Foot and Mouth Disease Confirmed in China

Confirmed in China

On May 26, China's Ministry of Agriculture confirmed outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Beijing, Xinjiang, and Hebei.

While horses cannot be infected by FMD, they can carry the virus on their hooves, skin, hair, and possibly in their nasal passages. Restrictions on livestock transport in a foot and mouth outbreak could severely hamper the equine industry of a country.

The initial FMD detection was in cows on May 5 in Yanqing County (Beijing municipality). In all, 3,284 cattle had been destroyed in the three areas to prevent FMD spread. Control measures, including vaccination, quarantine, and movement control, have been established. Two smaller outbreaks were reported in mid-May in the Shandong and Jiangsu provinces.

For more information on FMD, see

Hoax in New Zealand

New Zealand government officials had a scare in early May when they received a letter stating FMD had been released on Waiheke Island (about 11 miles west of Auckland) on May 9 and threatening to release FMD on the mainland. A second letter was received about a week later claiming the incident and threat as a hoax.

Intensive surveillance on the island and extensive investigations showed no evidence of FMD clinical signs or factual substance to the letter, and all restrictions on animal movement were removed on May 17.

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