WYRE Forest Council leaders have called on the Government to help all businesses hit by the foot and mouth disease crisis.

Councillor Mike Oborski said a letter to the Prime Minister expressed concern the impact would have wider and far more serious economic and social implications than the effect on agriculture alone.

Mr Oborski explained Wyre Forest was now the largest urban exclusion zone hit by the disease.

He said after a meeting of the district council's policy advisory group: "We totally support maximum possible financial compensation for farmers hit by the crisis but central Government must also face up to the fact that a whole range of local firms and businesses are also suffering devastating effects."

A letter from chief executive Walter Delin to Tony Blair urges the Government to mount a rescue package to bail out businesses hit by the crisis.

The council singles out tourism as a major casualty.

It also draws attention to problems facing the haulage industry, stables, kennels, safari parks and animal sanctuaries.