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John Dowson, Scottish Civic Forum's Coordinator for the South of Scotland is trying to bring people's attention to a Government consultation paper entitled "Outline of an Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain."

It can be downloaded in Acrobat pdf format here. It is 70 pages, and 1.6MB. It will take around 6 minutes to download, unless you have broadband.

Mr Dowson said, "It is absolutely imperative that all those who were touched by the recent foot-and-mouth outbreak in the South of Scotland, make an effort to read this document and make their views known to Government. Consultation finishes on 31 October 2003. The paper lays out Government's view on procedural changes for the future should such another outbreak happen. It lays out a vision for the future for animal welfare in Britain. The procedures and provisions are wide ranging and will impact on the lives of all animal owners whether they are farmers or pet owners.

"The Government lays out responsibilities for animal owners but also paves the way for Government intervention where required. This was a particularly contentious area during the last outbreak and saw parts of Southern Scotland turned into a virtual 'police state' as police and army personnel forced their way into people's houses to kill animals, many of whom were subsequently proved to be healthy. The distress caused was immense and the costs to the taxpayer were massive.

"Government tries to lay out the case for responsible intervention in this paper and all animal owners or those who are concerned about their welfare should now take the opportunity to make their voice heard by replying to this consultation paper."

Addresses for contributions are listed on p. 39 of the document and are:

For England:
Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Room 103
1A Page Street
Email submissions to be sent to:
By 31st October 2003

For Scotland:
Animal Health and Welfare Division
Room 345a
Pentland House
47 Robbs Loan
EH14 1TY
Email submissions to be sent to:
By 31st October 2003

For Wales:
Animal Health Division
Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department
Welsh Assembly Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ
Fax: 029 2082 3352
Email submissions to be sent to:
By 31st October 2003

Further copies of this publication are available from:

Defra Publications
Admail 6000
Tel: 08459 556000
This document is also available on the Defra website.

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