Livestock: Disease Control
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission research into public attitudes towards the use of livestock vaccination as a means of reducing the incidence of animal disease. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has no current plans to commission research into public attitudes towards the use of livestock vaccination. We do, however, have
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access to reports produced by other organisations. A recent survey carried out by The Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) on behalf of NOAH (The National Office of Animal Health) reveals an increased consumer awareness of animal medicines. The survey also found that consumers have confidence in those working in the food chain to use animal medicines appropriately and produce safe food.
March 4/ 5 2009 ~ "the need for continuing advances in vaccine technology combined with clear communication"
The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH)'s conference - "The role of vaccination in animal health - future technology and societal acceptance" - was held at The Royal Society in London yesterday. The results of a consumer survey were "encouraging" according to the NOAH press release. "with the onset of recession, consumers are giving more thought to the food they buy - they want good value, more local produce and to be assured of high animal health and welfare".
Phil Sketchley, chief executive of NOAH, is quoted: "We need to thoroughly explore the role vaccination has to play in animal health and, most importantly, how we can best communicate with the public to improve understanding and acceptance of new technologies which protect both our livestock and ourselves as consumers." Read in full
April 2 2009 ~ DEFRA is not following up the NOAH survey on new public acceptance of farm animal vaccination
After the National Office for Animal Health conference in March The role of vaccination in animal health - future technology and societal acceptance Phil Sketchley, the chief executive of NOAH, said:
"We need to thoroughly explore the role vaccination has to play in animal health and, most importantly, how we can best communicate with the public to improve understanding and acceptance of new technologies which protect both our livestock and ourselves as consumers." (see below)Jane Kennedy's answer to David Drew (Hansard) on March 27 suggests that DEFRA is not interested in following up this vital communication exercise.
April 2 2009 ~NOAH survey shows that fewer than one in ten people still believe that animals should be culled rather than vaccinated
(See National Office of Animal Health news release) And fear of vaccination among those few is probably caused by misinformation about vaccination - still going unchallenged and perhaps even encouraged by those for whom EU protectionism is profitable. Some continue to believe that eating vaccinated meat somehow involves 'chemicals'. In fact, vaccinated meat has not one trace of "vaccine" in it. The immune system, having responded to the jab, destroys the natural viral protein by biodegrading it - it can be likened to a wasp sting - the substance injected is biodegradable, indeed it is biodegraded by the very cells that form the immune (antibody) response. As we have written elsewhere, the logical conclusion of rejection of vaccination is the assumption that FMD infection is preferable. Ignorance about vaccination is precisely what allows the EU trade rules to persist. Even though the NOAH survey showed that less than one in ten believed that animals should be culled rather than vaccinated in an outbreak, one third were still worried that vaccines can be transferred into the food we eat. This is why NOAH's recommendation to improve understanding and acceptance among the public is so vitally important for the health of UK livestock.