23 November 2001

First session in disease inquiry

THE Royal Society inquiry into infectious diseases will hold its first oral sessions next week with senior government, farming and veterinary representatives.

Officials report that the inquiry, one of three investigations set up by the government, has reached the end of its first stage and is now ready to start holding full hearings.

Sub-groups set up to look at issues such as vaccination or predication and prevention in more detail have already had oral sessions with relevant experts and authorities. The inquiry has also received more than 130 written responses to its initial call for views.

The progress report came as foot-and-mouth restrictions were lifted from more than 3000 farms around Skipton in North Yorkshire. &#42