1 March 2002

F&Mpetition

A PARLIAMENTARY petition with 250,000 signatures backing a public inquiry into the handling of foot-and-mouth disease has been delivered to the Houses of Parliament.

Petition organisers planned to arrive at Westminster in a black horse-drawn hearse, carrying a black coffin with the phrase The Death of the Truth emblazoned across its side yesterday afternoon (Thursday).

Six farmers were to carry the coffin from the gate up the steps to St Stephens entrance, accompanied by a lone piper playing a lament, before presenting it to shadow attorney general Bill Cash. &#42

The petition, organised by Glos farmer Sarah Apsley, was launched in September 2001.

"The government must hold a full public inquiry instead of the three so-called independent inquiries set up last year. The entire country knows that they are a whitewash. They are definitely not open and they are certainly not independent," she said.