Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

A weekly survey of the things our rulers want to prohibit

WHEN the `Liberty and Livelihood' march eventually goes ahead, its title will not be without a certain irony. liberty and the countryside, not for the first time, have shown themselves to be uncomfortable companions. This weekend dog-- lovers everywhere should be converging on Birmingham for Crufts. However, last week it joined the growing number of events that have been cancelled due to the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

But why? When foot-and-mouth was reported late last month, the Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, approached the Ministry of Agriculture (Maff) and asked them for advice. Maff scientists were straightforward: although any meeting-place could theoretically aid the transmission of foot-and-mouth, Crufts posed no more threat than, say, a supermarket. It is held in an urban area, and centres on pedigree dogs, who neither incubate the disease nor tend to spend much of their lives outdoors. …

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