12 April 2001
Northern Ireland case is negative

By Philip Clarke, Europe editor

NORTHERN Ireland has been given a preliminary “all clear” following tests on a suspected case of foot-and-mouth disease in County Tyrone.

Preliminary results suggest that foot-and-mouth is not involved although it will take another four to five days for the final results to emerge.

Samples had been sent to the Pirbright testing laboratory in Surrey, England, following the discovery of lesions on dairy cows near Cookstown.

Northern Ireland agriculture minister, Brid Rodgers, said the preliminary negative test results were a “source of great comfort”.

She added: “A bad result in this case would have meant the re-imposition of export restrictions on all of Northern Ireland for the foreseeable future.”

Exports resumed on 4 April with the exception of Newry and Mourne – the areas closest to Northern Irelands only confirmed case of foot-and-mouth.

Assuming there are no more outbreaks, the remaining restrictions will be lifted in those areas next Thursday (19 April).

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage