An independent committee is being set up by The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) to look into the implications for Scotland of Foot & Mouth disease. The expert group will conduct a wide ranging assessment of the impact of the disease on animal health and importantly examine the social and economic consequences of the recent epidemic on the countryside and on Scotland as a whole. The committee will place particular emphasis on future methods of prevention and control, and make recommendations on lessons to be learned, should there be a further major outbreak. The group, which aims to report on its findings early next year, will invite views from a wide range of individuals and organisations concerned with the implications of Foot and Mouth. Aiming to provide a broad view of the effects of the disease, the scope of the multi-disciplinary committee is expected to include: veterinary health, medicine, farming, economics, tourism, the consumer and the general public. The independent committee is being set up at the instigation of the President and Council of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
The committee’s working remit will be to consider scientific aspects of the Foot & Mouth virus, the disease, options for its control and the impact of the spread of the virus on the social and economic life of Scotland. Its focus will be on lessons for the future.
RSE President, Sir William Stewart said,
This is a hugely important issue for Scotland, and particularly for rural communities. The RSE is committed to a full, balanced and timely inquiry. The implications of the recent epidemic go far beyond science, the disease and animal health – Foot and Mouth impacts on economic and societal issues for the people of Scotland. The Royal Society of Edinburgh, an independent and multidisciplinary body of expertise, will seek to apply joined up thinking to examine this complex issue as it impacts upon Scotland. Hopefully our examination will help the development of sound strategies for the future.