Britain's Foot and Mouth Disease Crisis Easing, EU Says

The foot and mouth disease crisis in Britain is easing, the European Union (EU) said Tuesday, adding that its veterinary experts will evaluate measures taken to contain the outbreak of the disease later this week.

The EU banned British livestock, meat, and milk exports, endorsing restrictions passed by Britain after the disease broke out in southeastern England on Aug. 3. The EU said the ban would remain in place until at least Aug. 25.

"The evolution of the disease situation is favorable," said EU spokesman Philip Tod.

The experts will look Thursday at Britain's status as a high-risk zone for meat exports and reconsider the trade ban, which farmers say is costing them close to 2 million pounds ($ 3.96 million) a day in lost income.

Britain eased restrictions Monday on the movement of cattle and sheep to slaughterhouses and markets.

Horses cannot be infected by FMD, but can carry the virus on their hooves, skin, hair, and possibly in their nasal passages.

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The Associated Press

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