...until we win a full, independent, public inquiry into the disaster which was Foot and Mouth, we cannot do what I am sure we all desperately want to do, which is to draw a line under the past and move on. The truth must out."Didi writes: I have copied below some comments from Anthony Gibson, the NFU South West Regional Director, taken from this month's local NFU magazine. I know that many people are none too happy with the NFU (to put it mildly) but Anthony Gibson is different!
Last March he referred to the contiguous cull as medieval and barbaric - his daily chats on Radio Devon and TV South West were a life line to many farmers.
"FMD was not some minor local difficulty. It was a major national catastrophe, which cost the lives of over 6 million animals, cost the taxpayer over £2 billion and which damaged lives and destroyed livelihoods on thousands of farms and rural businesses.
Of all of the questions which require an answer, perhaps the most pressing concerns "the lost month". The first case of the disease was confirmed on February 20. Why was it not until March 21 that the Government finally brought in the army? Why, through all of the intervening period, as cases multiplied and chaos reigned, did Nick Brown and his MAFF civil servants stubbornly insist that the disease was "under control"?
Was it incompetence, or was it political? Was the reason for the delay in bringing in the military the fact that this would signal an emergency, and an emergency would mean the postponement of the General Election?
We need to know, not least because it was the fact that the disease got out of control during that lost month which led directly to the horrors of the contiguous cull.
....But until we win a full, independent, public inquiry into the disaster which was Foot and Mouth, we cannot do what I am sure we all desperately want to do, which is to draw a line under the past and move on. The truth must out."