UK. According to
Countryaah, a foot-and-mouth disease epizooty broke out in
February when infected animals were found in a swing yard in
Essex, southern England. In an attempt to stop the spread of
the virus - which affects cows, pigs, sheep and goats - mass
slaughter was started by herds where infection was detected.
All transport of live animals was initially stopped and
people were urged to stay away from the countryside. Not
only did agriculture hit hard, but also the tourism
industry. The EU imposed a temporary export ban on live
animals, meat and milk products from the United Kingdom. Up
to and including September, 2,030 confirmed cases had been
found in various parts of the UK. In eight months, nearly
four million animals were killed. The carcasses were burnt,
causing concern that carcinogens such as dioxin would spread
through the smoke. Images of animals that were burned on
large bonfires were spread throughout the world. The last
case was discovered on September 30 at a farm in Cumbria.
Epizootin was estimated to have cost the UK between £ 800
and £ 2.4 billion.
As a result of the foot-and-mouth disease, the
parliamentary and municipal elections were held on June 7, a
month later than planned. Most judges assumed that Labor's
electoral victory was given and the electoral movement
became rather paralyzed. The Conservative Party and its
leader William Hague promised lower taxes, a more
restrictive asylum policy and claimed that Blair was trying
to trick the British into giving up the pound and joining
the EU's currency union. Both Labor and the Liberal
Democrats promised new investments in health care and
education. The Liberal Democrats were the only party to
advocate for a tax increase, while Labor said it was
prepared for increased cooperation with the private sector
in, for example. care. Labor's top politicians were accused
of avoiding ordinary voters who wanted to express their
dissatisfaction with, among other things, long care queues.
Labor won reassurance and received, with just under 42%
of the vote, 413 of the 659 seats. The Conservatives
received just over 32% of the vote and stayed on 166 seats.
However, they did well in the municipal elections. The
Liberal Democrats supported almost 19% of the electorate and
passed with six seats to 52, which was seen as a success for
Charles Kennedy who made his first election as party leader.
After the election defeat, Hague resigned as party leader.
The battle over who would succeed him was between the
popular EU friend Kenneth Clark and the relatively unknown
Iain Duncan Smith from the party's right. For the first
time, all party members got to vote for their leader, and it
was Duncan Smith who took over after Hague in September.
Following the terrorist attacks against New York and
Washington on September 11, Britain was the strongest
country behind the United States. A special war cabinet was
set up in early October, and when the United States fought
against Afghanistan, British forces also participated.
The Labor government quickly passed a tightening of
terrorist legislation, which was approved by Parliament on
December 14. The new laws meant, among other things, that
the police were given the right to detain suspected foreign
terrorists indefinitely and that the British authorities
should have greater transparency in the finances of
different groups. Critics argued that the laws posed a
threat to civil liberties and rights. However, Parliament
had rejected a proposal that would make it a criminal
offense to "instill religious hatred". With the support of
the law, British police soon after arrested at least eight
people suspected of being involved in terrorist activities.
Britain was in the lead of the international peacekeeping
force to be sent to Afghanistan. Several hundred British
soldiers - of the promised 1,500 - were in Afghanistan
before the turn of the year.