The Balearic Ministry for Agriculture was yesterday informed of the foot and mouth preventive measures which are to be introduced this morning in the Balearics and across Spain. While no live animals have been imported from Britain over the past three years, thus ruling out any chance of a foot and mouth outbreak in the Balearics, according to the Balearic government, the local authority has been ordered to take preventive action. For the next ten days, the Ministry for Agriculture has prohibited concentrations of herbivores or cud chewing animals, pigs and horses at fairs, markets, auctions and certain farms across the whole country. What is more, any animals or livestock part of a large concentration, will have to stay put until the restrictions are lifted. One final precaution is a complete ban on the movement of live animals, semen, ovum and baby sheep and goats. The ban of large gatherings of horses will put the trotting races at Son Pardo in jeopardy this weekend as local and national agricultural authorities leave nothing to chance with the country still gripped by the mad cow crisis. After terrorism and unemployment, the mad cow crisis is what concerns Spaniards most, according to the latest public opinion polls carried out by the CIS Sociological Research Centre. Half of the population say they are very worried about the situation, with 70 per cent more concerned about terrorism and 59.7 per cent about unemployment. A further 21.6 per cent believe that the mad cow crisis is the biggest problem facing Spain at the moment. Furthermore, over a third of the country complained that too little information has been provided by the authorities about mad cow. With regards to the controls introduced by the Spanish government, and steps taken by the European Union, 41.2 per cent of the general public has none or little confidence in what the government has done. The last opinion poll was carried out in November, when only 1.1 per cent said that the mad cow crisis was Spain's biggest problem. Concern has risen sharply over the past few months and two more cases were reported in Spain yesterday.
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