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Foot-and-Mouth Disease Mounts Toll on Britain

British agriculture officials trying to snuff out a highly contagious disease among livestock have expanded the slaughter of farm animals. CBS News correspondent Tom Fenton reports that there are new worries about the mounting toll on tourism and the growing farmers' resistance.


The British government is plowing ahead with its policy of slaughter and burn. But not only is it losing the battle against foot-and-mouth disease, it's also losing the support of farmers.


Many are resisting the latest decision from the government's chief veterinarian to kill even apparently healthy animals in an effort to create disease-free zones.


Foot-and-mouth disease has spread so rapidly that it is now found in almost all parts of Britain, and the country is beginning to count the cost. Agriculture rakes in $13 billion a year here, but tourism brings in much more--almost $100 billion. Experts say it's a tragedy that farmers have to kill their livestock, but it would be an economic catastrophe if tourists stop coming to see Buckingham palace and all the other sightseeing spots because of fear associated with foot and mouth.


Many tourists don't know what to make of the crisis. "It's frightening, and as a tourist you're just like, 'What is it all about?' You feel isolated; you don't know," says John Finkenbinder, a traveler from Atlanta, Georgia.


In popular areas like the Lake District--which usually attracts large numbers of tourists in the spring--it's now possible to wander around without seeing much of a crowd.


Those who are planning the government's strategy say there are looking at the big picture. But the big picture may be made up of a lot of little stories--many about angry farmers.

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