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The NFU has expressed deep regret at the cancellation of this year's Royal Show - UK farming's annual showcase event - but agrees it is the right decision.

The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) announced this morning that it would not be holding the country's premier farming, food and countryside event this morning because of the current foot and mouth crisis.

Except for the war years, the Royal Show has been held every year since 1859.

"This a regrettable decision, but we have to agree that it is the right one. The foot and mouth virus is so virulent that we just cannot afford the risk of so many people and livestock in the same place at the same time," said NFU President Ben Gill.

"Today's decision is a clear signal that shows just how deeply the whole countryside is being affected by this dreadful disease."

The Royal Show was scheduled to run at Stoneleigh from July 2 to 5 this year. Instead, the RASE plans to stage a special AgriVision business event at the focusing on the future of farming at the NAC, Stoneleigh, in December.

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