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Extract from From the Vernon Harwood show. BBC Gloucestershire Radio, Sunday 24 September 2006

Vernon Harwood: "....Thousands of animals were killed in the county and their bodies incinerated in huge pyres. The Gloucestershire economy was hit as public events and sporting fixtures were cancelled and visitors steered clear. Although it was five years ago the spectre of foot and mouth disease has returned to the county. In new research that has just been released it has been discovered that more than a third of the sheep farms believed to have been infected with foot and mouth during the outbreak in 2001 were in fact free of the disease.

Veterinary experts looked at samples collected five years ago and found that 38% were misdiagnosed.

Dr David Paton is head of the foot and mouth reference laboratory at the Institute of Animal Health in PIrbright.

Vernon Harwood:So how has the latest news gone down here in Gloucestershire? Janet Bayley from Cirencester was the founding member of the National Foot and Mouth Group, an organisation concerned at the scale of the culling.
She was involved in the farm gate protest outside Oaklands Park at Newnham on Severn which eventually led to the halt of the contiguous cull in the Dean - that's the killing of all livestock in the immediate vicinity of an apparent case of foot and mouth. With more than a third of the sheep farms thought to have been infected with foot and mouth revealed as actually being disease-free, Janet Bayley feels vindicated:

Vernon Harwood:We are talking in fact of hundreds of thousands of animals being destroyed - those sickening funeral pyres that so many people remember.

Vernon Harwood:How many animals in Gloucestershire actually had foot and mouth disease in 2001? Do we know?

Vernon Harwood:Is this a case then today of you saying "I told you so"?

Vernon Harwood:Now DEFRA officials and indeed those in Downing Street may well respond by saying, "In 2001, when foot and mouth was evident, we couldn't take any chances."

Vernon Harwood:Did they know though? Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

Vernon Harwood:Now the figures are out, what recourse is there for farmers who lost their flocks in 2001?

Vernon Harwood: Janet Bayley from Cirencester, founder of the National Foot and Mouth Group, and that organisation, of course, set up in 2001 after concerns about the scale of the culling and Janet saying that now those views vindicated with the news that's just come out that says that more than a third of sheep farms believed to have been infected with foot and mouth in the outbreak five years ago were in fact free of the disease

I have a sneaking suspicion we are going to be hearing a bit more about foot and mouth in the coming months in reaction to that."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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