( RIA Novosti ) - Russia intends to place a temporary ban on livestock imports from the United Kingdom following confirmation by British authorities of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, the Russian food safety watchdog said Monday.
The strain of foot and mouth disease was found Friday in some 60 cattle at a farm in Surrey, southwest London. All the infected animals have been culled since then.
"Restrictions will be imposed. So far, we have not yet received official confirmation of the disease," Alexei Alexeyenko, a spokesman for Rosselkhoznadzor said.
Alexeyenko said the watchdog was expected to receive some official information very soon.
In the last outbreak in 2001, more than six million cattle were slaughtered in the U.K. The cost to agriculture was estimated at over 8 billion pounds (over $16.3 billion). Tony Blair, then British prime minister, was strongly criticized for his handling of the situation.