Cumbria

Cumbria foot and mouth memories still raw

Moira Linakar
Image caption Moira Linaker wrote a book about her experiences

People in Cumbria caught up in the foot and mouth crisis have told how the memories are still raw 10 years on.

The outbreak in 2001 led to the slaughter of millions of animals and Cumbria was ravaged by it.

Some of those caught up in the crisis have been interviewed by the BBC's Inside Out to discover its impact.

Moira Linaker, who defied government orders to cull her shock of rare sheep, told how her memories of the crisis were still vivid.

She blockaded herself into her smallholding near Carlisle to protect her animals and later wrote a book telling of her experiences.

'Cold sweat'

She said: "I was totally exhausted. It was just going round and round in my brain.

"Even when I thought it wasn't in my head and I went to sleep, I would wake up in the early hours of the morning in a cold sweat thinking, 'oh God, they've come, and putting on their white coats and getting out their guns', and it was just that night after night after night."

She said the memories had resurfaced with the 10th anniversary of the outbreak.

She said: "I started digging through my many bags of things - I have got letters from all over the world wishing me luck and I have still got them and photographs.

"And when I started looking at them and looking at videos and it all came flying back."

A study was carried out by Lancaster University into the effect of the crisis on people.

Maggie Mort, from Lancaster University, said: "People think that the 2001 epidemic was something that happened to animals and farmers.

"But it also involved people from all over the community and beyond. It's still out there. Those people saw things and did things that nobody should have to go through."

BBC Inside Out can be seen on BBC One in the North East & Cumbria and the North West on Monday at 1930 GMT.

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