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UK Greens Foot on Mouth Outbreak

UK Greens Foot on Mouth Outbreak

Dr. Caroline Lucas MEP,

Brussels, March 8, 2001

Foot and Mouth Outbreak caused by
Globalisation Claims Green MEP

Green MEP for the South East of England, Caroline Lucas, has blamed globalisation and intensive farming methods for the current outbreak of foot and mouth disease. She is calling for a permanent ban on the long distance transportation of live animals, which has contributed to the rapid spread of foot and mouth disease. Having first been identified in the UK, the disease has now spread to other European countries and has lead to a ban on all meat and animal exports from the UK.

Caroline Lucas said:

"Once again we are faced with a crisis in the farming industry. Globalisation, the free-market, increased trade and unsustainable food production methods have caused problems like this to be far more widespread than they should be. Agriculture is now organised in a way that makes transmission of disease very easy now under a global food distribution system."

"The transport of live animals over long distances is cruel and unnecessary. The majority of small locally based abattoirs have closed down in the last decade. This trend must be reversed so that animals can be slaughtered close to the farms on which they are reared. Food should be consumed much closer to where it is produced, decreasing the spread of infection and reducing lorry traffic on our roads. Exporting live animals should be stopped permanently."

"Regular vaccination against diseases such as foot and mouth has been suggested by some. But this is not a good solution. While there is a global market in meat and animals vaccination may be necessary but it would be much better to keep production local. Then vaccination, another unnatural process, can be avoided except in local areas where there is known to be a problem."

"The big supermarkets, who control much of the food business, are constantly demanding cheaper produce. But this leads to corners being cut, as we have seen with BSE and now again with foot and mouth. Our food must be produced in a much more sustainable way, as the Green Party has argued for many years. In the wake of the spread of BSE from the UK to the continent of Europe, the German Government has appointed an Agriculture Minister from the Green Party. She intends to end factory farming in her country. This must be the way forward and we should end industrial agriculture in this country as well. Agriculture needs local, sustainable solutions based on farmers and the needs of consumers and the environment rather than corporations and further globalisation."

More Information:
Caroline Lucas (London) +44 207 407 6281 (Brussels) +32 32 2284 5153
Alan Francis (Press officer) +44 207 407 6280 / 0776 997 0691
Eluned Haf: +32 497 480 255


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