Ireland has reported its first case of foot and mouth disease, making it the fourth European country to fall victim of the highly contagious disease. Tests on tissue samples taken from sheep on a farm in north County Louth, near the border with Northern Ireland, had proved positive said Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. The farm was within a 10-km (6 mile) exclusion zone placed around the holding in County Armagh where Northern Ireland's only outbreak of the disease was confirmed earlier this month. Ireland immediately suspended animal product exports abroad, with the EU expected to deliver its own ban on exports to the other 15 member states very soon.