British govt.: All counties hoof-and-mouth free

LONDON -- The British government certified its last county clear of hoof-and-mouth disease Jan. 15, calling the reclassification of Northumberland as "hoof-and-mouth-free" a landmark in the fight against the livestock disease -- which devastated the U.K. economy since first erupting last January -- but cautioning the development "is not the official end of the [hoof-and-mouth] outbreak."

While restrictions remain on food exports, 98% of rural footpaths in Britain have reopened; tourism officials attribute an estimated loss of $3.7 billion in revenue for 2001 mainly to hoof-and-mouth.

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