Aug 15 2002 ~ A powerful inner circle does not constitute "the best scientific advice"
The Ferguson, Donnelly, Anderson paper about their model - that resulted in the 12/48 cull policies - is entitled The foot-and-mouth epidemic in Great Britain: pattern of spread and impact of interventions.It was published on line by Science Express on 12th April 2001. In the References and Notes section one finds the following in item (20):
"We thank Sir Robert May for valuable advice and discussions, and 3 anonymous referees for comments."Professor Robert May is President of the Royal Society, previous Chief Scientist, mentor of Roy Anderson and John Krebs, close associate of Chief Scientific Advisor David King. When MAFF commissioned FMD modelling studies they did NOT commission work from Anderson's team at Imperial - but Anderson's team did their own FMD modelling studies independently funded (partly by the Royal Society and also by the Wellcome Trust) which they then 'brought to the attention of' Professor King who was 'impressed' and invited then onto his Science Group.
http://www.maff.gov.uk/inf/newsrel/2001/010323a.htm "The Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Standards Agency held a joint meeting on 21 March (2001) to receive urgent advice from independent expert epidemiologists. Jim Scudamore (Chief Veterinary Officer), Sir John Krebs (Chairman FSA) and Professor David King (Chief Scientific Adviser) heard reports from Neil Ferguson and colleagues (Imperial College) Mark Woolhouse (University of Edinburgh) and opinions from experts at the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency"
(The Veterinary Laboratories Agency modelling team was headed by Prof John Wilesmith - Head of the CVL/VLA Epidemiology Unit. He was using a well regarded, well established FMD model (InterSpread) from Massey University's Epicentre in New Zealand http://epicentre.massey.ac.nz/). Prof Mark Woolhouse, who, like the Imperial modellers, is another non-vet biomathematician - led the 'independent' Edinburgh modelling team used to work with Prof Anderson at Oxford. He still defends the culling policies.
No Judicial Inquiry was ever allowed to probe reasons why a strangely interrelated inner circle of non FMD experts were able to control policy while those who understood the disease were sidelined.
Any claim that the UK Govternment acted on 'the best scientific advice' or claims that all the scientists were unanimous about need for 12/48 hour cull policies have long since been proved wrong. But there has still been no Public Inquiry.