LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Foot and Mouth Disease in Cumbria
PLANNING RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT
1. We recommend that DEFRA undertakes a comprehensive revision of its draft contingency
plan in the light of the findings of this and other FMD Inquiries. The plan should be
conceived on a multi-agency basis and should engage all the relevant agencies, including the
County Councils. In local FMD planning, the Cumbria County Council Emergency Centre
should be considered as a ‘hub’ facility for any future multi-agency response (page 52).
2. We recommend that DEFRA, in conjunction with partner organisations and veterinary
practices throughout Cumbria, reviews personnel requirements (both numbers of personnel
and provision of preparatory training) as part of its contingency planning process. Likewise,
the local Contingency Plan should specify clearly the stage and scale of epidemic that will
trigger a request from DEFRA for assistance from the Army (page 52).
3. We recommend that, in any future outbreak, movement restrictions are introduced as soon
as the first case is diagnosed and that provisions are introduced to deal with animals in transit.
Additionally, local authorisation of action in dealing with an outbreak should be introduced as
early as possible, with DEFRA headquarters kept fully informed of decisions (page 53).
4. We recommend that DEFRA’s risk analysis documents be reviewed from time to time and
revised as necessary. A statement of the risk of spread of FMD (or other diseases) through the
carriage of particulate matter from pyres should be added. Also, in conjunction with the other
agencies with statutory, enforcement or health responsibilities, DEFRA should published a
risk analysis of all the carcass disposal options, include computer modelling of the
consequences of breakdown in biosecurity in any phase of the elected disposal strategies
Outstanding Disputes and Payments
5. We recommend that, as a matter of priority, DEFRA resolves all outstanding disputes and
settles all financial accounts relating to the FMD epidemic in Cumbria by 31 March 2003
6. We recommend that DEFRA commissions an external review of its provision of
epidemiological support in connection with FMD, and of the usefulness of the data collected
to the understanding of disease spread (page 53).14
7. We recommend that the Government publish performance targets and annual performance
statistics in respect of import controls in order to promote public confidence in the new
measures that have been introduced (page 54).
8. We recommend that the current ‘standstill’ regulations continue to be reviewed to identify
practical policies for increased biosecurity that will be more compatible with the needs of
commercial farming systems. Through its agencies Government should ensure the provision
of training courses for farmers on biosecurity and disease recognition (page 54).
9. We recommend that DEFRA commissions research on biosecurity to provide a robust
understanding of the biosecurity measures appropriate to safeguard against FMD spread. The
cost benefit of public funding for preventative biosecurity measures in the event of a FMD
outbreak should be examined (page 54).
Developing an Integrated Strategy
10. We recommend that Government establish an independent Working Party to develop an
integrated risk-assessed strategy for defence against FMD, covering prevention of disease
entry to the Britain, contingency planning, response to disease detection, tactics for disease
control and eradication, and post-outbreak recovery (page 56).
Economic, Environmental and Social Impacts
Implementation of Legislation
11. We recommend that, as a matter of policy, all changes by Government in disease control
legislation requiring implementation by Local Authorities should be supported by appropriate
risk-assessment guidance (page 79).
Veterinary Risk Assessment
12. We recommend that there should be closer co-ordination in the veterinary risk advice that
is provided nationally by Government and regionally through the SVS Animal Health Offices
Period Restriction on Path Closures
13. We recommend that in any future disease outbreak, any general legal declaration covering
the closure of footpaths or land by the County Council should be made on a strictly time-limited
basis, for example 28 days (page 80).
Responsibility for Path Closures
14. We recommend that the appropriate Local Authority (the County Council where that
applies) should hold sole responsibility for closures of Rights of Way, or other pathways,
under the Foot and Mouth Order 1983, replacing the present arrangements whereby powers
are held both by the Local Authority and DEFRA (page 80).
15. We recommend that Cumbria County Council build on the work of the Restriction
Review Team to establish regular meetings between responsible bodies and key stakeholders
to develop methods and policies to protect and enhance countryside access (page 80).
16. We recommend that, where appropriate, Cumbria County Council build on the FMD Task
Force model and create similar, but smaller, groups to help take forward initiatives related to
the County’s post-FMD recovery and regeneration (page 80).
17. We recommend that tourism organisations advise the industry of the limitations of
existing insurance cover and, together with the NWDA, make representations to the insurance
industry for the development of policies that would provide cover in the circumstances that
occurred in Cumbria in 2001 (page 80).
Economic and Employment Planning
18. We recommend that there should be a programme of research to provide an improved
understanding of the relationship between economic activities and the creation of jobs in the
Cumbrian economy (page 81).
State Aid Rules
19. We recommend local and central government campaign for greater flexibility in State Aid
Rules to allow specific economic emergencies, such as those that occurred in Cumbria in
2001, to be addressed (page 81).
Regional Economic Monitoring
20. We recommend that the NWDA and Cumbria County Council build on existing initiatives
to establish an intensive programme of regional economic monitoring that will provide the
detailed up-to-date data necessary to allow business support initiatives to be targeted to the
needs for economic regeneration (page 81).
21. We recommend that Cumbria County Council seek to establish a forum in which the
public sector agencies covering environment and health would meet on an annual or more
frequent basis. This would be designed to create closer links between the different serviceproviders and to develop an integrated plan for Cumbria covering the areas in which the
national and local bodies have responsibilities, including FMD contingency planning (page
22. We recommend that the operators of the Distington landfill and of the Watchtree mass
burial site build on existing initiatives to ensure that complaints of smell or other environment
intrusions on the local community are fully addressed (page 81).
23. We recommend that DEFRA states unequivocally the future plans for the Watchtree site,
and particularly whether it is to be permanently closed for disposal of animal carcasses or
other waste. Permanent closure would be the plan favoured by the local community and the
Inquiry Panel endorses that view (page 82).
24. We recommend that Cumbria County Council, the Environmental Health Departments,
Environment Agency and DEFRA jointly consider what might be done to map where
materials are buried on farms and, where necessary, to address any safety issues that may
emerge (page 82).
COMMUNITY AND HEALTH IMPACTS
25. We recommend to both researchers and funding bodies that there should be further work
into the emotional, social and mental health consequences of FMD in Cumbria, and that the
research should be extended to encompass children (page 82).
Looking to the Future
RURAL ACTION ZONE (RAZ)
26. We recommend that the RAZ should be promoted internationally as an exemplar of good
practice in rural development (page 93).
Cumbrian Projects and Partnerships
27. We recommend that at the earliest possible stage the Rural Regeneration Company
establishes a publicly accessible database of all the projects and partnerships operating in
Cumbria, with outline details of the work being undertaken (page 93).
28. We recommend that ‘participative research’ techniques be evaluated as a means of
project implementation, and that an ‘Agricultural Strategy Committee’ is established as an
interface between the RAZ organisation and the farming industry (page 93).
29. We recommend the formation of a Cumbria Tourism Forum, with an independent Chair
from the private sector, to facilitate the different sectors of the industry in co-ordinating
funding bids related to the RAZ programme (page 93).
30. We recommend that the concept of a ‘Cumbria Institute’ be explored with a view to
advancing the development of higher education, research and consultancy in Cumbria (page
31. We recommend that within the RAZ programme there should be a Rural Agendas project
designed to facilitate community action and leadership on rural issues (page 94).