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Mar 12 2004


A VET'S admission he could have prevented foot-and-mouth in 2001 should lead to a public inquiry, an MP said yesterday.

In a memo leaked last week, Jim Dring said the outbreak "would never have come about" if his inspection of the farm where it started had been better.

Yesterday Lib-Dem Andrew George said the "narrow but critical issue" of his evidence was enough to justify the public inquiry previously rejected by ministers.

Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said while Mr Dring's memo was not submitted to the Anderson inquiry into the outbreak, the issues it raised were discussed.

She added it would be "wholly wrong" to say Mr Dring was "responsible".