Officials rule out suspected foot and mouth case in Norfolk

Officials have ruled out a suspected case of foot and mouth disease in Norfolk.

Movement restrictions and a temporary six-mile (10km) control zone for animals were enforced around a pig farm near Feltwell in west Norfolk, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

But in a statement a Defra spokesman said: “Following reports of a possible case of foot and mouth disease on a farm in Norfolk, we acted swiftly to put in place restrictions on the premises and collected samples for testing. Testing has allowed us to fully rule out the presence of this disease. Investigations into other possible causes continue.”

Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, tweeted: “Following swift action in response to this possible case I can confirm that testing has enabled me to fully rule out presence of (foot and mouth) disease.”

Foot and mouth disease is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed animals.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, the disease is not readily transmissible to humans and is not a public health risk.

The last outbreak in Britain was in 2007, but a particularly severe outbreak occurred in 2001 and culminated in the slaughter of more than 6 million animals.

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