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China reveals new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease

Even as China is trying to contain Bird flu, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease forced the killing of 91 cattle in the northeastern part of the country this week // .

The official Xinhua News Agency reported that Cattle on a farm in Shandong province developed symptoms this month.

The culling commenced on December 29 after cattle were found to have contracted the disease.

Xinhua said the provincial government has since quarantined the farm where the outbreak occurred, and ordered inoculations for animals in the area.

Foot-and-mouth disease causes severe weight loss in cattle. It does not affect human beings and outbreaks are relatively easy to control; but the disease can have a serious economic impact on the livestock industry.

Beijing has kept outbreaks of the disease hidden in the past.

This year alone, China has killed and incinerated thousands of head of cattle to control the outbreak of the Asia type 1 foot-and-mouth disease, officials say.

Outbreaks have been reported on the outskirts of Beijing, neighbouring Hebei province, eastern Jiangsu province, the western region of Xinjiang, and in Shandong. However, officials in the animal feed industry say Beijing has failed to report the full extent of the disease's spread.

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