These proposals were leaked to The Times before being disclosed to Parliament and before any debate has taken place on the various Inquiries. Why? We note with incredulity the fourth proposal: A slaughter policy to control disease It is as if no Inquiry ever took place.

From The Times October 22

THE main proposals from the Government’s draft response to the foot-and-mouth inquiries from Dr Iain Anderson in his Lessons Learnt report and Sir Brian Follett in the Royal Society’s scientific report:

  • Farmers to cover half the cost of future outbreaks through insurance or a disease levy
  • Valuations to be strictly controlled with fixed fees
  • Long-term plan to phase out valuation and impose compulsory compensation rates on farmers for loss of animals
  • A slaughter policy to control disease. Emergency vaccination as a first resort
  • Meat and milk from vaccinated animals to go into food chain
  • A national animal movement ban and suspension of livestock markets after confirmation of first case
  • Army to be alerted immediately to consider their involvement
  • No closedown of the countryside — footpaths closed only within a mile of an infected farm
  • An emergency cadre of civil servants to take control of outbreak
  • New enforcement measures on illegal imports
  • New role for private vets in surveillance
  • Vets and officials to be given TV and radio training to improve public information
  • Electronic tags for cattle, sheep and, if necessary, pigs
  • No more funeral pyres of dead animals
  • Creation of a Science Advisory Council to keep risks under review
  • Regular exercises for new disease alerts