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Last Updated: Friday, 3 August 2007, 21:27 GMT 22:27 UK
Foot-and-mouth fears shut ports
Cattle
An exclusion zone has been set up around the farm in Guildford
Northern Ireland's ports are being closed to livestock imports following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease on a cattle farm in Guildford, Surrey.

It is part of a UK-wide ban on movement of all cattle, sheep and pigs, which was imposed following the discovery.

More than 50,000 animals were culled in Northern Ireland during the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

Stormont Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew said it was important that the farming community did not panic.

"We're working very closely to see just what impact it will have on our industry, but we are ensuring that everything that can be done is being done to control the spread of the disease," she said.

"Hopefully this will be a contained outbreak."

She said her officials were tracing back all movements of animals into Northern Ireland over the last month to check if any came from the area where the outbreak in cattle occurred.

The minister also confirmed she had been in contact with officials in Defra in England and in the Department of Agriculture in the Irish Republic.

Compensation

More than 7.5m was paid to Northern Ireland farmers in compensation following the 2001 outbreak.

Pyres of burning cattle
Foot-and-mouth caused havoc in the UK in 2001
Across the UK, the outbreak led to the slaughter of 6.5 million animals and is thought to have cost the economy 8bn.

A three-kilometre protection zone has been put in place around the premises in Guildford, and a UK-wide ban has been imposed on movement of all cattle and pigs.

In accordance with the legislation, all the cattle on the premises will be culled, said a government spokesman.

The farm has been under restrictions since late on Thursday when symptoms were reported.


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SEE ALSO
Pigs are clear of foot-and-mouth
09 Jan 07 |  Northern Ireland
Counting the cost of NI virus
26 Jul 02 |  Northern Ireland
How did foot-and-mouth spread in NI?
19 Apr 01 |  Northern Ireland
Foot-and-mouth disease timeline
30 Mar 01 |  Northern Ireland

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