22 August 2001
Devon to hold virus public inquiry

By John Burns, south-west of England correspondent

DEVON County Council has announced the programme for its own public inquiry into the foot-and-mouth outbreak in the county.

Evidence is invited from “the various agencies and special interest groups involved in responding to the outbreak”.

Public hearings will take place 8 and 12 October. Members of the public are invited to submit their evidence in writing not later than 28 September.

They can do this either via the councils website or special submission forms available from the council. District councils will also be involved.

The Government has come under heavy criticism for deciding to hold three independent inquiries rather than a single public inquiry.

On Monday (20 August) 600 protesters marched on Downing Street to demand that Tony Blair change his mind.

The Devon inquirys reports will be organised in a way which allows presentation of its evidence to the three government inquiries.

The information and conclusions will be used to help formulate and execute a Devon Foot and Mouth Recovery Plan.

It will also be used as evidence to back up bids for Government funding for that recovery plan.

There have been 173 confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth in Devon.

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