8 March 2001
Intensive farming and foot-and-mouth

HOW can this be? The environment minster and the PM say intensive farming is something to do with this present outbreak of foot-and-mouth.

And this Government knows what it is talking about – to quote Nick Brown on Frost last Sunday, “of course it is all right for the public to walk in parks, indeed also our National Parks, as long as you stay away from livestock”.

Its a pity someone in his office in Hhitehall never informed him that 90% of the area covered by National Parks is made up of farmland, and believe it or not it has – yes – livestock on it, but they know all about the countryside and they do not need us shit-shovelling, straw-chewing yokels to tell them anything.

Im an Exmoor beef and sheep farmer, probably more organic than some registered organic producers, but as I am not registered – yes, you have got it – this Government classes me as “intensive”, since in their eyes there are only two options – it saves on administration.
A Hawkins, Exmoor
hawkins@warendrive.fsnet.co.uk