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British Authorities Confirm Second New Case of Foot and Mouth Disease


British authorities have confirmed the discovery of a case of foot and mouth disease at a second farm west of London just days after the latest outbreak was announced.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in a statement Friday, said cattle on a farm adjacent to the previous infection site have tested positive for the disease.

Authorities had gathered the animals for slaughter, suspecting they could also be infected.

The affected farms are located near Egham in the county of Surrey, about 20 kilometers from the site of a previous outbreak in August.

Initial tests indicate the new virus is the same strain found in the August outbreak.

The new infections come just days after British authorities declared the country free of foot and mouth disease.

Confirmation of the first new case this week prompted the European Union to reimpose its ban on British exports of meat, livestock and dairy products.

British authorities also imposed a ban on the movement of livestock in England, Scotland and Wales.

Foot and mouth is a highly contagious disease affecting cattle, sheep, hogs and other farm animals. It spreads through direct contact and contaminated feed. It can also be spread by the wind.

Investigators linked the August outbreak to leaking water pipes at an animal research facility that infected cattle grazing in a nearby pasture.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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