From this week's Farmers Guardian (March 15 2002)

Contingency plan would: Leave Countryside open
Keep the contiguous cull

All animal movements would be stopped countrywide on confirmation of a case of foot and mouth disease if a draft set of recommendations in a DEFRA working document became the Government contingency plan.

But the countryside would stay open to the public, with footpaths closed only if deemed absolutely necessary by a Government vet.

The controversial contiguous cull would be kept as a key control measure in the event of another outbreak.

This will be small comfort to those farmers whose livelihoods would come to an abrupt standstill even if their animals were hundreds of miles away from a confirmed case.

Farmers will also be angered that while they will face the strictest possible measures of control in the event of a confirmed case. Government fears of a repeat collapse in domestic tourism means that the public will still be allowed to roam the countryside and risk spreading the disease.

The Government has still not made up its mind over vaccination and continued its stance in the document of keeping it in reserve as a separate strategy - but not an alternative to slaughter.....