7 September 2001

MEPs pressure EU Parliament

CONSERVATIVE MEPs are demanding a full inquiry by the European Parliament into the foot-and-mouth crisis, covering such issues as imports of meat from Third countries, alternative methods of control and compensation for farmers.

Speaking ahead of an urgency debate in Strasbourg on Thursday (Sept 6), farm spokesman Robert Sturdy warned that the re-emergence of F&M in Northumberland, combined with the cooler weather, increased the risk of the disease crossing to mainland Europe again.

"The EU must ensure it takes the most effective preventative action and the best way to determine what this should be is a full-scale inquiry," he said. "The European Parliament, which has already conducted an inquiry into BSE, is the right place to examine the financial, animal health and farming implications."

But not everyone in Brussels agrees. The EU Commission is organising an international conference on Dec 12 and 13 to see what F&M lessons can be learned. &#42