About 300 people attended the meeting in Penrith - including many vets and farmers/owners of animals.

Each speaker talked for about 20 mins, then this was followed by several questions/comments from the audience, all civilised (apart from one). The speakers answered the questions hopefully to the satisfaction of the questioner.

An explanation/demonstration was given of their portable FMD checking machine (some £20000) which Fred Brown offered to the government to use, but which was rejected. They all believe than vaccination is the only sensible solution to the problem - and a show of hands suggested that almost all the audience agreed (about 4 or 5 disagreed). General opinion was a vote of no confidence in MAFF/defra handling of the crisis.

Meeting lasted nearly 3 hours, and was followed by a raffle - with several donated prizes. Radio Cumbria, The Cumberland News/News and Star, and Westmorland Gazette were there, plus presumably other press people - most of the front row was full of people furiously writing in their notebooks.

In due course I will post on the heartofcumbria website a report of the meeting, with pictures.

.... Ananova - posted at 9.50 (before the meeting ended) so their reporter was pretty speedy.

Julian Thurgood