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"It also contributes to Defra's Accessibility Commitment and to meeting Lord Filkins [Labour] requirement for public bodies to work actively during 2004 to identify and make available unpublished information holdings in which there is a strong public interest."

Animal Health and Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw


Is Bradshaw saying then, that the information and the full data-set held on the FMD 2001 fiasco is NOT being made public because there is not a, "strong public interest"?  


Accessibility is one of Defra's core values. We are committed to promoting and actively developing, internally and externally, a culture of openness, transparency and customer focus.

These principles are enshrined in Defra's Accessibility Commitment. The commitment seeks to articulate clearly to our staff, stakeholders and the wider public how we set about creating a more open and transparent Department.

Publication scheme

We will actively publish and release information. We will maintain a Publication scheme, as required by the Freedom of Information Act, which will set out commitments to publish certain categories of information. The Information Commissioner has approved our scheme. We shall publish information in accordance with it and shall monitor and review its operation in the light of public feedback, taking account of demand for information. Exemptions to this commitment to proactive publication will be clearly defined in the Scheme. But this is not the full extent of what we will make available. We will release information on request wherever possible.


Ref :

For the first time ever for a major epidemic we have most of the salient data available in electronic form. This dataset is available to any bona-fide researcher world-wide who is prepared to observe modest confidentiality conditions.

Some elements of the data have no data protection implications and these are presented for public consumption. The elements show in graphical form how the epidemic progressed and regressed and how the numbers of animals destroyed accumulated on a county by county basis.

In the deeper archive, for the academic researcher, all the data elements that we collected are accessible and we provide a managed service to make access to large data sets by means of FTP or CD ROM possible.


I would like to think I am a bona-fide researcher into FMD, but can I get into that data?  No Sir!    I wonder what the "modest confidentiality conditions" are?