A NORTH YORKSHIRE organisation may demand a public inquiry into the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Devon has held an inquest of its own which criticised the Government's handling of the affair, and the European Parliament is considering more research. Now, the deputy chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Jerry Pearlman, has tabled a motion to the authority's meeting on Tuesday, requesting that North Yorkshire County Council holds an inquiry.

He particularly wants to know what steps have been taken by the Ministry of Agriculture or, Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to establish the origins of the epidemic.

He also suggests it attempts to establish what steps were taken to contain the disease, the clarity of communication between Government departments and farmers, as well as the speed of compensation payments.

If County Hall declines, Mr Pearlman says the national park should hold its own inquiry.

Members will be asked to vote on Mr Pearlman's proposals at a meeting at the Key Centre in Middleham, North Yorkshire on Tuesday (Nov 27)

will decide it is to join the fray at a meeting next week.

Backed by a number of members, newly-appointed deputy chairman J