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21 December 2004Towards the end of the 2001 Foot and Mouth epidemic, the Royal Society was commissioned by the Government (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Office of Science and Technology) to undertake a review of the scientific aspects of the control of infectious diseases in livestock. This was one of three commissioned investigations, the others being the Lessons Learned inquiry undertaken by Sir Iain Anderson and the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food, chaired by Sir Donald Curry. The Royal Societys inquiry was undertaken by a committee chaired by Sir Brian Follett FRS, and was explicitly charged with looking to future developments. It reported in July 2002 and can be accessed here.
The Royal Society Infectious Diseases in Livestock Inquiry follow-up review was published on 21 December 2004. The review highlights considerable work has been undertaken by UK Government, since to 2001 outbreak, to combat future outbreaks of livestock disease, but the challenge now is to resolve outstanding issues. Below is a summary of areas which require further attention, largely building on work already in progress.
Finally, any outstanding problems over the use of emergency vaccination as a pre-emptive measure need to be resolved.
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