Preliminary tests on samples taken from pigs at a meat plant in Co Carlow have shown no evidence of foot and mouth disease. 

The initial results were released this morning after tests were carried out at a laboratory in Purbright in England. 

The final results will be available within the next two days. 

In the meantime, the meat plant near Tullow and the farm from which the animals came will remain closed. 

The results have been welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture, Mary Coughlan. 

Concern was raised on Friday when a number of pigs were found to have symptoms similar to those of foot and mouth.