Scotland to conduct independent inquiry into foot and mouth disease

Scotland is to get its own inquiry into the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Surrey.

Former chief veterinary officer Jim Scudamore will conduct the inquiry which will focus on the response made north of the border.

Announcing the inquiry to the Scottish Parliament, rural affairs minister Richard Lochhead said that action was taken quickly to ban livestock movements, just hours after the presence of the disease was confirmed in Surrey on 3 August.

Mr Lochhead pointed out to MSPs that movements direct to slaughter were able to resume four days into the outbreak, which he described as an “unprecedented achievement”.

But he said nobody could afford to be complacent, and announced the commissioning of an independent review.

“I am also commissioning research into the economic impacts of the movement ban and the relaxations we were able to introduce,” he added.

“This is important in guiding our future response and ensuring our actions are proportionate,”  he added.