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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Call for foot and mouth research
Burning cattle
Thousands of animals were slaughtered during the epidemic
Calls have been made for more research into the social effects of the foot-and-mouth crisis on Cumbrian children.

Carlisle City Council has been carrying out an inquiry into the outbreak which started in February 2001 and had a devastating impact on the county.

One of the recommendations of the review is for research into the environmental and health effects of the outbreak on local children.

Cumbria was one of the worst-hit areas in the outbreak.

North Cumbria Health Authority's former director of public health, Dr Peter Tiplady, contributed to the inquiry.

He said: "A lot of the children were separated from their families and access to health care was a very important issue.

"So that we were quite concerned that there were children who were affected who perhaps weren't able to contact health services."

Stress and anxiety

More than 30 findings have been put forward by the council's community overview and scrutiny panel.

Its inquiry started in October and included three sessions, in which it spoke to witnesses of the outbreak in 2001.

Among witnesses was Dr Tiplady, Nick Utting from the National Farmers' Union and representatives from the Environment Agency, Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council.

Other findings include the need for outreach health support to rural areas and disappointment that there were no arrangements made to separately record illness attributable to the outbreak.

It expressed concern at the extent of continuing stress and anxiety and health impacts in affected communities.

There was also strong evidence that telephone helplines set up by the various agencies worked and Defra's ongoing monitoring of on-farm burial sites was welcomed.

The report has been forwarded to the council's executive committee and will also be sent to each of the organisations involved in the review and the area's MPs.

Book relives foot-and-mouth fight
30 Mar 04  |  Cumbria
Children's foot-and-mouth crisis
28 Nov 03  |  Mid Wales

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