The bid to monitor, detect and control mad cow in the Balearics yesterday received a 150 million peseta boost from central government. Half of the funding is be spent on the development of a mad cow control scheme with which the local authorities and the Balearic Ministry for Agriculture hopes to be able to keep a check on the disease in order to be able to respond quickly. The rest of the central government funding is to be invested in a Balearic livestock health plan. The proposals for the extra funding were put forward to Madrid by the Balearic Agriculture Ministry which now has its own laboratory in Majorca where quick post mortem checks can be carried out on suspect cattle. Madrid expects, however, that the extra funding will enable local farming authorities to keep a check on all diseases that could affect livestock and have a seriously damaging affect on the farming industry and cost farmers money as has been the case in the Balearics with the mad cow crisis and the Blue Tongue virus which hit sheep flocks last September.

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