8th November 2001


Landmark legal case mounted to recover £5.1bn lost to rural businesses

The UK Rural Business Campaign was officially established today with two principal aims.

First to seek compensation from the government for losses suffered by all businesses involved in the rural economy, wherever located in the UK, as a result of mal- administration and human rights breaches. The English and Welsh Tourist Boards have estimated that £5.1 billion in turnover has been lost by rural businesses since the foot and mouth outbreak began in February this year.

Secondly, to challenge, through the courts, proposed legislation to allow the culling of any animal without right of appeal. This could affect every animal and pet owner in the country.

Today in Birmingham the Campaign Committee was formed involving representatives of the equestrian, livestock auctioneering, farming, tourist related and other rural dependent industries (including many urban based companies) and the 6,000 member National Foot and Mouth Group.

The Chairman of the Campaign, Ian Mitchell a chartered accountant from Brecon, Powys, said "This sees the start of a national fight for compensation for thousands of people whose lives have been ruined by the governments actions."

Stephen Alexander, partner in Class Law Solicitors added, "This will be a landmark case in respect of the individual's right to carry on business without damage caused by the government. We shall be invoking human rights legislation as well as showing that the government acted negligently and in breach of statutory duty."

Anyone wishing to join the Campaign may do so through the web-site
ENDS For further information please contact:
Ian Mitchell on 01874 624 646
Stephen Alexander 020 7724 2526 Mobile 07770 915 974
Adrian Lithgow, Lehmann Communications 020 7266 3020