France holds its breath as controls tighten in Europe

World reaction
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The Independent Online

As farmers in France waited anxiously yesterday to see if foot-and-mouth had spread, countries around the world tightened their restrictions.

As farmers in France waited anxiously yesterday to see if foot-and-mouth had spread, countries around the world tightened their restrictions.

In France, tests are being carried out on a number of suspected cases. In the northern Eure region 110 sheep were slaughtered as a precautionary measure, and results of the tests on them will be known this weekend. Some animals there had spent time near the farm in Mayenne where an outbreak was confirmed on Tuesday.

Six young sows from the Cÿtes d'Armor region in western France were slaughtered because they had also come from Mayenne. In the Nord region on the Belgian border, 1,300 sheep were condemned because they were believed to have come into contact with British imports. But there was some good news when three suspect heifers in a herd in Limousin were cleared.

Germany will tighten border controls with France today. The states of Saarland, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate will check every commercial vehicle heading east over 15 main crossings.

Belgium set up border controls on crossings into France. The Han-sur-Lesse Wildlife Reserve, 100km south-west of Brussels, and a children's zoo in Ghent said they were temporarily closing. The Flanders Open showjumping event in Moorsel was cancelled.

Norway's strict foot-and-mouth controls on its 1,600km border with Sweden brought protests from the Swedish Agriculture Minister, Margareta Winberg. Thousands of Norwegians usually cross into Sweden to stock up on cheaper food, tobacco and alcohol, but yesterday that cross-border shopping dried up.

Turkey announced it was planning to put an embargo on all milk products, except those made with pasteurised milk, skins and wool from countries where foot-and-mouth had broken out.

Outside Europe, Jamaica imposed strict foot-and-mouth measures. Passengers arriving from Britain at its two international airports will now have to wipe their feet on a mat soaked in disinfectant.

In the Middle East, states began to introduce protective measures against the disease, with bans on some types of meat from European Union and other European countries.

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