VETS INVESTIGATING a disease outbreak on a Norfolk pig farm have firmly ruled out foot-and-mouth, calming livestock sector fears.
However, tests are ongoing for swine vesicular disease, which although not a threat to sheep or cattle, would be an unwelcome development for the already hard pressed pig sector.
A temporary 10 km control zone remains in place around the site near Feltwell, near Downham Market, Norfolk.

DEFRA confirmed that tests were ongoing and that restrictions on pigs in the area would remain until further testing was completed.

A spokeswoman said: "Following reports of a possible case of foot-and-mouth disease on a farm in Norfolk we acted swiftly to put in place restrictions on the premises and collected samples for testing.

"Testing has allowed us to fully rule out the presence of this disease. Investigations into other possible causes continue."

Signs of foot-and-mouth disease in pigs include sudden lameness and sometimes blisters appear on the upper edge of the hoof - but the main sign of SVD is also blisters at the top of the hooves and between the toes.

Defra said the clinical signs of swine vesicular disease could be confused with foot-and-mouth disease, so it was essential any suspicion of SVD in pigs was reported.