Confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth in Britain rises to 26

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
The number of confirmed cases of foot and mouth in Britain has risen to 26, amid fears the disease has spread to Northern Ireland.

Two more cases of foot and -mouth have been confirmed at a farm in Warwickshire and a farm in North Fambridge in Essex.

The army in Northern Ireland has taken further steps to prevent its patrol activities risking spreading foot and mouth disease.

Following the identification of the first case in South Armagh, army headquarters said it had added to measures brought in earlier in the week. What the army called "modified" patrolling is being carried out.

But it stressed that the increased threat from republican dissidents who it said "may seek to take advantage of the present tragic situation to commit additional atrocities" prevented it from ceasing operational activity.

However it said helicopter flights within South Armagh had been adjusted as had naval activities aimed at preventing the import or export of terrorist material.

All troops and military vehicles arriving in the province from Britain are being decontaminated, training activity restricted to areas where livestock have no access and all non-essential training in Britain by troops from Northern Ireland has been stopped.

The army statement came after Sinn Fein made a call in the Irish Parliament for all British soldiers patrolling the border to be withdrawn to barracks to avoid the threat of them spreading the virus.