Two cows have tested positive for Foot-and-Mouth Disease in England. So far, 120 cows on that farm, located near Wanborough, England, about 30 miles southwest of London, have been slaughtered.

British officials responded quickly to this new outbreak, halting all meat and dairy exports and they imposed a nationwide ban on the movement of any livestock susceptible to the disease — cows, pigs, sheep and goats. (England last had an outbreak of FMD in 2001.)  As expected, trading partners around the world have banned all imports of meat, and related products from England.

Testing has shown that the strain of FMD found in the two cows is identical to the strain used in a nearby laboratory. The Institute for Animal Health’s Pirbright Laboratory has been researching vaccines for the virus. An initial review of security protocols at the lab did not reveal a security breach.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown came back early from vacation to address the outbreak and do “everything possible” to avoid a repeat of the widespread FMD infection that devastated farmers and the English economy in 2001. To learn more from the Washington Post, go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080600242.html

WashingtonPost, Forbes.com