The government unveiled new powers yesterday designed to prevent legal challenges from slowing down a policy to cull animals during any future disease outbreaks. The new law will be implemented early next year, and is aimed ostensibly at speeding up the slaughter of animals as the foot and mouth crisis rumbles on. There have actually been no new cases of the highly contagious virus since 30 September, but the government has remained adamant that strict measures should be taken to deal with any potential outbreaks.