Eighth Case of British Foot and Mouth Confirmed

by VR Sreeraman on Oct 1 2007 5:14 PM

British officials confirmed Sunday an eighth case of foot and mouth disease since the outbreak began last month, within a protection zone in the southern English county of Surrey.

"Foot and mouth disease (FMD) has now been confirmed at the premises in Surrey where slaughter on suspicion was announced yesterday," the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in a statement.

The ministry added that cattle on four nearby premises had been exposed to the highly infectious disease on such a level that they were likely to develop foot and mouth, and were therefore being culled.

"This action is regrettable but necessary in order to eradicate disease in this area as quickly as possible," it said.

No trace of foot and mouth has been detected outside Surrey, although protection zones around the infected premises there remain in place.

About 1,800 animals have been culled so far as Britain battles to contain the disease, and avoid a repeat of the disastrous 2001 outbreak.

That crisis saw up to 10 million animals culled and cost the British economy about eight billion pounds (11.7 billion euros, 16.0 billion dollars).