Thomas-Everard family

Thomas-Everard Family

Thomas-Everard family

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The Thomas-Everard family are a family of British farmers who became known to the public during the 2001 foot and mouth crisis. The son Guy Thomas-Everard made an impassioned plea for against his healthy farm animals being killed as part of a pre-emptive cull designed by the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) to save Exmoor animals from foot and mouth disease. The plea and threatened legal challenge was ultimately successful.

The case saw the Thomas-Everard family enter politics, campaigning on rural affairs. The father, Chris Thomas-Everard, is a leading member of the Countryside Party. He stood as the first candidate for the party in the South West England region at the 2004 European elections. Thomas-Everard failed to get a seat in the European Parliament, though they party did retain its deposit in the region.

On May 7 2001, MAFF decided to kill the animals at two farms between Bridgetown and Dulverston because a farm worker on one of the farms had come into contact with the disease at other farms near Taunton. If the two farms became infected they were expected by MAFF officials to act as a "gateway" for the disease to spread from there to the rest of Exmoor. However vets examined the animals on Thomas-Everard's farm and were happy that they were uninfected. Initially MAFF decided to go ahead with the cull regardless. Thomas-Everard was furious. In an interview with the BBC he said

"All we can do is to try and make MAFF see sense. And stop......

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