Initial tests on a farm in Surrey that was outside the exclusion zone have shown that, despite suspicions, Foot and Mouth is not present there. The farmer, Laurence Matthews, had called vets in after he saw possible visual symptoms of the disease on some of his young calves.

Mr Matthews had said that he was sure it was not Foot and Mouth, but was erring on the side of caution.

David Furson, President of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), has said that this latest news ?will come as a huge relief to worried farmers who are more than aware how fast such a virulent disease can spread.?

He goes on to say, ?The CLA is advising farmers and land managers to remain extremely vigilant.? Gordon Brown has declared that the UK is ?open for business?.

Meanwhile, The National Farmers? Union (NFU), has retained law firm Thring Townsend to carry out preliminary investigations on behalf of NFU members who have suffered losses as a result of this outbreak. NFU members have been invited to call the NFU?s Foot and Mouth legal helpline if they have any queries. The number is: 0870 840 0686.