Extract from email received 18th september 2006
"....Defra is presently under the stewardship of a razor sharp political animal, with amibitions to climb right to the very top; and for sure he is not going to dirty his hands - or his promotional chances by offering any national envelope crumbs to an insignificant voting group (farmers) seen by the majority of his party as over subsidised, privileged, whingers.
When this goes ahead, I suspect that many diseases in the UK will just 'fade'. Or the reporting / discovery of them will.
Like BSE in mainland Europe ten years ago, if farmers are penalised for reporting suspect candidate animals or poultry, then they will not do so. And an opportunity of early, decisive action to prevent endemic spread will have been lost. This is serious for two reasons; first, economically for international trade obligations and also for the effect on other species, including man, of zoonotics like Tb and avian flu."
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