Foot-and-mouth ruled out

Preliminary tests have ruled out foot-and-mouth disease at an Essex abattoir, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) said today.

Preliminary tests have ruled out "foot-and-mouth" disease at an Essex abattoir, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) said today.

The first samples proved negative for FMD in a single sow at Cheale Meats' abattoir near Brentwood, Essex.

Officials from the State Veterinary Service have visited the herd in North Lincolnshire, which had sent the sow for slaughter. According to a Defra official, there were no signs for alarm at the farm but further checks are being made as a precaution.

A second blood test and sample is now being checked and the results are expected to be known later today, Friday.

It is also not thought likely to be swine vesicular disease, which can sometimes look like foot and mouth disease.