Cumberland News April 12

CATTLE TEST NEGATIVE FOR DISEASE

five animals imported from France to Cumbria in February which were suspected of having brucellosis have all tested negative for the disease.

One of the animals was slaughtered after it tested positive on arrival in Cumbria but further tests proved negative. Four other animals, in a consignment of 44 cattle imported on February 4, gave inconclusive test results. Further blood tests have also given negative results. Government officials claim it is likely that the initial results were due to exposure of the animals to a cross-reacting organism.

The animals were all blood tested, with negative results, in France prior to export. All movement restrictions imposed on the animals have now been lifted.

Animal Health Minister Elliot Morley said: "This is good news. But I must once again stress that it is important that we're all vigilant when restocking herds following FMD to prevent the introduction of any disease."

Brucellosis causes cattle to miscarry calves and can cause a fever in humans. It may also be transmitted by unpasteurised milk.

Defra has not publicly named the farm and said none of the meat from the slaughtered animal had entered the food chain.