Lord and Lady Apsley, along with their supporters, to present 250,000 signatures in a Parliamentary Petition at the steps of St. Stephens Entrance to Bill Cash MP - calling for a Full Public Inquiry into the Foot & Mouth Disaster


Date of Presentation - Thursday, 28th February - 2.15pm

Place - Houses of Parliament - St Stephens Entrance


Lord and Lady Apsley, (Cirencester Park, Gloucestershire), will be presenting a quarter of a million signatures to Bill Cash MP on Thursday, 28th February, accompanied by supporters of the Foot & Mouth Truth Campaign.


The members of 'The Death of The Truth' funeral procession will request that Mr Cash present the Parliamentary Petition to Her Majesty's government, on behalf of the citizens of the United Kingdom, demanding a Full Public Inquiry into the Foot & Mouth Disaster.


Lady Apsley launched the campaign, with the help of Mr Cash in September 2001 and with the support of The NFU, The CLA, The Countryside Alliance and The BASC, she quickly reached the enormous number of names collected.


She explains why she initiated the Petition: "It had become painfully clear that the government was unwilling to conduct any sort of Inquiry that gave all those, who suffered so horribly as a consequence of the FMD outbreak, a chance to put their experiences at the disposal of the people who could, and should, prevent a reoccurrence. I was so frustrated at the government's extraordinary arrogance that I decided to do something constructive - it was then that I approached Bill Cash who helped me launch the Parliamentary Petition".


"The petition has gained enormous support, I have had hundreds of letters written by individuals from not only the countryside, but also those who live within urban areas, each with their own sad tale to tell." says Lady Apsley. "All the experiences have been heartbreaking, and frankly, some have been downright sinister."


"It is vital that the government realise that they simply cannot continue with the cover-ups and spin that have prevailed throughout the crisis and a Public Inquiry is the only way that will enable us all to prevent such a disaster happening again.


"We must remember that it is not only the farmers who have been badly affected - but also those in the tourist industry and other affiliated businesses - they all deserve answers and they all deserve to be heard. How can we turn our backs on those who lost everything they had worked for and, unable to bear the pain, they took their own lives? Surely, they and their families deserve answers too?"


Foot & Mouth Truth Campaign Page 2.



"The government are attempting to hide behind the claim that a Public Inquiry will cost too much. That is absolute codswallop, they know it and we know it, and the people whose livelihoods have been ruined by the inept handling of the crisis are insulted that they are apparently not worth the government's efforts, time or the 'openness' that Mr Blair was so keen to promote, when he persuaded the British Public to vote him back into office."


"There are millions who agree that every penny that goes towards ensuring that the countryside remains forever protected from such wholesale slaughter and heartbreak, is money well spent. A difficult comparison I know, but we have all watched while the government has spent millions and millions on The Bloody Sunday Inquiry, and we do not dispute that at all, it is absolutely correct - but the question we ask is, 'Why is Foot & Mouth so unimportant that is does not deserve the same treatment?'"


"We hope that with this Petition, the government will at last realise that the British Public will no longer tolerate secrecy, innuendo and cover-ups. They must decide to hold a Full Public Inquiry, instead of the three so-called Independent Inquiries set up last year. The entire country knows that they are a whitewash, they are definitely not open and they are certainly not independent! And, to add insult to injury, each inquiry is under no obligation to make their findings public and without this, how can we possibly learn from the mistakes, so that it never happens again?"


"Surely", Lady Apsley finishes, "If Devon can do it with such speed and efficiency, why does the government find it such an impossible task to take on for the rest of the country?"


Lady Apsley - 01285-656037

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Fax - 01285-656291