Scientists at England’s Institute of Animal Health have announced the development of a new testing system for foot-and-mouth disease. Nigel Ferris, with the institute, say that producers can easily use the rapid test on their own animals.

According to a news article, by taking a small sample from suspected animals the new testing equipment can give a positive or negative answer within 10 minutes. The small, hand-held device is based on the same equipment that is used for human pregnancy tests, "This is the biggest breakthrough in the fight against for and mouth in the last 50 years," say the scientists..

In recent FMD outbreaks, by the time test results returned from the laboratory to confirm the disease, it had already traveled to other producers' properties.

England’s farming community has faced severe outbreaks of FMD in 1958,1963,1967 and 2000, causing emotional and financial distress to whole communities, notes Ferris. The 1967 outbreak, resulted in the ban on carcass beef that has remained in place for 41 years.