November 9, 2007
November 9, 2007 - Britain will relax movement restrictions imposed on livestock southwest of London in the wake of a foot-and-mouth outbreak over the summer, a government agency said.
The surveillance zone, put up around a laboratory complex in Surrey, was lifted Monday, Nov. 5. The restricted area had a six-mile radius, covering about 120 square miles.
The movement of livestock out of the area had been prohibited, a measure intended to thwart the spread of the highly contagious disease. The virus' emergence was blamed on a leak from the Pirbright laboratory, about 35 miles southwest of London.
Some restrictions on movement, however, will remain in place, a Department for Environment, food and Rural Affairs employee said.
The agency added that it was in talks with the European Commission about the possibility of easing export restrictions imposed in the wake of the discovery of the disease.
Foot-and-mouth does not affect humans but it can sicken cloven-hoofed animals such as cows and pigs, and its economic consequences are potentially devastating. Reprinted in part from DEFRA.gov.uk