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THE NATION

Disease Fears May Bar Import of Military Gear

May 13, 2001|From Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Large military equipment from Britain and the Netherlands might be barred from exercises at Ft. Bliss next month because of the threat of foot-and-mouth disease.

Defense Department officials have forbidden transport of the equipment by land from Beaumont, near Houston, to Ft. Bliss, a state agriculture official said Saturday. The equipment has yet to be loaded on cargo ships to come to the United States.

Officials fear the cargo might be contaminated with foot-and-mouth, and overland transport could bring the equipment into contact with animal herds.

The restrictions are part of the government's effort to protect the U.S. from foot-and-mouth disease, which has affected livestock in Europe, particularly Britain.

Texas has the country's largest herds of cattle, sheep and goats, animals that are susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease.

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