouth last month, hundreds of animals have been slaughtered and movement of animals has been restricted at one of the busiest times of the year for livestock sales.

A larger outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001 resulted in thousands of cattle, sheep and pig carcasses being burned on large pyres across the country and the farming industry lost millions in revenue.

In the latest outbreak, a herd of cattle slaughtered Monday tested positive for the highly infectious disease, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

The cattle were found in an existing foot-and-mouth control zone of Surrey, southeast of London, and the site became the seventh one where livestock tested positive for the disease in England since last month.

Before Monday, four cases of foot-and-mouth had been confirmed in Surrey this month, following two in August that authorities traced to a nearby veterinary laboratory site.

Foot-and-mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cows, sheep, pigs and goats. It does not infect humans.

Earlier Monday, the environment ministry announced that a second cow had tested positive for bluetongue disease at a farm in Suffolk in eastern England. It said the cow was on the same farm where the initial case was discovered over the weekend, the first ever found in Britain.

Bluetongue is an insect-borne, viral disease once common only in Mediterranean climes. It can be fatal for cows, sheep and other ruminant animals, but does not affect humans.

A bluetongue temporary area for surveillance was being established in a large area north and northeast of London, including Suffolk, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.