Mainland authorities have culled hundreds of cattle and sheep to contain the nation's first two reported outbreaks this year of highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease. The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday said the outbreaks in Ningxia and Jiangsu were under control. In Ningxia's Zhongwei city , two cows were found to have blisters characteristic of the disease on January 4, and one of the animals died the next day. Twenty cows also showed signs of foot-and-mouth in Xuzhou city , Jiangsu. The National Foot-and-Mouth Disease Reference Laboratory confirmed the Ningxia case on January 14 and the Jiangsu outbreak two days later. Authorities destroyed 89 cattle and 110 sheep in Ningxia, and 100 cattle in Jiangsu. Other animals in the affected or threatened areas were vaccinated, the ministry said. Beijing is not obliged to report to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, but it was notified of the outbreaks on Monday. 'I think [that it's under control]. Food-and-mouth disease occurs now and then in China and Asia. It's a common disease,' said Hans Wagner, of the FAO's regional office for Asia and the Pacific. The World Organisation for Animal Health was also notified on Monday. Last year, foot-and-mouth outbreaks were detected in several provinces including Hebei , Gansu , Qinghai , Jiangsu and Shandong .