Hundreds of animals have died and several more found to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Authorities have swung into action to contain the disease with a massive vaccination drive. All animal fairs in the region have been cancelled and animals in zoos were being vaccinated to try to stem the spread of the disease. The Star TV news is quoted by UPI as saying that, although reports of the disease are almost as old as dairy farming in India, it is now turning into a virtual epidemic in the Uttar Pradesh state, India's most populous. Government records show that since February 400 animals have died and more than 3,000 others were infected. Other analysts say the number is much higher. Besides the vaccination drive, the government has begun to educate farmers on the importance of hygiene for themselves and their livestock. The spread of foot-and-mouth disease in India is likely to damage the meat exporting market, which caters to a large number of Persian Gulf and Middle Eastern countries.
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