The exact location of the farm has not been revealed but DEFRA are taking the case seriously and have taken the appropriate contingency measures.

A spokeswoman for DEFRA said it was “not unusual” to put a temporary control zone in place.

“We’re being ultra-cautious at this point,” she said. “There’s a continuing need for relentless vigilance in response to foot and mouth disease.”

Debby Reynolds, Chief Veterinary Officer, said: “The containment and eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease remains our priority. This is why we have moved swiftly to put in place a temporary control zone while we investigate this development in Kent. At this stage disease has not been confirmed, laboratory results will follow.

“We are in a crucial week for vigilance and planning next steps. Today’s developments are part of our ongoing surveillance and testing and I would take this opportunity to reiterate the need for the highest standards of biosecurity on farms, and for people to remain vigilant for disease and report any suspicions quickly.”

For more information visit www.defra.gov.uk