Foot and Mouth

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 7th November 2001.

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Photo of Alan Beith Alan Beith Shadow Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her most recent assessment is of the impact of foot and mouth disease on the economy of rural Northumberland and its market towns.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Foot and mouth disease restrictions have had a massive impact on rural economies. We have commissioned a study to help quantify the impact on a selection of areas typical of those affected, and Newcastle university is currently undertaking research specific to Northumberland.

Twelve market towns in the north-east, including Berwick-on-Tweed and six others in Northumberland, have been selected for inclusion in the market towns regeneration programme announced in the rural White Paper. This will help counter the effects of foot and mouth by providing a boost to the economies and communities of the towns and their rural hinterlands.

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