A Solihull farm at the centre of a suspected foot and mouth case was given the all-clear last night.

A 3km (1.8-mile) zone set up on Wednesday around Woodhouse Farm, in Catherine-de-Barnes Lane in Bickenhill, was lifted after tests on animals for the disease proved negative, Defra said.

Earlier, John Cattell, the son of Anne and Geoffrey Cattell who run Woodhouse Farm, had spoken of their confusion as they waited for the test results.

Mr Cattell, who runs the Hopwood Organic Farm in Bickenhill Lane, less than a mile from his parents' business, said: "I don't really know what's going on. It's all up in the air at the moment."

The alert was raised by Geoffrey Cattell when he became worried after a bull on his land began frothing at the mouth.

As well as the zone around the farm, a wider 12 square mile control area, including parts of Birmingham Airport and the NEC, inside which no susceptible cattle could be transported was also imposed on Wednesday.

Maggie Throup, the Conservative parliamentary spokeswoman for Solihull, last night praised Mr Cattell and described the lifting of the restrictions as excellent news.

"Knowing the Cattells, it's fantastic news for them. Geoff showed great responsibility and he's been praised by local farmers as one of the best in the business," she said.

There have so far been five confirmed cases of foot and mouth in Surrey since the initial outbreak at the start of August.