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Special Event

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Threat: Prime Minister Tony Blair Addresses British Parliament

Aired March 14, 2001 - 10:11 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: In London, we're going to go over now to the House of Parliament, where we understand that Prime Minister Tony Blair is taking questions right now from members of Parliament about this foot-and-mouth disease crisis.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: These issues also will be discussed in the task force, whom my honorable friend is chairing at the present time.

I also think that what is very important for those businesses in the tourist industry -- and others like the youth hostel movement that have lost very considerable sums of money -- is that, as well we get some clear picture over the coming days of exactly where the disease is located and where it is also -- the country is free from the disease, because there are people canceling bookings in parts of the country where foot-and-mouth disease is not present at the present time, where, hopefully, it will be clear over the coming days that it is not going to get there either.

And I think the other thing that we've got to look at is how we give proper effect to a set of rules that makes sense of the current restrictions that presently apply to the whole country in circumstances where the disease is operating quite differently in different parts of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liz Blackman.

LIZ BLACKMAN, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Chelsea Brown, a 2- year-old who lived in my constituency, was abused and then brutally murdered by her father, who was sent to prison for life at Nottingham Crown Court last week.

Professionals have admitted that some mistakes were made in this very difficult area of child protection. Could the prime minister assure the House that everything can be done to make sure that the procedures that govern this area are rigorously enforced, and, where necessary, strengthened?

HARRIS: We've been listening there as members of Parliament in London have been questioning their prime minister, Tony Blair, about what he is going to be doing to help out financially those different parts of the industries across London -- across the U.K., rather -- that have been stricken by this foot-and-mouth disease.

We will keep on top of that story for you.

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