Foot-and-mouth threatens continental Europe

Member States step up unilateral measures to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth

With the increased likelihood of foot-and-mouth having spread across the Channel, European countries are stepping up emergency precautions. In addition to the extension of the European Union's ban on all British meats and meat products until March 14, many Member States have gone ahead with their own unilateral actions.

Germany has ordered the immediate destruction of all sheep and goats imported from Britain since the beginning of February. The government has quarantined all farms that have imported livestock in the past four weeks.

France is going to slaughter 50,000 sheep that have either been imported from the UK or might have been in contact with the imported sheep. It has ordered tests on all hoofed animals imported from Britain. The French have also ordered a ban on all imports of live cattle from Ireland as foot-and-mouth has spread to Northern Ireland (30 kilometers from the Irish Republic's border).

Belgium and the Netherlands have begun to cull livestock imported from the UK. They have also banned all livestock markets. Portugal has begun disinfecting visitors arriving from Britain, while Spain has banned the movement of sheep and goats.

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