Cattle at a farm in southern England have been found to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease.
Animals on the farm in Surrey have tested positive for the disease which swept the UK and wreaked havoc in 2001.
A three-kilometre protection zone has been put in place around the premises and a nation-wide ban imposed on movement of all livestock.
The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has cancelled his holiday in Dorset and held an emergency meeting on how to tackle the outbreak.
Europe Minister Jim Murphy says the Government has responded swiftly to the outbreak.
"The Government's emergency committee Cobra has met this evening and we have put in place the well-established procedures that were learned from the previous outbreak," he said.
"That the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State also returning from their holidays to take personal control and oversight of this outbreak [shows a] very quick response from the government at the highest level."
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