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The UK Rural Business Campaign today announces five meetings to be held
over the next two weeks across the country rallying support for businesses
seeking compensation from the Government as a result of its handling of
Foot and Mouth.

On Monday December 3rd., the day before the committee stage of the Animal
Health Bill, campaign leaders and its solicitors, Class Law, will brief
MPs in Westminster. The meeting will be at 11.00am in Portcullis House and
will be followed by a press conference at approximately 12.30pm. The
campaign is also seeking to amend the Animal Health Bill to ensure it does
not infringe Human Rights or the interests of rural businesses.

The first regional meeting takes place at the Bishop's Meadow Hotel in
Brecon, Wales, at 11am on Thursday 29th November. It will be followed by
another at 4pm at the Langstone Court Hotel, Dawlish Warren, in Devon
later the same day.

On Wednesday 12th December the campaign moves to Cumbria with a meeting at
the Swallow Hilltop Hotel, Carlisle, at 2pm. Businesses in Scotland will
also meet on the 12th at 7.30pm at the Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries.

The English and Welsh Tourist boards estimate that the rural leisure
industry has lost ?5.1 billion of turnover since the outbreak in February
this year. Thousands more rural dependent businesses have also suffered
huge losses and many small companies have been forced out of business.

Ian Mitchell, Chairman of the UK Rural Business Campaign, said: "Many
farmers and businesses are struggling to survive this winter. They have
endured contradictory Government advice and countless bungled decisions
from it and its agencies. Discussions with ministers have produced
nothing. Legal action is now the only way to get justice for thousands of
rural businesses."

Peter Ainsworth MP, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food &
Foreign Affairs, commented: "Just as the Government failed to get a grip
on the original outbreak and allowed it to spread out of control, they
have utterly failed to understand the continuing impact across many parts of
rural Britain.

"Not only farming has been affected - massive damage has been inflicted on
thousands of small businesses which are the lifeblood of the countryside.
The Government is blind to the misery and hardship caused by the outbreak.
I congratulate these campaigners on their fight. By refusing a full
independent Public Inquiry, we can only conclude Margaret Beckett has
something to hide."

Stephen Alexander, of Class Law Solicitors, added: "The Animal Health
Bill, which will empower officials to kill animals suspected of carrying a
disease without right of appeal, is the most serious infringement of the
fundamental rights citizens enjoy under the law. The people in this
country are unaware of the serious consequences it poses to their freedom."

The UK Rural Business Campaign would be very grateful for any advance
coverage of the following meetings.

Wales meeting Thurs 29th November, 11am
Bishop's Meadow Hotel Contact:
Brecon Will Williams
Powys Tel. 01982 560418

Devon meeting Thurs 29th November, 4pm
Langstone Cliff Hotel Contact:
Dawlish Warren Tom Griffith-Jones
Devon EX7 0NA Tel. 01823 672614
Tel. 01626 868000

Westminster briefing Monday 3rd December, 11am
Attlee Suite Contact:
Portcullis House Simon Walsh, Lehmann Communications
London SW1A Tel. 020 7266 3020

Cumbria meeting Wednesday 12th December, 2pm
Swallow Hilltop Hotel Contact:
London Road Derek House
Carlisle Tel. 01228 513513
Tel. 01228 529255

Scotland meeting Wednesday 12th December, 7.30pm
The Cairndale Hotel Contact:
English Street John Kilgour
Dumfries Tel. 01387 820201
Tel. 01387 254111

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