Following the confirmation of the first two cases of foot-and-mouth disease in the Netherlands on Wednesday, the European Commission imposed protective measures. The dispatch of live animals susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease from anywhere in the Netherlands is prohibited. In addition, the consignment of fresh meat and meat products, milk and milk products and other animal products from these species from the provinces of Gelderland, Overijsel, Flevoland and Noord-Brabant is prohibited, unless these products are treated appropriately. Vehicles used for the transport of livestock and milk have to be disinfected. The decision will be applicable until 4 April. The situation in the Netherlands, including the possible resort to emergency vaccination in the 1 km area around the two outbreaks, will be discussed at a special meeting of the Select Veterinary Committee on 23 March 2001. The two outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease were confirmed today in the Netherlands on two farms in the province of Gelderland and Overijsel. Protection and surveillance zones had already been set up around these farms and around two in-contact farms in Noord-Brabant and Gelderland. Following the outbreak of the disease in the United Kingdom, on 8 March the Commission adopted restrictions on movements of animals susceptible to foot-and-mouth disease throughout the European Union. The number of confirmed cases in the United Kingdom stands at 435, with 40 confirmed on Wednesday. Professor Roy Anderson, an epidemiologist called in by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Maff) to advise on the course of the crisis told BBC Two's Newsnight programme on Wednesday that this was likely to be the worst epidemic of the disease the country had seen. He added that if the number of cases continued to increase at an average of two every hour, the epidemic would continue for months, peaking in May and lasting until August.