The Veterinary Record July 28th

FMD inquiry

SIR, -

As the Council members who proposed the motion for an independent inquiry into the FMD outbreak, which was unanimously accepted at the June meeting of RCVS Council (see VR, June 16, pp 733-735), we are concerned at the repeated misrepresentation, in Parliament, of what it said.

It unambiguously called for an independent inquiry, once the outbreak is over, modelled on the Northumberland report into the 1967/68 outbreak.

It recognised that a Phillips' BSE-style report, vast and slow, was not the appropriate model.

To repeatedly represent that as not wishing for an independent inquiry stretches truth to its extreme limits.

RCVS Council was quite clear that an inquiry merely into the scientific aspects, as originally suggested to it, was insufficient. The inquiry must be free to pursue all aspects, including the political aspects, with the aim of learning lessons for the future.

Barry Johnson,
Bob Michell,