The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has agreed to the following Report:


Introduction and Summary


The outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001 has had a devastating impact on many parts of the United Kingdom. A number of investigations into the origin of the outbreak and the way in which it was dealt with by the Government have been launched. The Government has itself commissioned three inquiries, into the lessons to be learned, scientific questions raised by the outbreak, and the future of farming.

We have not sought to duplicate those investigations. We have, however, taken evidence, principally from Ministers and Government officials between March and November 2001. As part of this Report we place that evidence in the public domain, so that it is available to the inquiries into the outbreak.

We also draw out the key issues raised in that evidence, which relates to the origin of the outbreak, the way the disease spread, the policy and practice of culling, and vaccination.

The Government-commissioned inquiries will not achieve their aims unless they address those key issues.

We may well decide to analyse the results of the inquiries with a view to drawing out their essential lessons and to consider whether all relevant questions have been dealt with in an effective and well co-ordinated way.

.....We intend to examine the reports of the inquiries when they are published to ensure that these key issues have been addressed, and to maintain a strong interest in the conduct and progress of the inquiries.

See the full set of pages about the EFRA report