Overwhelming case for virus inquiry

30 October 2001

Overwhelming case for virus inquiry

By Adrienne Francis

THE case for a public inquiry into foot-and-mouth is overwhelming after the publication of the Devon report into the crisis, says the Daily Telegraph.

The suspicion that the full scale of the calamity could have been avoided warrants a proper investigation, says the leader opinion in the paper.

There have been two freelance investigations into the crisis, one by Devon County Council and one by the magazine Private Eye, it adds.

“The findings of both unofficial studies are damning,” the paper says, and many key questions remain unanswered.

Ministers have refused to set up a public tribunal despite a petition of more than 100,000 signatures organised by Farmers Weekly, it continues.

Many country people are convinced that ministers are reluctant to allow a public inquiry for one reason, the paper says.

They fear it would reveal that their action to the disease was dictated by electoral rather than veterinary criteria.

The paper concludes: Without a full inquiry, who is to say that this suspicion is unfounded?

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