David Lidington: Report exposes negligence and incompetence of Government over Foot and Mouth 

 

Commenting on the Foot and Mouth Report published by the Public Accounts Committee, David Lidington, Shadow Secretary of State, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:

 

“This is a devastating indictment of the Government’s negligence and incompetence.

 

“Contingency planning was inadequate. The Army was brought in too late. A livestock movement ban could and should have been brought in on day one, as happened in the Netherlands.

 

“What is so worrying now is the lack of action to guard against a future epidemic.

 

DEFRA’s performance in tackling illegal meat imports has been pitifully weak and slow. Plans to use vaccination to help control a new outbreak are at best sketchy.

 

“The Royal Society’s report into the epidemic warned that the growth of transcontinental travel and the development of global trade was bound to make it easier for animal and plant diseases to spread around the world.  Much better surveillance is needed at both national and international level.

 

“DEFRA has yet to grasp the urgency of the need for effective action.”

 

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