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FOOT-AND-MOUTH CONTINGENCY PLAN PROPOSED TO COPE WITH FUTURE CRISIS

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A national contingency plan for foot-and-mouth should be developed for all organisations involved in responding to ...
A national contingency plan for foot-and-mouth should be developed for all organisations involved in responding to a future outbreak, according to Devon CC.

The plan is just one of the recommendations made in the Devon foot-and-mouth inquiry's preliminary findings submitted to the national policy commission on the future of farming and foods.

The report criticises the government's handling of the crisi and makes recommendations for action in the event of a future outbreak.

It says a contingency plan should be developed and tested regularly. Parish councils and tourist industry representatives should be used for their local knowledge and in managing access to the

countryside.

Other recommendations include considering vaccination to help contain a future outbreak, tighter import controls on food and an immediate ban on animal movements on the first day of an outbreak.

The report says large-scale pyres should never be used again and large-scale burials should be avoided.

The report, written by independent inquiry chair Professor Ian Mercer, says: 'The crisis a major outbreak generates is no excuse for the government and its agencies to override the welfare of individuals or communities, or to ignore the long-established rules for the management of the

environment.'

The Devon inquiry received more than 360 written submissions.

Copies of the report have been sent to the prime minister, rural recovery coordinator Lord Haskins and parliamentary under secretary at the Department of

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Lord Whitty. A full report will be published later this year.

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