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Country News - 2002

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Government braced for FMD pounding
Monday 22 July

THE long-awaited Anderson report into the Government's handling of last year's foot and mouth disaster will be released later today - and is widely exp-expected to contain some searing criticisms. Details of the report were widely leaked over the weekend to give Government supporters and spin-doctors a chance to prepare their defences but that is unlikely to soften the blow. The enquiry led by Dr Iain Anderson and called Lessons to be Learned is expected to lambaste the former Ministry of Agriculture - scrapped as a result of the outbreak- and also raise serious questions about stances taken by farmers' leaders and supermarket chains. Criticism will be levelled at:
  • MAFF for crucial delays in stopping animal movements when the outbreak was first reported - and even longer delays in calling in the Army.
  • The lack of an adequate action plan and a shortage of vaccines - although MAFF had been warned in1999 that a serious outbreak of FMD could arrive at any time
  • The supermarket chains, which are believed to have held back a possible vaccination campaign by saying they would refuse to sell meat from vaccinated animals
  • And the NFU for also coming out against vaccination - mainly because of the supermarket threat.
Daelnet will give more details, and reaction to the report, tomorrow.
 
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