In order to avoid duplication, if you would like to add your name to this letter, please could you go to http://www.efrc.com/fmd/signaletter.htm Many Thanks.
The Prime Minister
The Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
15th June 2001
Dear Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned, come from all walks of life including farming, tourism, the research community, the media, the legal and veterinary professions, environmental and community activity. Yet we share a common bond as citizens deeply concerned by our countrys management of the current Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) epidemic.
This week marks the start of a new Government and the beginning of a new relationship between food production, environment and rural livelihood under a new Ministry.
We therefore urge you, not only to change the approaches of the past months, but also to ensure that we all learn from our mistakes and make certain that the destructive and harrowing events that have accompanied this outbreak of FMD never happen again.
It is our belief that only a full and open public enquiry will enable all parts of our society to comprehend fully and learn from this outbreak and the profound distress that has visited our countryside and rural communities in the past months.
We have all thought deeply about this epidemic and how it has been handled. We have met together and surveyed some of its economic, political, scientific, legal, animal welfare and human aspects and have concluded that there is an overwhelming case for a detailed and public examination of these issues.
Our call is not concerned with seeking to apportion blame nor highlighting mistakes to embarrass or pillory any person, institution, department or government. It is a call for transparency, a search for information that is openly presented and evaluated, so that all of us can learn and take steps to ensure that we never again find ourselves in this position.
Finally, this epidemic has been massively traumatic for many individuals, families and communities and indeed for the country as a whole. We believe that such an enquiry would help mitigate that trauma and thereby make a significant contribution to rebuilding and revitalising rural communities and economies.
We urge you to establish a full and open public enquiry into the FMD outbreak, its management and its consequences.
Lawrence Woodward, Chairman of Foot and Mouth Disease Conference
Conference participant signatories appear on attached sheet
Alayne Addy, Stephens & Scown Solicitors
Janet Bayley, Forest of Dean F&MD Action Group
Dr Simon Barteling, Consultant on Vaccines and Control of FMD, Holland
Christopher Bielenberg, Director of Resource Evaluation Ltd
Helen Browning, Chair of the Soil Association and owner of Eastbrook Organic Farm
John Burns, Farmers Weekly magazine
Andrew Byron, organic dairy farmer
Hugo Charlton, barrister and Green Party speaker
Hector Christie, farmer
Martin Clayden, Stephens & Scown Solicitors
James Cornford, trustee of Elm Farm Research Centre,
Tim Finney, Eastbrook Organic Farm
Ian Gill, Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Vanessa Gray, Elm Farm Research Centre
Michael Hart, Small and Family Farms Alliance
Mark Hinds, Rowe Veterinary Group, Glos
Bernard Jarman, Biodynamic Agricultural Association
Peter and Juliet Kindersley, Sheepdrove Organic Farm
Dr Richard Lawson, Green Party
Barbara Layzelle, The Truth Fund
Thomas Lowther, hill farmer in Cumbria
Valerie Lusmore, Forest of Dean F&MD Action Group
Professor Bob Michell, University of London, RCVS council
Roy Miller, Unity
John Nelligan, Oaklands Park
William Neville, Burges Salmon Solicitors, Bristol
Martin Peck, farmer
Jo Rider, farmer
Jeremy Roe, barrister and tourist business owner
James Skinner, trustee of Elm Farm Research Centre
Dr Keith Sumption, lecturer in International Animal Health at Uni of Edinburgh
Dr Paul Sutmoller, Animal Health Consultant, virologist and epidemiologist, Holland
Toby and Emma Tennant, farmers
David Thompson, Agricultural Consultant
Tyll Van De Voort, Oaklands Park
Wendy Vere, vet
Pat Walters, Elm Farm Research Centre
Dr Ruth Watkins, virologist
Barry Wilson, writer and dairy industry analyst
Abigail Woods, F&MD PhD at Manchester University
Carole Youngs, Forest of Dean F&MD Action Group