17 August 2001

Countryside Alliance backs FWs initiativeountry

THE Countryside Alliance is the latest high-profile organisation to back FWs Say Yes to a Public Inquiry campaign.

Alliance chief executive Richard Burge, whose organisation represents 300,000 members, praised the petition which is being organised by FW, Horse&Hound, The Western Morning News, the Western Mail, The Journal from Newcastle and the Cumberland News.

"We support the farmers weekly initiative because the government owes it to the country to ensure that any foot-and-mouth inquiry is comprehensive, publicly transparent and truly independent," said Mr Burge.

"It is particularly important that the various inquiries should all be able to take evidence in public and have the power to summon ministers and their officials to give evidence. Unfortunately, the governments recent announcements on the proposed format for the inquiries suggest that they do not fit the bill."

More than 2m UK magazine and regional newspaper readers each week are being asked to support calls for a full public inquiry.

If you would like to back our campaign please sign the form on this page and encourage friends, family to do likewise.

Why not request a free poster to let the world know the strength of rural feeling backing calls for a public inquiry? FW will be pleased to supply posters to attach to farm gates, vehicles or buildings which will leave the nation in no doubt that only a full inquiry will answer all the controversial questions surrounding F&M.

And if you attend a farmers market, why not take some posters and petition forms along to help explain to the public why winning a full inquiry is so important to rural Britain?

For more petition forms and posters contact farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS (020-8652 4911, fax 020-8652 4005. Or you can email us at farmers.weekly@rbi.co.uk). Our campaign will run for two more weeks so dont miss your opportunity to have your say on this crucial topic. &#42

Dear Mr Blair,

Since you have taken a personal interest in the tragedy that is foot-and-mouth and, at one point, direct control of its handling, please make a firm commitment now to hold a full public inquiry into the F&M crisis.

As you are well aware, the epidemic has caused untold anguish within farming and rural communities, taken millions of animals lives and has cost our economy billions of £s.

For the sakes of those who have lost everything, even loved ones, please give them the consolation of knowing now that you are committed to a full, robust public inquiry.

After the carnage that has unfolded in our countryside, how could you deny such a request?

We look forward to speedy confirmation of your decision.

Yours sincerely,

Name…………………………………………………………………………………

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Address………………………………………………………………………………

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Please return your letters to Inquiry Please, farmers weekly, FREEPOST (CN 2908), Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5BR.

Should you wish to withhold your address, please sign the letter and attach your address on a separate sheet.