Government to reveal recovery plan

17 October 2001

Government to reveal recovery plan

By FWi staff

THE government is expected to unveil its blueprint for a rural recovery in the wake of the foot-and-mouth crisis on Thursday (18 October).

Lord Haskins, appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair as rural recovery co-ordinator, has spent three months researching his report.

The Labour peer was asked to investigate how communities could bounce back from the impact of the disease on farming and the rural economy.

At one point during his investigation, the Northern Foods chairman predicted that half Britains farms could disappear within 20 years.

He was quoted by a national newspaper as saying that British farmers were “molly-coddled” by subsidies – an accusation he later denied.

Meanwhile, a report from the Devon public inquiry into foot-and-mouth is being prepared for the governments commission on the future of farming.

Inquiry chairman Ian Mercer said his initial findings would be prepared in time to meet the deadline for submissions next Friday (26 October).

Prof Mercer said some issues had “leapt out” repeatedly during the five-day inquiry which ended last Friday (October 13).

There appeared to be a lack of contingency planning to deal with a foot-and-mouth outbreak and it was sometimes difficult to know who was in control.


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