FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE:

LESSONS LEARNED INQUIRY

 

Chairman, Dr Iain Anderson

First floor, 9 Whitehall, London SW1A 2DD

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

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22 January 2002

 

LESSONS LEARNED FOOT AND MOUTH INQUIRY VISITING WALES - 6-7 FEBRUARY 2002

 

The independent inquiry looking at the lessons to be learned from the Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001 will visit Wales on 6-7 February 2002. The Chairman of the Inquiry, Dr Iain Anderson, will visit key local sites and host meetings to listen to people's views and impressions of what could be done in the future to ease the impact of an animal disease outbreak.

 

The visit to Wales is the second in a series around Britain to see first-hand those areas most badly affected by the disease. The Inquiry will be visiting two of the three main areas of the outbreak in Wales, around Welshpool and over the border into Shropshire, and in the Brecon Beacons. 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 second in the series of visits Dr Anderson said:

 

"Wales was another of the areas of Britain hardest hit by the catastrophic outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease last year. Only by listening to people's views and hearing first hand what happened here in Wales can we frame our proposals to ensure that nothing like this happens again. That is the purpose of this visit."

 

A public meeting is being organised for the evening of Wednesday 6 February and will be held at the Montgomery Pavilion in the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells. Dr Anderson

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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 inquiry's report.

 

Speaking on the launch day of the inquiry on 14 December Dr Anderson said:

 

"The Foot and Mouth epidemic of 2001 was, in social and economic terms, one of the most fundamental and traumatic events for the country since the Second World War. It is essential that we all learn lessons from this. Today, there has been no confirmed case of foot and mouth disease since 30 September: it is now time for this independent Inquiry to begin.

 

"The Inquiry will be inclusive, and seeks views from everyone as to what lessons should be learned from the catastrophic outbreak of foot and mouth disease this year. We have been offered full co-operation by the Government.

 

"Our website will be an important source of information for people interested in the progress of the Inquiry and we are currently planning visits to affected regions in England, Scotland and Wales in early 2002. I encourage everyone with an interest to present their views to this Inquiry."

 



 

Notes to editors

 

1.                 The inquiry's frame of reference is set out in the attached framework document. The inquiry team is coming to Wales to listen to the broad range of views available to inform its report to the Government as effectively and properly as possible.

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: conferences@coi.gsi.gov.uk). Tickets will be allocated to individuals and distributed after the closing date of 5.00pm, Thursday 31st January. Places at the public meeting are limited to 350 so entry is by ticket only. Written views can be sent via the website www.fmd-lessonslearned.org.uk 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 inquiry's press officer, Rupert Cazalet, on 020 7276 5571, or via e-mail at rupert.cazalet@cabinet-office.x.gsi.gov.uk

 

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