Tests come in negative

Animals suspected of being infected with foot-and-mouth disease in France, Belgium and Denmark have tested negative

All suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease in France, Belgium and Denmark over the last few days proved to be negative. However, foot-and-mouth antibodies were found on nine French farms since then. Suspected cases have also turned up in Brandenburg, in Germany. Tests are being carried out on the alleged cases in France and Germany.

France has banned the export of all livestock at risk from foot-and-mouth disease. Last week, France ordered the destruction of 50,000 sheep imported from Britain in the last four weeks in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. Livestock markets are also banned. Besides France, other Members States have also taken up their own emergency measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

There have been 76 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom. The European Union has imposed an export ban on all British animals and animal products. The ban will be in place until 9 March. The Standing Veterinary Committee will review the export ban on 6 and 7 March.

The committee will review whether to use vaccinations. Europe's chief vets will also examine whether the closure of national borders to imports and exports of animals at risk from foot-and-mouth for a period of one week would help.

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