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Second foot and mouth case confirmed

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 07 August 2007

Fifty cows slaughtered before fear of second outbreak is confirmed by the environment secretary.

A second outbreak of foot and mouth disease was confirmed this morning by the environment minister Hillary Benn following tests overnight.

Last night the government's chief vet, Dr Debby Reynolds, said cattle on a second farm within the protection zone in Surrey were being slaughtered as a precaution.

It is understood that 50 cows were culled and this follows the 97 slaughtered at the weekend on the first farm to have discovered the disease.

That farm was near the village of Normandy, outside Guildford. All that is known so far about the second farm is that it is within protection zone in Surrey.

Last night Dr Reynolds said: "The intensive work of Animal Health has meant that we have been able to rapidly identify this suspect case and take appropriate action swiftly.

"I continue to urge all animal keepers to be vigilant for signs of disease and practise strict biosecurity."

Prime minister Gordon Brown, who has abandoned his holiday in Dorset to oversee the crisis, said: "This is a major national effort, the focus of which is to contain and control the disease and then eradicate it."

A nationwide ban on the movement of cows, sheep and pigs and the export of cloven-hoofed animals and animal products is still in force.

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