MAFF officials are looking to widen the mass cull of animals in a bid to try and halt the spread of foot and mouth disease.

The number of cases in the Bringsty area have risen to three this week and already hundreds of animals have been killed.

MAFF is now looking to cull flocks and herds that may have been in contact with diseased animals, even if they appear healthy.

That has already taken place at a farm at Crown East, near Rushwick, which had links with one of the infected farms at Bringsty.

As well of the case at Grove Farm, Bringsty, reported last Thursday, there have now been confirmed outbreaks at Home Farm, where 249 sheep and 127 cattle have been culled, and Brock-hall Farm, where 62 sheep have been killed.

Worcester-based MAFF vet Richard Grenville said that investigations were carrying on in Herefordshire and Worcestershire "on a daily basis".

But he said regular visits to farms by vets were giving rise to rumours of outbreaks where none existed.