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BBC Wales's Caroline Evans
"Around ten lorries have gone through - but not without confrontation!
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Caroline Evans
"These people are fighting for their livelihood, and they are not giving up easily"
 real 56k

Sunday, 1 April, 2001, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Connery pledges tourism support

Actor Sir Sean Connery will attempt to persuade America that Scotland is "open for business" despite the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The James Bond star was recruited by the country's first minister Henry McLeish to lead a drive to restore confidence during the Tartan Week celebrations in the US.

He wants to help Scotland and make it a better place

Sean Connery's spokesman

The multi-billion pound Scottish tourist industry has suffered with the images of burning carcasses being beamed around the world.

A Scottish Executive spokesman said: "The First Minister spoke to Sean Connery and he is delighted that Sir Sean is willing to help spread the word that Scotland is open for business.

Henry McLeish
Scotland's first minister hopes to revive confidence
"Mr McLeish is looking forward to meeting Sir Sean during the Tartan Week celebrations."

So far 111 cases of foot-and-mouth reported in Scotland, all but two of which are in Dumfries and Galloway.

It is feared the outbreak could end up costing Scottish taxpayers as much as 20m.

The figure includes a compensation package being offered to farmers and the cost of slaughtering 200,000 sheep at 500 farms across the country.

Sir Sean's spokesman, James Baron, told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper: "He wants to help Scotland and make it a better place.

"The images of funeral pyres are just dreadful, but the good news is that the Americans have very short memories."

Tartan Week, starting 1 April, celebrates the achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to culture in the US.

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See also:

15 Mar 01 | Scotland
Foot-and-mouth 'could cost 20m'
12 Mar 01 | Scotland
Tourism plea over disease outbreak
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