§ Mr. Peter Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the veterinary assessment of the risk to bio-security posed by cow-pats at agricultural shows; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Margaret Beckett
Veterinary and scientific advice is that livestock shows pose a risk of the transmission of Foot and Mouth or other notifiable diseases because large numbers of animals, vehicles and people are brought together from a number of different farms. Hence strict biosecurity is needed. Animal faeces may contain Foot and Mouth virus and other animal pathogens, which may survive in faeces for a period of time. Show organisers are required to draw up a biosecurity operating plan and appoint a biosecurity officer to ensure that the show licence conditions are followed. These conditions include that if animals cross a public area, any faeces is removed as far as possible and the spot covered, for example with sawdust, as is normal hygienic practice.