This was handed in to Maff Exeter in a demonstration organised by the Green Party.



Having noted that thousands of MAFF staff have worked hard to make the best of a very bad job, but also noting that hundreds of farmers, smallholders and pet owners have been bullied into accepting MAFFs disastrous policies in recent months since Foot and Mouth Disease broke out, and that the Westcountrys tourist industry is in tatters, we demand of MAFF and the government the following:

  1. That it swallows its pride and admits that the culling policy, as adopted by Europe following Britains example, was disastrous and needs to be changed straightaway.
  2. That it ends enforced culling of uninfected animals now and allows for vaccination wherever the owners of animals request it, be they farmers, keepers of rare breeds or pet owners.
  3. That it will start a complete review of FMD treatment, and considers alternative treatment options that allow for quarantine instead of slaughter of infected animals.
  4. That it recognises that the financial losses to meat exporters if losing Foot and Mouth free status are tiny compared with the misery caused by the culling policy and the damage done to Britains tourist industry and image abroad.
  5. That it recognises that animals are not just a commodity, that can be destroyed at will to protect some peoples profit figures.
  6. That it apologises to the hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered (and continue to suffer) needlessly because of MAFFs policies, rather than because of foot and mouth disease iself.
  7. That the government will order a full public enquiry into this shambles.
  8. That the ministry will start to see our family farms as our greatest assets in running a healthy farm economy, and will encourage new entrants into farming, rather than overseeing bankruptcy of many rural businesses.
  9. That it will stop supporting worldwide free trade in food crops as the only available option, and open a debate on regionalisation of food production of which we can be proud.
  10. That it will recognise that producing food is about more than making a profit, and is also a way of life that is intrinsically valuable, with strong ethical and social merits besides making a living.

We, farmers and concerned people of the South West, urge the government to start the needed overhaul of agricultural policies now without delay.