I write after having read the article published entitled 'Cumbria's story' in your issue dated 21st March.
There are many farmers who have met Nick Green, co-founder of the Heart of Cumbria group, and have also, through meetings arranged by Heart of Cumbria and other groups, met Dr Richard North and Dr Ruth Watkins. These farmers will stand testament to the unfailing commitment given by Nick Green to selflessly provide as much information to the farming community as possible. These farmers respect Dr Richard North with his unique and learned understanding of the EU laws that affect the way the FMD epidemic was handled in this country. These farmers will know of Dr Ruth Watkins, and her tireless energy in attending meeetings throughout Cumbria to help bring an understanding of the real science behind FMD. These farmers will also bear witness to the contrast of the lack of information given by the Government and some organisations to bring information about FMD to the farming community.
One part of the article referred to Ruth Watkins having Doctor before her name, but were you also aware that she has BSc HonsMBBS MSC MRCP MRCPath after her name as well? Ruth is extremely knowledgeable about FMD, more so than many other figureheads of the debate, such as the NFU and DEFRA. Perhaps the NFU would finally like to give us their scientific credentials to qualify the rubbish they have contributed to the debate about vaccination in FMD. Perhaps the NFU would like to offer someone who could contribute to a debate with Ruth with the same level of understanding I doubt it.
I, along with the majority of Cumbrians who have met these speakers am deeply thankful for their passion and intelligence and don't believe that there is a bigger and more credible voice, that is unless the Government would like to begin to address the farming community with the same degree of respect, passion, intelligence but above all truthfulness.