UK sends no representative to global conference on FMD eradication
From the Pan American Health Organisation press release
Houston, Texas, March 3, 2004 (PAHO)- A final push towards the eradication of foot-and-mouth disease from the Western Hemisphere is being urged by a variety of government and private sector officials who opened a hemispheric conference on the topic here today. More than 150 animal health experts, government officials, and food producers today heard Pan American Health Organization Director Dr. Mirta Roses urge that final push. "Together, we can eradicate the scourge of Foot and Mouth Disease, which has caused so much damage to the cattle industry and has hurt the socioeconomic development of our countries, from our continent. It is still a risk for areas that have been free of the disease and for those working toward that condition," she said....
DEFRA did not send any representative to this conference, as Captsain Bryn Wayt discovered when he wrote to ask. There were seats made available for a formal UK representative but they remained empty ...
Email exchangeFrom Capt Bryn Wayt
Dear Prof Sutmoller,
As you can imagine I was staggered at DEFRA's arrogant stance, at not sending anybody.
I thought IAH might send somebody - No !! Perhaps then the FSA - No !!
I was very annoyed with the curt reply from Simon Hewitt (DEFRA):
From Paul Sutmoller PhD DVM Animal Health Consultant
Thank you Captain Bryn Wayt for including me in your mailing list. It is very hard to believe that DEFRA did not send one or more representatives to the (Western) Hemispheric Conference on the Eradication of FMD, Houston, Texas 3-4 March organized by the PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO). It would be a clear signal that DEFRA is intent on following its own concepts of FMD eradication in the UK without input of knowledge and experience gained at the other side of the Atlantic ocean involving the eradication of FMD in most of the South American continent and in more than 150 milion head of cattle.
I sincerely hope that the apparent lack of DEFRA's interest in the Conference, as shown by your e-mail exchange, is based on some gross misunderstanding.
Dr Paul Sutmoller PhD DVM Animal Health Consultant
From Martin Hugh-Jones
Dept. of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University
I attended this conference as one of the organisers. There were seats made available for a formal UK representative but they remained empty throughout the one & half days. OIE, IICA, OIRSA, FAO were strongly represented by sound officers, as well as ministers from all the South American countries, some in Central America, as well as Mexico, US, & Canada, plus industry representatives.Martin Hugh-Jones
It was a useful meeting which essentially laid out the ground rules for the eradication programme. Now to see how the directing Working Group sets it all up and ensures adequate funding. From the enthusiasm of the various South American delegates though the official taget is 2009, I would not be surprised if effective eradication is achieved in 2007.
This will depend on various things especially as the countries differ in their veterinary efficiencies and density of officers on the ground. Also the epidemiology of the disease is not too well studied in the Andean countries. On the other hand they are very keen.
Dept. of Pathobiological Sciences,
School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University