MPs renew calls for virus inquiry

29 October 2001

MPs renew calls for virus inquiry

By FWi staff

OPPOSITION MPs have renewed calls for a public inquiry into foot-and-mouth following the publication of the Devon report into the crisis

The preliminary report from the Devon foot-and-mouth inquiry proves the need for a full public inquiry into the epidemic, they said.

The report, published on Monday (29 October) brands the governments handling of the crisis as lamentable.

Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary Peter Ainsworth said it was probable that shortcomings identified in Devon had been repeated elsewhere.

It is disgraceful that the Government seems more set on running away from its own responsibilities than on establishing what went wrong and why.

The governments half-hearted participation in the Devon inquiry was an insult to thousands of people who had suffered, said Mr Ainsworth.

Refusing to hold a full inquiry would only deepen the sense of anger felt by millions across the whole of the country, he said.

Lib Dem Rural Affairs spokesman Malcolm Bruce said it was ironic that farmers were more comfortable dealing with the army than the government.

Once the army were in control people felt that the epidemic was being handled effectively and responsibly, he said.

It is clear that to prevent future devastating outbreaks there must be a fundamental review of all procedures.

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