Scientists at USDA have developed a quick test to detect foot-and-mouth disease.

The new diagnostic test can determine the presence of FMD disease in cattle, hogs, sheep and other cloven-hoofed animals in 40 minutes, compared with 40 hours with current tests.

The discovery was announced by Floyd P. Horn, administrator of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, in testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee.

``Quick detection is critical to preventing spread of the disease,' Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, said in a statement. ``It took three weeks to identify the recent outbreak in the United Kingdom and six weeks in Taiwan.'

Horn said his agency is using the diagnostic test in Britain this week.