SO SWEEPING has been the foot-and-mouth tragedy in the UK, that British farmers might be forgiven for assuming that they have been singled out for retribution by the Almighty, in return for long forgotten sins.

This is far from being the truth, of course. Foot-and-mouth outbreaks are springing out across the world, like a teenager's acne. And in two cases - Argentina and Uruguay - the disease has struck two countries where the livestock industry is crucial to the local economies, far more so that in services-dominated ...

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