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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Disease sparks city meat shortage
Worker decontaminates cattle equipment
The disease was identified at two farms in Surrey
London will have a shortage of meat for the next few days following two reported cases of foot-and-mouth in Surrey, traders have said.

Traders at London's historic Smithfield Market said supplies at the market were starting to dry up.

But the director of the International Meat Trade Association said it was more a case of less variety available.

Once the outbreak was detected, an immediate ban on livestock movement was imposed across the country.

Many Londoners will find that there will probably be less variety in their local butchers but should still find that if they wanted to get a steak to eat, for example, they still can do
Liz Murphy, International Meat Trade Association

Greg Lawrence from the Smithfield Market Traders Association said: "Drastic measures are being taken.

"On Monday there were small amounts of fresh meat on the market, yesterday there was even less and now there's even less.

"It's really taking effect now."

Liz Murphy, from the International Meat Trade Association said: "If the situation continues beyond Thursday it is very likely there will be a shortage, definitely of pork and lamb, and people will be looking to bring in products from outside the UK.

"But if things get back up and going by then, it will not be too bad.

"Many Londoners will find that there will probably be less variety in their local butchers but should still find that if they wanted to get a steak to eat, for example, they still can do."

She said she hoped the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) would make a statement on Wednesday about the latest situation in the wake of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Health inspectors are investigating the possibility that foot-and-mouth was transferred to a farm in Surrey by employees at vaccine manufacturer Merial, at research site Pirbright.

Merial said there was no evidence the virus was spread by humans.




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