Strong case for inquiry

28 September 2001

Strong case for inquiry

A REPORT by rural campaigners that says the governments response to foot-and-mouth was worse economically than the disease itself strengthens the case for a public inquiry, claim Opposition MPs.

Tory Party officials have backed the report from the Council for the Protection for Rural England, claiming it shows the need for a full and independent investigation.

The report, released on Monday (Sept 24), says the government made false assumptions about the modern economy and agricultures role in that.

Ministers failed to recognise the economy of rural areas cannot be isolated from the wider economy, it says.

Greg Hutcheon, the CPREs acting head of rural policy, said the government failed to appreciate how much businesses other than agriculture relied on an attractive countryside. "The initial response to close the countryside was based on the misnomer of a separate rural economy isolated from the rest of the economy.

"As a result, many businesses in both town and country, have experienced tremendous hardship and economic difficulties." &#42

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