THE NATIONAL FOOT &
Office: 3 The Common, Siddington
Cirencester, Glos. GL7
Tel: 01285 644319 / 01285 656812
NATIONAL FOOT & MOUTH GROUP
AT THE COUNTRYSIDE MARCH
WHY WE WERE THERE
7 No Lessons Learnt
from Foot and Mouth
7 An Animal Health Bill set to make the same mistakes
7 No Government Blue Print for a Sustainable Future for Rural
A Year on from the Foot and Mouth Crisis the Government
has no Contingency Plan in place to deal with another outbreak any differently
than it did in 2001. The Royal Society recommendations have not been
acted upon, no provision has been made to use Vaccination and the Government has
given no indication that it intends to do so.
Instead the Animal Health
Bill is due to proceed without debate. A Bill that will even further extend and
increase the Minister's powers to seize and slaughter farm animals and
livestock. A Bill that has not been founded on substantive
scientific or empirical data and information.
A Year on there has still
been no critical, independent analysis of the epidemiological data about Foot
and Mouth; there has been no proper Inquiry.
The future of farming, the
rural economy, its landscape and communities is at stake. Critical
decisions need to be taken by the Government if the Lessons of Foot & Mouth
are truly to be learnt. Never again must the UK deal with any animal
disease in the way it dealt with Foot & Mouth.
What is needed is
sustainable agriculture and food production which protects the unique
countryside of the UK and ensures the survival of a rich and diverse
environment, a thriving rural economy and dynamic communities.
what is Government policy?? - an increasing and unfettered globalisation, with
no parity for animal welfare or health standards between imports and UK produced
food. A food supply chain which no longer delivers a living
wage to many farmers. Supermarkets with ever increasing power and control to
determine how food is produced, distributed and marketed.
complex, inter-related and inter-dependent nature of farming, tourism and rural
life needs to be urgently addressed. More draconian powers to slaughter
animals - due to be adopted in the Animal Health Bill - are not the answer.
Far-reaching changes are needed if agriculture is to evolve sustainably
and ensure that the environment, the landscape and rural livelihoods are
preserved and enhanced.
The Countryside is our most vital
resource. With its vast diversity, its capacity to feed us and its ability
to be the green lungs of the nation we cannot afford to squander it. We
call upon the Government to look carefully and think again before consigning
Rural UK to a decline it may never recover