Livestock on an English farm that were tested after showing signs of possible Foot and Mouth Disease do not have it, Britain’s chief veterinarian said Saturday. The result strengthens indications that the highly contagious livestock ailment has not spread beyond the small area where it was first discovered Aug. 3.

“The latest tests on the farm to the east of the surveillance zone are negative,” said Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS.

Reynolds announced late Thursday that cows in a second area of Surrey County had shown “mild clinical signs of infections” and were being tested. Officials established a protective zone around a farm previously unlinked to the outbreak and some 10 miles from the two confirmed cases of the disease.

An interim epidemiology report on the outbreak has concluded that the disease probably spread by human movement from a research laboratory in Pirbright, about 30 miles southwest of London.

Reynolds said farmers should remain vigilant for signs of disease.

(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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