Minister’s mission: countryside is open

PUBLISHED: 11:55 09 August 2007 | UPDATED: 15:12 12 May 2010

Government minister Kitty Ussher with National Trust area manager Phillip Broadbent-Yale

Government minister Kitty Ussher with National Trust area manager Phillip Broadbent-Yale

A GOVERNMENT minister has said it is safe to visit the countryside in spite of the current foot and month epidemic. Economic minister Kitty Ussher said during a visit to Wimpole Home Farm on Tuesday: The countryside is open for business. She was visitin

A GOVERNMENT minister has said it is safe to visit the countryside in spite of the current foot and month epidemic.

Economic minister Kitty Ussher said during a visit to Wimpole Home Farm on Tuesday: "The countryside is open for business."

She was visiting Wimpole to reiterate the Government's message that the countryside is safe.

She said: "We want people to know that the British countryside is open for business and it is important people know incase they are in any doubt.

"There is no reason for the public to change their activities. Livestock keepers are checking their animals and we are monitoring the situation."

Mrs Ussher was among a group of MPs visiting sites such as Wimpole across the country to reassure the public about the situation after the outbreak of the disease in Surrey on Friday.

Mrs Ussher, who was shown around Home Farm by head stockman Mark Field, added about the current outbreak: "This was an isolated incident. We learned form the outbreak in 2001 and are acting as fast as we possibly can on the advise of scientists."

The foot and mouth strain found in Surrey is not one known to be found in animals and although the source of the outbreak is not certain it is thought to have escaped from the Pirbright laboratory site, infecting cattle grazing at the farm three miles away.

Philip Broadbent-Yale, National Trust area manager for Cambridgeshire, which owns Wimpole Hall and its grounds, said: "We are anxious and hope the outbreak can be contained.

"Wimpole Hall Farm is open to visitors and it is lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves today.


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