China ‘covers up’ FMD outbreak
Dabailou village, May 24:
In the idyllic setting of the Beijing countryside a short drive north of the Great Wall, a secret slaughter is taking place. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of cows have been killed in Dabailou village since the start of the month in a frantic attempt to stem one of China’s worst foot and mouth disease (FMD) scares. But instead of warning the nation’s farmers and turning the village into a quarantine area, the authorities have mounted a botched attempt to cover up the news. In the wake of recent outbreaks of SARS and bird flu, Beijing promised to be more open in its reporting of disease control.