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Antrim foot and mouth false alarm

by 5m Editor
10 January 2007, at 9:09am

IRELAND - A Northern Ireland abattoir at the centre of a foot-and-mouth alert has been cleared.

Tests carried out at the Institute for Animal Health on pig samples taken from the slaughterhouse in Co Antrim proved negative.

The results were confirmed this afternoon by the Department of Agriculture.

Movement restrictions and other conditions were imposed by Chief Veterinary Officer Bert Houston at the abattoir and the premises of origin after foot lesions were detected.

Officials believe the symptoms could have been linked to Swine Vesicular Disease, or foot-and-mouth, which paralysed food production and tourism events across the UK in 2001.

The outbreak led to the slaughter of 6.5 million animals, devastated many farms and rural businesses and is estimated to have cost the UK up to £8 billion.

Chief Veterinary Officer Bert Houston said: "Negative results today from the laboratory tests mean that we have ruled out suspicion of foot-and-mouth disease and Swine Vesicular Disease.

"Restrictions are now being lifted on the abattoir and the farm from which the pigs originated."

The case was at Stevenson`s abattoir, near Cullybackey, and cars and pedestrians entering the area were disinfected.

Source: UTV

5m Editor