More than a year after Great Britain experienced its worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has added the island nation comprising England, Scotland, and Wales, and the Isle of Man to the list of regions considered to be FMD-free.
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service also included Great Britain among the regions subject to certain import restrictions on meat and animal products because of the island nation's proximity to or trade ties with countries affected with rinderpest or FMD.
Millions of sheep, cattle, and pigs were slaughtered during the 2001 outbreak. Healthy animals near infected farms were also culled to stop the contagion. Farmers there are now restocking their depleted farms.
APHIS made its determination based on the results of an evaluation of the FMD situation in Great Britain, which took into account that it has met the standards of the Office International des Epizooties for being considered free of the disease.
The final rule, which appeared in the Dec. 17, 2002, Federal Register, lifts FMD-related prohibitions and restrictions on the importation of ruminants and swine and fresh meat and other ruminant products and swine into the United States from Great Britain.
APHIS will continue to prohibit the importation of live ruminants from Great Britain, however, because of the presence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy there.