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Country News - 2002

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Farmers take FMD case to Europe
Wednesday 03 April

THE National Farmers' Union, which has campaigned unsuccessfully for a full public enquiry into last year's foot and mouth outbreak, is to take its case to the European Union.

NFU President Ben Gill will give an account of the experiences of British farmers during the crisis when he gives evidence to the European Parliament investigation in Strasbourg next Monday.

Mr Gill commented: "The farming community and all those who have suffered because of foot and mouth deserve an independent and open investigation such as this and the NFU is pleased to be co-operating with it.

"There are many lessons to be learned, not only in the UK but in Europe too. Foot and mouth showed how vulnerable every country is when an outbreak happens anywhere in the European Union or the world."

And in a veiled attack on the British Government's refusal to hold a public enquiry, he said the EU committee investigating the outbreak "has stated clearly its intention to establish the truth regarding many issues that have achieved much publicity in the last 12 months.

"I welcome this. But it must be based on fact and reality and not on the wishes or unrealistic expectations of one sector or another."

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