14 March 2001
Appeal to MP for help
LETTER to Paul Keetch, Lib-Dem MP for Hereford:
AS you will well understand, there is a great deal of anxiety in this district
at the moment.
The area around the Herefordshire outbreak is surrounded by several smaller cattle and sheep dealers farms.
As such it has put the area under a great deal of risk.
There is a feeling around here that MAFF is not moving as fast as it might, both before and after an outbreak has been confirmed.
This is not confined to this area.
There is a rather horrendous account of MAFFs slow reaction to getting things done and the stock slaughtered and destroyed at the original site in Essex in an article by Jim Padfield in the farming press.
The infected case was at his brother-in-laws, so his story is based on fact.
We know that MAFF is under great pressure and short of staff, but I am getting the message from people around here that they are not happy with the way that suspects are being dealt with and that information on suspect cases should be made readily available as a matter of urgency, both locally and to the NFU Regional and local offices.
They have been very good at disseminating what information that they can get hold of.
I hope that you can bring this to the attention of those who need to know!