The people of Worcestershire are aware that the Labour government is determined to act swiftly, and with the support of local authorities, to contain and eradicate the current outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease.

This is of course, the kind of approach which was lacking in the previous governments' attitude to BSE.

It is in the interests of us all, and in particular our farmers, that we contain and deal with the outbreak as swiftly as possible. That is why I would ask all Worcestershire people to respect the emergency restrictions being placed on access to certain parts of our countryside. Such restrictions are an essential part of the process and if heeded, will help to bring this disease under control in the shortest possible time. Please support our farmers and our rural communities by staying away from the restricted areas. It is only by acting together that we can rid this and other counties of this virus.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those who are giving up weekends, and in some cases sacrificing annual leave, to put these necessary measures in place.

David Bannister, Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Mid-Worcestershire.