SHADOW DEFRA secretary Tim Yeo has put forward a Parliamentary question to find out whether the government has shredded any files about the origins of the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The question has been submitted by the Tory MP in light of the Freedom of Information Act which came into effect on Jan 1, 2005.

Mr Yeo has also asked four other questions relating to the outbreak to see if he can access more information now the Act has come into force.

These questions include whether there is any possibility that the disease was present in UK livestock before it was discovered at a pig farm in Northumberland.

The questions are just a few of 120 questions submitted by senior shadow ministers in light of the Freedom of Information Act.

Julian Lewis, shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, who is co-ordinating the exercise said: “It would be fascinating to have even a few of these questions properly answered, but people should not hold their breath. 

“If the evidence has not already been shredded, the government will try to keep it firmly out of sight.”