ANDREW GEORGE MP
Thursday 21st October 2004 For Immediate Release
GEORGE CALLS FOR ANDERSON INQUIRY TO BE RE-OPENEDLiberal Democrat Shadow Agriculture Secretary, Andrew George MP, today called for the re-opening Anderson Inquiry into the lessons to be learnt from the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth. His call came after he was shown a video of Bobby Waugh's Burnside Farm, taken by Northumberland Trading Standards Department. Mr George raised the issue with Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw MP, during DEFRA questions this morning.
He has previously asked Ministers to re-open the inquiry, following the publication in March of a memo regarding Bobby Waugh's farm, written by Government vet Dr. Jim Dring.
Following the exchange, Mr George said:
"I am surprised that no Minister has seen this video. I doubt they would be so complacent if they had seen it.
"The video proves to me that the farm represented a cesspool of infectivity and raised serious questions not just about the effectiveness of the regulatory controls on this farm, but also about the effectiveness of both the regulatory framework for biosecurity and the resources to implement the regulations.
"I do not believe the Dr Iain Anderson Inquiry either took into account this evidence or considered the implications. The Inquiry should be re-opened." ENDS Notes to Editors:
1. During DEFRA questions today, the following exchange took place: Andrew George MP: Arrangements on fallen stock collection are of course part of the Government's efforts to address issues of biosecurity and in that context having seen this morning 6 I have to say a very distressing 6 video by Northumberland Trading Standards Department of Bobby Waugh's Burnside Farm four days after the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001; can I ask the Minister has he seen that video 6 I know his Department has it 6 and if so does he agree with me that it provides ample justification for a re-opening of Dr. Iain Anderson's inquiry into the causes of and the lessons learned from that Foot and Mouth outbreak.
Ben Bradshaw MP: I haven't seen the video and I don't agree with the premise of the Honourable Gentleman's question. My understanding is that the video contains nothing new. All of the details contained in the video, I am told, were given to the Anderson Inquiry. Professor Anderson himself said that his decisions and recommendations as a result of his inquiry would have been exactly the same and the video was part of the trial of Bobby Waugh.
2. For further information Andrew George MP can be contacted on his pager on 07699 748736; alternatively contact Jonathan Eddy on 0207 219 4588