IT’S hard to believe it is 20 years since foot and mouth hit our shores, bringing normal life to a standstill for most of 2001.

It was lockdown of a different kind. Animal movements were banned and people, who were not affected by the disease, were stopped from walking footpaths to help stop its spread.

Tourism in Craven was decimated, as too was the farming fraternity. Some businesses, including farms, did not survive.

It was a distressing time with hundreds of thousands of animals slaughtered, even healthy ones, in order to try and stop the scourge in its tracks.

Conspiracy theories raged that it was the government of the time trying to reduce the number of farms.

Campaigners against the cull of animals resulted in petitions with thousands of signatures being taken to Downing Street.

Today, two decades on and we find ourselves facing two more crises. One is, as we know, the Covid pandemic and the other is Avian Flu which reared its ugly head again last year. All chickens, domestic geese, turkeys, game and caged birds are also currently in lockdown though there is little detail about it.

We’re in a nightmare today as we were 20 years ago, but we got through it.