Chairman, Dr Iain Anderson

First floor, 9 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DD

Tel: 020 7276 5571 (fax. 020 7276 5573)



19 February 2002




The independent inquiry looking at the lessons to be learned from the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001 will visit Northumberland and County Durham on 5-6 March 2002. The Chairman of the Inquiry, Dr Iain Anderson, will visit key local sites and host meetings to listen to peoples views and impressions of what could be done in the future to ease the impact of an animal disease outbreak.


The visit to the North East is the fourth in a series around Britain to see first-hand those areas most badly affected by the disease. The Inquiry will be visiting key sites affected by the outbreak in Northumberland and County Durham and holding a public meeting in Newcastle. Dr Anderson and the inquiry team are looking to receive as broad a range of views as possible, all of which will contribute to the final report giving recommendations to the Government for the handling of any future animal disease outbreak.


Commenting on the fourth in the series of visits Dr Anderson said:


It is very clear as we travel around the country the extent to which Foot and Mouth has affected a huge number and range of businesses. I am determined to hear the facts of this suffering to inform my report fully and properly so that I can present the lessons to be learned for the future. That is the purpose of this visit.


A public meeting is being organised for the evening of Tuesday 5 March and will be held at the Newcastle Civic Centre in Newcastle at 1930. Dr Anderson and members of his inquiry team will wish to hear details, listen to views and opinions, as well as receive written submissions, of how the epidemic affected the region.


Earlier in the day and on the following day, Dr Anderson will meet representatives of the groups most affected by the crisis as well as the key players involved in tackling the disease - including those in the local community, businesses, farming and tourism. Again, Dr Anderson will be listening to their views and gathering information for the inquirys report.



Notes to editors


1.                 The inquirys frame of reference is set out in the attached framework document. The inquiry team is coming to Northumberland and County Durham to listen to the broad range of views available to inform its report to the Government as effectively and properly as possible. It has already visited the South West of England (22-24 January), Wales (6-7 February) and Scotland (14-15 February).

2.                 Members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting should contact Samantha Dooley at COI Conference Services, Rm 115, Hercules Road, London SE1 7DU (tel: 020 7261 8400/8385, fax: 020 7261 8588 or e-mail: Tickets will be allocated to individuals and distributed after the closing date of 5.00pm, Wednesday 27 February. Places at the public meeting are limited to 220 so entry is by ticket only. Written views can be sent via the website or to The Secretary, FMD Lessons Learned Inquiry, First Floor, 9 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DD.

3.                 If you have further questions on any of the above, please contact the inquirys press officer, Rupert Cazalet, on 020 7276 5571, or via e-mail at