Hit or Miss... Deft Defra

The speedy reaction of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has been universally praised. The first outbreak since the 2001 crisis saw government officials drop a well-prepared crisis plan in place, communicating with speed and efficiency to the public, media and farming industry under the watchful eye of acting director of comms Steven Morris and head of news Rachel Grant. The NFU, among others, has been vocal in congratulating Defra for learning the lessons of 2001.

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