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Foot-and-mouth tests on animals in abattoir

by 5m Editor
9 January 2007, at 10:50am

UK - Ulster's livestock industry is on standby following a suspected outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease at a Co Antrim abattoir.

Pig samples from the plant are being tested for the disease, which devastated the farming industry in 2001, bringing travel and tourism to a standstill and costing the livestock industry £3bn.

Following the discovery of foot lesions at the slaughter facility yesterday morning in routine tests, samples were sent for testing at the Institute of Animal Health in England. Preliminary results are expected later today.

Movement restrictions and other conditions have been imposed by Chief Veterinary Officer Bert Houston at the abattoir and premises of origin of the affected pigs.

"As part of routine surveillance at an abattoir in Co Antrim, foot lesions were detected in a number of pigs presented for slaughter," Mr Houston said.

"As a precautionary measure, samples have been taken and are being sent to the Institute for Animal Health in England for testing for foot-and-mouth disease and swine vesicular disease."

Swine vesicular disease (SVD) shows clinically identical symptoms to foot-and-mouth but only affects pigs. Mortality is low but in acute cases there can be loss of production.

Source: Belfast Telegraph

5m Editor