19 March 2001
Chief vet meets Cumbrian farmers

By FWi staff

CHIEF veterinary officer Jim Scudamore is meeting farmers whose animals face compulsory slaughter in an attempt to control foot-and-mouth disease.

Mr Scudamore will attempt to persuade producers in Cumbria that the mass cull of up to one million apparently healthy animals is the best way forward.

His visit to Cumbria comes the day after agriculture minister Nick Brown warned that the cull may have to be extended to Devon.

A further 28 cases of foot-and-mouth disease were confirmed on Sunday (18 March), taking the total across Britain to 326.

But many farmers who cannot face the slaughter of healthy herds which have taken generations to breed say they will not comply with the culling order.

The Independent says the culling programme is “in chaos” with evidence that some farmers must wait a week for carcasses to be incinerated.

This strengthens the argument that it is impractical for the Ministry of Agriculture to contemplate the a pre-emptive mass slaughter of livestock, it says.

TheDaily Mail criticises a visit by junior agriculture minister Joyce Quin to Cumbria, which faces the brunt of the pre-emptive slaughter.

The newspaper accuses Mrs Quin of meeting local vets, union officials, hoteliers, “anyone but farmers”.

An appeal for farmers in the Mail has raised 2.13m in three days. The newspaper says it would be “shameful” if supermarkets did not add to this.

Meanwhile, the debate over reports that the Queen has questioned whether horse-racing should continue rolls on in The Daily Telegraph.

The Times says the Royal Family is at odds over the issue, after the Queen Mother attended a meeting at Sandown Park earlier this month.

The newspaper says the beginning of the Flat season raises the stakes, and a new ban could mean the loss of many millions of pounds.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage