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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 19th July 2001.

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Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons) 12:30 pm, 19th July 2001

In March, the then Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food told us that foot and mouth was under control. Yesterday, there were 10 confirmed cases. Will the Leader of the House review the information and advice given to farmers by the current Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and her Department about what they have to do in the course of this outbreak? Public footpaths are open, some through farmyards, yet farmers are told in a pamphlet and video issued by the Department to wash their wellies and change their overalls between every task. Public footpaths through farmers' own farmyards are open, yet if their children visit neighbouring farms, they are told to change their clothes. What is the point of giving that kind of information and still saying that public footpaths have to be open?