Autumn 2004 archive
From .... FMD 2001(new window)
"... measures used to prevent and control FMD were primarily based on agro-economic considerations
....authorities in charge were justifying their policies with doubtful scientific arguments....
The public in general, including veterinary and agricultural communities, were misinformed by scientists and veterinary authorities..."
For FMD home pageIRAQ Situation
Forum of Private Businesses Campaign
The EU FMD Directive (See here in html version or pdf version) Contact the site here ~ Exercise Hornbeam
Warmwell commentary on The UK foot and mouth disease outbreak- The Aftermath by Kitching et al
Dr Abigail Woods' book: A Manufactured Plague
November 20 - 26 2004 ~"... the Government will no doubt look to make economies elsewhere to make good the £600 million lost through its ineptitude, particularly in adopting the contiguous cull policy."
"The contiguous cull was not justified scientifically - it was the random slaughter of huge numbers of animals, which by its very nature sent costs spiralling out of control. It was all about holding the General Election on time - the word went out to the number crunchers to get it under control, regardless of cost or consequence. They came up with this policy that went way beyond what was necessary and it was imposed ruthlessly. Now we are all getting the bill for it." :Anthony Gibson WMN"... Following Commission checks, payments for the United Kingdom ... reduced by 58,1 % ..." para 104 European Court of Auditors Special Report No 8/2004 (pdf file - )
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ two thirds of claim disqualified "....concerns about the cost of the contiguous cull, which led to the deaths of millions of healthy animals. 10 million animals died, at a cost of £8 billion.."
Other newspapers have now followed the WMN (below) in telling British taxpayers that they will have to pay an extra £600 million towards the costs of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic because of EU concerns about the way the epidemic was handled. Charles Clover in the Telegraph :
"....The commission has decided to disqualify nearly two thirds of Britain's claim for £948 million from the emergency "pot" which Brussels holds to pay for major animal disease epidemics.Read in full and see also the Scotsman who also mention the 10 million animals killed. The BBC report is here. It adheres to DEFRA's 6.5 million (which includes the obscenely termed "welfare culls" ) - but it also mentions Dr Nick Honhold's study.
About 10 million animals died, at a cost of £8bn The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed last night that it would be receiving just £349 million. The other £600 million will fall on the taxpayer.....
....The commission is also believed to have had concerns about the cost of the contiguous cull, which led to the deaths of millions of healthy animals.
A report by the European Court of Auditors criticised Britain for its slow reaction to the outbreak and its failure to stop all animal movements immediately. Member states normally receive 60 per cent of the eligible costs of controlling an outbreak from community funds.
Neil Parish, the Conservative agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament, called on Margaret Beckett, the Rural Affairs Secretary, to make a Commons statement to apologise for the debacle.."
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ £600 million will not be paid by the EU for foot and mouth.
"British taxpayers have been "fined" £600 million by the European Commission over the Government's disastrous handling of the 2001 foot and mouth crisis. The EC has decided to disqualify almost two-thirds of the UK's claim for dealing with the crisis because of concerns about the way the outbreak was handled." See Tuesday's Western Morning News which also reports on the European Court of Auditors' concerns about the state of contingency plans (see also below) at the time of the crisis.
The WMN notes that the Court of Auditors criticise delays in slaughter. This is quite valid but the paper - most unfortunately - also implies that leaving animals "alive for weeks" was a mistake (these would surely not have been evidently infected animals - not for "weeks"). Of course, the mistake was in killing animals targeted for a cull well beyond the incubation time when it was perfectly apparent that they were still perfectly well. - which showed the flawed contiguous cull for the disgraceful overkill that it was. Even "after weeks" they were nevertheless slaughtered by the government juggernaut. The contiguous cull sent costs "spiralling out of control" - as Anthony Gibson says in the WMN article . A Defra spokesman however is insisting that ".... the cost to UK and EU taxpayers would have been much higher if we had not achieved eradication of the disease in the way we did..." a statement which for its ignorance, crassness and stupidity simply takes the breath away.
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ "Extraordinary that no one is actually charged with getting to the bottom of the problem.."
A response to the last few paragraphs of information on warmwell today includes this :
".. how much extra cost did the contiguous cull cause? In view of the huge costs, it is surely incumbent on someone/committee to examine this, and if not why not? There seems to be a complete failure of our system if it cannot address this problem."Exactly so. While we (somewhat reluctantly) agree that it would be inappropriate for an individual or an individual Department to be blamed, we do most earnestly want a spotlight to be shone publicly on all the factors that led to such an unhappy, costly and trust-destroying mess. Our hope now rests on the National Audit Office, whose study will "follow-up the recommendations made in the Public Accounts Committee’s highly critical report of 2002 (this is a slow pdf file. right click and "save target as" to avoid long hold up) and the government’s response of May 2003"
If they are seriously to examine whether the British public received value for the billions in tax money paid out it will inevitably require consideration of the policies: how they came about, how far their enormous cost can be justified - and if not, how far lessons really have been learned - as they most certainly were not after 1967's Northumberland report's recommendations.
We find ourselves in agreement with Margaret Beckett's comment in the Government response to the Inquiries "I share Dr Anderson’s hope that not only the Government but everyone with an interest in the future of farming and the wider rural economy will look to learn the lessons of the epidemic, apply the recommendations and thereby collectively ensure that the experience of 2001 is never repeated."
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ Constant reference by field vets to Page Street was"necessary for quality control on diagnosis" - and to obey EU regulations
In his first "Lessons Learned" Inquiry meeting with the CVO in April 2002, Dr Anderson told Jim Scudamore,
"...the widely voiced criticism from the Inquiry's meetings around the country, of Page Street - that it had not listened and that it had not been responsive to local judgement, especially regarding the contiguous cull.More
The CVO said that, whilst the contiguous cull had been national policy, he disagreed that Page Street had not allowed local veterinary judgement. The instructions to vets issued on 6 April and 26 April had mentioned the use of local judgement.
....the CVO commented ......Confirmation from the centre had been necessary for: quality control on diagnosis - monitoring decisions made by temporary vets and using Page Street knowledge of was happening in outbreak in totality; gathering knowledge of what had been happening immediately - to inform the government as a whole and also the EU; a global overview -which had enabled policy changes ( the introduction of the "Slaughter on Suspicion" policy) to be empirically founded.
Once a vet had inspected a farm, he or she would have phoned Page Street with three options: confirm disease (slaughter), no disease (no slaughter) or uncertainly as to whether disease existed (Slaughter on Suspicion).
The CVO said that he would use the same policy again in similar circumstances"
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ Contingency plan in 2001 " had not been a plan, but a document sent to the EU to confirm that plans were in place."
Lessons Learned Inquiry meeting with CVO:
" It was pointed out that the Government response to the Inquiry's framework document asserted that "comprehensive contingency plans had been in place ...The operational plan had been developed and updated over the years but there had never been a full consultation. The policy dimension had received less attention. The "contingency plan" had not been a plan, but a document sent to the EU to confirm that plans were in place. There had been a wide consultation on the contingency plan on TSE in sheep and similar consultation was in place for the interim FMD contingency plan.
Dr Anderson suggested that a contingency plan should be more than a document, and should include an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders. He quoted a submission to the Inquiry that the contingency plan had been the "best kept secret". The CVO agreed that that may have been true. The other agencies involved in preparing the contingency plan were those listed in the Government submission. In future he suggested that tourism and other industries should also be included in the consultation.
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ "....not a single member of administrative staff had ever served in a disease control centre.. it will be my head that is on the block"
The fact that no "plan" had been in place seems even more surprising in view of the note sent by the ACVO for Wales to Mr Scudamore in July 2000
"On Friday we discussed briefly, among other issues, my concern about the lack of progress on this issue.... (ie Notifiable Disease Preparedness)....FMD has just re emerged in Greece and you said that you have seen Turkish lorries here in the UK ...the state of the lorries leaves a lot to be desired. This, among other things, confirms my concern, and I believe yours, about the lack of preparedness to deal with a major outbreak of an exotic disease.....
.... I am not pointing the finger at Page Street because I am only too well aware of the pressures on the staff there, but if they cannot devote the time and resources to make some sort of progress then we need to assess whether there are other ways of achieving the same end...
...As Lead HVS Richard Drummond (see Drummond report pdf) has already done some good work in this area and we could perhaps build on that...we discovered that not a single member of administrative staff had ever served in a disease control centre and that we had a substantial number of young AHOs who have no disease control experience either. I suspect the situation is not dissimilar in other parts of GB....I will be prepared to share the responsibility....if a problem should arise here in Wales it will be my head that is on the block..."
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ CVO Jim Scudamore raised concerns about swill ban at Lessons Learned
(From notes made by LL of first meeting with CVO April 10 2002)
"... banning swill would not, of itself, eradicate the danger of disease being contracted from contaminated waste food. Indeed, it could even aggravate matters if other aspects of waste disposal were not properly addressed. There was a charge for access to landfill and there might be some incentive to feed swill illegally to avoid this. Wild boar could access waste and birds could carry contaminated material from landfill sites. The Environment Agency and others should ensure that catering waste was properly disposed of and landfill sites were properly managed and monitored.. .." MoreSee also WMN report mentioned below: ".... "What problems are we storing up for ourselves when the only rule that has to be obeyed today for dumping of waste food is that it is enclosed in a black plastic bag ?" ..."
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ "There won't be any excuse for people not to be able to check on information...This is the archive of the people who were there."
Rewriting the history of FMD 2001 for political purposes will be made much more difficult because of the Stoneleigh archive, described as"one of the most important things the society has been given for many years". The Royal Agricultural Society of England is busy sorting, indexing and cataloguing all the FMD information collected and donated by the Reverend Patricia Pinkerton. She wrote to warmwell
"Like you, I am passionate to make sure that all the information on FMD is available for anyone to access and check data. And all in one place. There won't be any excuse for people to not be able to check on information..now an official and permanent archive.email from the Rev Pinkerton to warmwell. Read in full.
.... The Royal Agriculture Society of England, have officially accepted all the Foot and Mouth Disease information, documents, research, photographs tapes and videos that I have collected and given to them on behalf of us all. This is the archive of the people who were there. "
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ "whether or not there were other things that we should have asked for and did not, I do not know.."
Alun Evans, the Secretary of the Anderson Inquiry, gave evidence to the Public Administration Committee (see also below) on 22 June 2004
" .... how do you know you have got all the evidence and all the facts at your disposal, and that is almost an unanswerable question, apart from the fact everything we asked for we got from government. We had to do a bit of digging at some stages to get it and whether or not there were other things that we should have asked for and did not, I do not know....I cannot say we did not find that people lied to us (sic) but we have no evidence that people were not telling us things that they should have done..... ...."In other words Mr Evans and Dr Anderson had to know what to ask for and what to ask about. Dr Anderson told the EFRA Committee in July 2002 "I do not believe that any information that is material has been withheld from me." To Colin Breed's question: ".. it is not impossible that notes were re-written and others lost?" he replied, "Obviously nothing is impossible. I simply say I have no evidence which supports that."
Neither the video of conditions at Burnside nor the lengthy statement by the SVS vet Mr James Dring were volunteered by MAFF/DEFRA. While the Anderson Inquiry had " full access to the Cabinet papers" they were not allowed to remove them and had to make notes there and then "rather than if we had judicial powers for some of the notes of the meetings we wanted."
Mr Evans said, of Lessons Learned, that
"... as well as being shown to be a robust inquiry it also had something of a cathartic effect on the community that had suffered, and I think Dr Anderson did that well. .."Words do rather fail one. Read more
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ a real-time alert simulation exercise on Foot-and-Mouth Disease took place in Austria last week.
Northern Ireland's Farming Life reports .....
Internal and external observers took take part in the evaluation."We have yet to see any evaluation of the UK Exercise Hornbeam or to know what evaluations were made by "external observers" (if any...we understand the BBC team were ejected from the Truro Operations Room by the DVM Ms Jan Kelly.)
Farming Life also has an article Court Of Auditors Reports Back On FMD Outbreak (Farming Life, Northern Ireland) which lists the Court's recommendations and also warmly welcomes the new Stoneleigh archive. (see above)
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ IUCN calls for international cooperation in animal disease and restraint on mass culling
World Conservation Congress in Bangkok : IUCN's veterinary specialist group says mass cull of animals should be ordered only if there is a unanimous opinion that the species really threaten public health. Avian flu control measures have resulted in literally millions of chickens being killed - mostly with sickening lack of care.
The IUCN has called for international collaboration among public health, wildlife and trade sectors, to tackle emerging diseases like avian flu, mad cow and foot and mouth diseases. "....world’s leaders, civil society, and national and global healthrelated and other scientific institutions:
(a) establish formal communication channels among the global institutions responsible for human, domestic animal and wildlife health, and forge linkages to nongovernmental organizations with relevant expertise." Read recommendations
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ "... If you have another epidemic I think you might have another problem on your hands."
Extract from a part of the uncorrected transcript of the Public Administration Committee's " inquiry into inquiries"
Q575 Mr Liddell-Grainger: On the assumption that something like foot and mouth was a complete disaster for the nation, it spread across the entire nation with so many hundreds of thousands of people affected...... Surely we should have had some form of very public part of this to try and establish whether or not this will happen again. I also sit on the Defra Select Committee, and you have done an exercise that was not overly inspiring. If you have another epidemic I think you might have another problem on your hands. This inquiry itself surely should have had a very much more public part to try to work out why, when and how this might happen again: because a lot of what was recommended, I suspect, is still private?Read extract in full and the warmwell page on Exercise Hornbeam
Sir Brian Bender: I hope not.
Q576 Mr Liddell-Grainger: Is everything out in the open?
Sir Brian Bender: Yes, absolutely. I would be interested, perhaps outside this formal session, to find out why you have said that the exercise, which involved several hundred staff from the department and across the country, was, as you described, "uninspiring".
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ All party Welsh AMs watch Burnside video
"....All who saw the footage were appalled at the state of the farm and were critical of Trading Standards officers and ministry vets who had granted Burnside Farm, Heddon-on-the-Wall, a licence to operate.
Former farm protest leader Brynle Williams - now a Conservative AM - questioned how the farm had been allowed to continue to trade." See FWI article
November 20 - 26 2004 ~ Video leads to calls for a major boost for composting
The pigswill ban means that a million tonnes of unprocessed waste food is dumped on land-fill sites. As thre FWI article tells us
"Mrs Dunwoody-Kneafsey, a smallholder who sits for Preseli Pembrokeshire, urged the assembly to press the government for a major boost for composting.Read in full
And Mr Williams, who farms in Clwyd, asked: "What problems are we storing up for ourselves when the only rule that has to be obeyed today for dumping of waste food is that it is enclosed in a black plastic bag ?"
............ Lynda Davies, national co-ordinator of the Association of Swill Users, said that an over-reliance on composting would lead to stockpiling of waste food. "There's not enough capacity to cope with all of the waste food so it will have to stand. Disease spread from sites with piles of waste food will leave any farms nearby at huge risk of disease."
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ " to apologise for - no doubt inadvertently - misleading the House..."
Jim Paice said today: “Every week brings more evidence of chaos at DEFRA over Foot and Mouth. ..... Bradshaw repeatedly says that the outbreak started at Burnside Farm; the question he makes no attempt to answer is ‘How did it get there?’ I have also asked Bradshaw when Ministers first knew about the video. As he has not answered today that question dies with the end of this parliamentary session when it should have been answered on Monday. This is more evidence that Ministers do not want us to know the truth. This refusal by Ministers to accept any responsibility to explain themselves or want to know how the disease got to Burnside Farm brings us ever closer to the need for a further Inquiry.” See Press Release
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ "under such conditions one could infect a rhinoceros...."
A letter in the Farmers Guardian shines a light on that other shadowy bastion of "let's kill to save", the so-called National Scrapie Programme (in fact Europe wide) and the shaky edifice upon which it is based.
Like the boy in the Emperor's New Clothes, the letter points to the link between the NSP and substantial contracts for scientists carrying out studies.
"... the National Scrapie Programme barges on.... This ill-thought-out programme may well succeed in destroying many (all?) of the characteristics which over the years have made British sheep unique and successful. We could lose meat quality, hardiness and disease-resistance ......Studies from around the world have failed to identify a causal link between scrapie and CJD but the juggernaut rolls inexorably on. (See Scrapie pages on warmwell.) We are told that this final sentence of Peter Greenhill's letter was deleted for publishing: " As an old doctor once said to me 'you can make sperm go through the heel of a Wellington boot.....if they pay you enough money'."
....would it be sensible to take a long, hard look at where all this is leading? ...we could try to keep the matter in the hands of those not directly manipulating the scientific studies...
What became apparent was that if you injected a known BSE-infected substance into the living brain of another breed of animal under rigid laboratory conditions, horizontal transfer and infection was possible. As a famous scientist observed "under such conditions one could infect a rhinoceros"... " Read in full
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ "Michael Jack MP, chairman of the EFRA select committee, told FW that he would hold a viewing of the tape in the coming days.... "
Mr Bradshaw will not watch it, DEFRA denies there is anything new - but many politicians have now seen or want to see the FMD video and are asking why it was not shown to Dr Anderson's Inquiry and why, if the outbreak really originated at Burnside Farm, the fact of the video's existence and that of Mr Dring's statement should have been withheld from Lessons Learned. Mr Waugh was made to sign the official secrets act - but the government was free to say what it liked. On the 13th February 2001 sheep at Ponteland, five miles from Burnside farm at Heddon on the Wall, were found to be infected. Government actions let it be assumed that Waugh's pigs were the source - yet the video suggests the possibility of the presence of infected sheep carcasses on the farm premises even as an "inspection" was taking place. Jonathan Riley's report in last friday's Farmers Weekly shows that many MPs and senior veterinary figures have now seen, or have asked to see, the video taken at Burnside farm.
"The state of the farm in Feb 2001, just four weeks after it had been approved in a government inspection, was made clear in a showing of the video organised by FARMERS WEEKLY (News, Oct 29). It left vets and MPs shocked and appalled and has prompted a barrage of parliamentary questions ......answering Mr Paice's question, junior DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw said his department had first obtained a copy of the video on Sept 30, 2004 ...... A cross-party group of MPs saw the video Thursday morning (Nov 11) in London, and Michael Jack MP, chairman of the EFRA select committee, told FW that he would hold a viewing of the tape in the coming days. A group of senior vets has also requested a copy of the tape to hold a behind-closed doors viewing. And the Welsh Assembly's plans to show the tape next Tuesday (Nov 16) are well advanced. The Association of Swill Users has planned its showing for Sat, Nov 13." Read in full
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ DEFRA says no sheep found at Burnside...
The exact wording of Written Answers to parliamentary questions is always worth examining. From Hansard for November 15th: Mr Bradshaw ".... There is no new evidence that indicates that the disease was present anywhere else earlier than at Burnside Farm." and " Defra found no dead sheep on Burnside Farm either on 24 February or on any other date in 2001" Neither statement says definitively quite what it implies. "No new evidence" is not the same as "no evidence" and "Defra found no dead sheep" does not mean that there were no dead sheep.
Jason Groves' article in Wednesday's Western Morning News reports that
"the Government denied that dead sheep had been found on the Northumberland pig farm where the epidemic is thought to have started - despite video evidence to the contrary... The emergence of the video prompted the Shadow Agriculture Minister Owen Paterson to table a number of Parliamentary questions asking whether the sheep had been tested for foot and mouth. In his reply Mr Bradshaw, who has refused to watch the video, said the department "found no dead sheep on Burnside Farm either on 24 February or on any other date in 2001" Read in fullThe article also quotes Andrew George: "It is a poor quality video, but I saw a sheep carcass there. Maybe the carcass was alive and walked off....
... it seems that all relevant papers went to Dr Anderson except for the most juicy, most relevant ones....
....It is all very well blaming Bobby Waugh, but the fact is that his farm was allowed to get into that state and still given a licence."
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ "V" tag worries are reviving ancient arguments against vaccination
On 30th March 2001, directive 2001/257/EC (pdf file new window) approved limited protective vaccination for cattle in Cumbria and Devon, yet for reasons that are still not entirely clear, vaccination was turned down. The Guardian, in a most powerful article about "the power and influence of big business on government policy", blamed Nestlé UK ; Nick Brown blamed "large retailers and in particular Cadburys"; while David Hill of the NFU assumed the union had stopped the proposed use of vaccination after an "eye-ball to eye-ball confrontation" with the Prime Minister. (In September 2001, NFU officials were heard to say that had the government informed them that compensation for losses owing to vaccination was available under Directive 90/424/EEC they would have supported vaccination in April 2001. )
Even today, those who think animals with a "V" tag stuck to their ears will bring them less profit are worriedly remembering and reviving arguments against vaccination from that muddled time. One of the longest surviving is that "consumers won't want vaccinated meat" yet the Food Standards Agency was quite clear on this even in 2001: "we are confident that there is no human health risk from vaccinated milk or meat from vaccinated animals. " The National Consumer Council made it clear that "vaccinates would not need to be labelled" and a PQ on food safety in Jan 2003 should have put the matter finally to rest.
As for the deboning and heat treatment that would have had to follow vaccination had it taken place in April 2001, the EU derogation has removed that obstacle for the home market. OIE trading rules have changed to make vaccination easier and the EU Directive itself favours vaccination to live. Export losses because of vaccination should still be covered by EU Directive 90/424/EEC - amounts of money that could never approach the massive waste of public money caused by the still unfathomable decision not to vaccinate in April 2001.
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ "...this type of distressing and unpleasant task, which many of us instinctively knew was unnecessary."
A letter in the current Veterinary Record
SIR, - I am writing on behalf of the Lakeland Veterinary Association regarding the papers published recently in The Veterinary Record by Taylor and others (2004} and Honhold and others (2004a, b). In this area we had nearly 50 per cent of the cases of foot-and-mouth disease is (FMD), and so had considerable, and very harsh, experience of the 2001 epidemic. These papers clearly add weight to the view that the contiguous cull policy, which was adopted during the FMD epidemic of 2001, was based on advice which was flawed, and that the epidemic was brought under control not by computer modelling but by the more traditional methods of strict movement controls, speedy removal of Infected Premises, intensive surveillance and sound risk assessment of the threat posed by Dangerous Contacts often based on detailed local knowledge. We have written to the Chief Veterinary Officer suggesting that, in the light of these studies, the contiguous cull strategy can now formally be abandoned so that our members will never again have to undertake this type of distressing and unpleasant task, which many of us instinctively knew was unnecessary. We have yet to receive a reply on this matter..Read in full See also Foot-and-mouth disease: the vital need for collaboration as an aid to disease elimination
.....We believe that local farm animal practices still have a central and vital role to play if any form of animal health and welfare strategy is to be delivered as a reality and not merely a paper exercise. "
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ Slaughter: "may" becomes "shall"
- one of the two amendments to the Animal Health Act referred to below. (The only link with "health" in the complicated legislation of 2002 is that, healthy or not, animals may be slaughtered and legal loopholes that embarrassed the government in 2001 closed.)
A Ministry that proclaims its transparency - and there are 16458 documents on the Defra website that make use of that word - might now feel it appropriate to comment on why a Statutory Instrument, bypassing parliament, is to be used to comply with the EU's wishes on the killing of our animals and the withdrawal of right of appeal. One alarmed email to warmwell asks,
"...The EU Directive states that susceptible animals on a holding where FMD has been confirmed shall be killed. However, there are no provisions in the Directive, from what I can see, for the 'shall' to be placed in any other category in schedule 3. It only applies to a holding where it has been confirmed, not to holdings where FMD is suspected. This provision has been in place for years in the EU directives so why are DEFRA lawyers only now making such an issue of it?.... Are they intending to place the 'shall' in other categories in schedule 3?"We apologise if we have unwittingly caused unnecessary fear. However, this sort of worry is precisely why DEFRA's communications should be open, transparent and clearly stated in real English.
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ DEFRA’s lawyers now realise that the 2002 Animal Health Act is not compatible with the EU Directive on foot and mouth
See AHA and the EU Directive.EU Directive.
Two amendments will have to be made, one of which will take away the right of discussion before slaughter of animals takes place. There will be no parliamentary debate. ....next March a draft Order in Council, that is a Statutory Instrument will be published ..." Please see latest entry (Saturday) to the EU referendum blog.
November 12 - November 19 2004 ~ "... double standard is unacceptable."
From the letter Robert Persey wrote to the Times
"The Permanent Secretary at DEFRA recently spoke at the Commons public administration committee about the FMD inquiries. He is reported as saying 'it would be deplorable if any ministers or officials had been singled out for criticism over the disastrous series of events'. The Secretary of State at DEFRA Mrs Beckett M.P spoke to the House of Commons on March 11 2004 and said 'It is the person (i.e. Mr Bobby Waugh) who employed standards which helped to foster such an outbreak, who is responsible.' Ministers and their officials are entitled to blame members of the public but the same Ministers and their officials are not to be held responsible for their own failings. I think this double standard is unacceptable."Many would agree. The has been no acknowledgement or understanding of the widespread fear, misery and sense of disbelief in the government sanctioned insanity of what was happening in 2001, the loss of prime and irreplaceable breeding stock, losses to the livestock industry and those businesses allied to it. But quite apart from that, the choices made in 2001 resulted in a massive squandering of public money. DEFRA and the government shrug off their accountability for this - even in the face of the EU's justifiable refusal to withhold money from the UK. Mr Waugh's errors - unchecked by officials at the time - made him the scapegoat. He was "singled out for criticism" Many, many others continue to pay the price for the errors of 2001. And DEFRA implies that it cannot understand what all the fuss is about.
November 12 - 19 2004 ~ ".. one of the most appalling cases of misgovernment since the Second World War"
In its own report today about the NAO inquiry (see below) the Western Morning News quotes Owen Paterson above. It also reports that
.." Sir Brian Bender.... permanent secretary at the former Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food at the time of the crisis, said: "Identifying who was to blame and trying to nail people was not the intention of ministers. I deplore the tendency to try to finger people rather than learn the lessons."We wonder when Mr Bender thinks this "tendency" has been demonstrated. Certainly in none of the reports we have seen lately.
"...Sir Brian also defended the decision to hold the bulk of the official "lessons learned" inquiry in secret. He said that the decision, which was taken by Tony Blair, was designed to produce "forward-looking" recommendations quickly. But he said taking evidence in private might also have helped to "contribute to greater candour" from witnesses..."We can only repeat what we have already said about the background of those witnesses invited to give evidence in private
Ian Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater..."...Surely we should have had some form of very public process to give people confidence that we had got to the truth."Read the Western Morning News article in full
Labour MP Gordon Prentice also noted that "huge numbers of people out there were clamouring for a public inquiry".
The Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson, who was also giving evidence to MPs yesterday, said that although private inquiries had some advantages they were becoming "increasingly difficult to sustain" because the public did not trust them.
November 12 - 19 2004 ~ Work in Progress: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Foot and Mouth: Applying the Lessons
UK National Audit Office publications "Study Outline
The 2001 epidemic was the largest animal disease epidemic in modern times and cost the tax-payer over £3 billion. Although up to 60 per cent of eligible costs are recoverable from Europe, the European Commission intends to disallow a substantial proportion of the compensation paid to UK farmers in 2001 owing to overvaluations. Our study will follow-up the recommendations made in the Public Accounts Committee’s highly critical report of 2002 and the government’s response of May 2003........ We expect to publish our report in early 2005"While the NAO inquiry will be looking at avoiding a similar disaster in financial terms it is logical that it probe into how the epidemic started. That none of the other inquiries saw fit to do so is a mystery. The NAO may want to ask what failings - after three years of government denial and obfuscation - now need to be addressed.
November 4 - November 11 2004 ~ Parts of Mr Dring's statement demand further questioning
See longer entry ".. In spite of evidence that the farm was in a miserable state, it was not closed down. Mr Dring made only threats about the revocation of the Article 26 licence (swill feeding). He suggests that cruelty would be "hard to prove"
"anyone looking for official documentation of the sequence of events related above will look in vain. This is because, though contrary to normal working practice, no such official record was made."
At a time when farmers are expected to keep exhaustive records and spend valuable time filling forms, it is wholly unacceptable for an official to be negligent and irresponsible about record keeping..
"With the benefit of hindsight, however, I now see that this is much more likely to have been swill, dropped off close to his holding tank, for incorporation, without prior processing, into his feeding system." -
.....not good enough to talk about the "benefit of hindsight" when Waugh's premises had been complained about.
...... Mr Dring's mea culpa is honest - but it is not surprising that it was decided at DEFRA that such a "memo" should have not find its way to Dr Anderson.....
....seems evident that there were perhaps as many as eight dead sheep hidden in a shed. An inspection worth its name would have found them." Read in full
November 4 - November 11 2004 ~ " .... it needed more independent expertise on diagnostics, practical expertise on the use of vaccines, expertise on serology".
Before any of the three "non-dovetailing" parts (see Ian Liddell-Grainger MP in WMN) of the official FMD inquiries reported, the concerns of Dr David Shannon, who retired from his post of Chief Scientist at DEFRA at the end of 2001, were quoted in the February 2002 edition of Science & Public Affairs
"....The initial modelling was done without a full understanding of the disease and the nature of the industry and its practices......' Read in fullDr Shannon expressed unease about the way advice on the outbreak was given to the Government. He spoke out to ensure that lessons were learned. He can hardly have expected that the reports would be so lacking in criticism. After three years, DEFRA's view of an "Expert Group" has changed little. In spite of the EU Directive, it consists only of DEFRA vets, epidemiologists and administrative staff and of "FMD experts from Pirbright".
November 4 - November 11 2004 ~ The Anderson Inquiry - careful in its choice of official witnesses
Now that it is more evident than ever that key evidence was indeed withheld from the so-called "Lessons to be Learned" Inquiry, we remember that in 2002 those who were invited actively to give evidence, from Tony Blair downwards, were drawn from Government ranks. After a long list of Ministers, Cabinet Office officials, Defra officials, Downing Street officials, MoD officials, Treasury and other Government Agencies, those listed as ' Other organisations and individuals'. include such as Professor Roy Anderson, the BVA, the NFU 2 meetings, NFU Scotland meeting- and also lnquiry visits to France and the Netherlands.
Apart from National Foot and Mouth Group - and Warmwell itself - there were very few actually called to put a view counter to the Government (Mr Peter Ainsworth MP being one of the noble exceptions). How could lessons be learned when Dr Anderson was not to hear the other side? Those researches show that the adopted control measures, far from being a cause for complacency, actually increased the scale, impact and extent of the epidemic.
November 4 - November 11 2004 ~ fresh questions about the foot and mouth inquiry tomorrow, Thursday
WMN "The Government is to face fresh questions about the foot and mouth inquiry tomorrow when MPs begin their own investigation into the value of official reports on departmental failures. Sir Brian Bender, the top civil servant at the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will face tough questioning about the inquiry into the 2001 epidemic...... Ian Liddell-Grainger : "The inquiry was broken up into three parts, none of which dovetailed, leaving the possibility that many important questions would fall between the gaps. It appears to have been designed to get the Government off the hook. Most importantly it has not convincingly demonstrated that the Government has learned from its many mistakes. We are as open to another outbreak of foot and mouth as we were." ............. Tomorrow's hearing is part of a wider investigation into the value of official inquiries." Read in full See also warmwell pages about Mr Bender including strong words from the Telegraph.
November 4 - November 11 ~ Mr Bradshaw: "Defra recently obtained copies of the video ...."
Burnside Farm Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department was first informed of the existence of a video of Burnside Farm taken by Northumberland Trading Standards officers on 23 February 2001; and when her Department first obtained a copy of the video. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 28 October 2004]: A Defra official was present at Burnside Farm on 24 February 2001 when the video of the conditions on the farm was being made by Northumberland Trading Standards Department. Defra officials saw some of the video when it was shown at Robert Waugh's trial in May 2002. Defra recently obtained copies of the video when it was referred to in correspondence received by Defra officials on 30 September 2004.
November 4 - November 11 ~ The case officer who had been pursuing the Swill feeders' case for the Ombudsman has been "promoted" away
We hear from Robert Persey: "The Parliamentary Ombudsman has promoted the case officer who was making good progress on the swill feeding case.
Surprise, surprise, he has not been replaced and so the investigation has conveniently stopped.
Is somebody pulling strings with the Ombudsman?"
It certainly looks like it. The case has been beset by diversionary tactics for months.
November 4 - November 11 ~“We’re getting somewhere now. We have a voice and the government will surely have to listen now that the Parliamentary Ombudsman is investigating our case."
See Royal Agricultural Society of England's website ".... Lynda Davies, who lives near Manchester, is the driving force behind a campaign in support of swill feeders who were severely hit by the crisis. The British Pig and Poultry Fair’s ‘British Pig Personality of the Year’ judges announced their decision to create a special award for ‘a unique contribution by a unique person’. ........Ian Bell, Director of rural charity the ARC-Addington Fund, said that Lynda had fought against the social problems caused by the crisis, which were often neglected in favour of economic considerations.
Lynda began a fight for justice after the finger of blame was pointed at swill feeders in the aftermath of FMD, and her own husband’s business was badly hit. In the three years since the government banned swill feeding no compensation has been made to the people who earned their living from it."
November 4 - November 11 ~ The smell from the Burnside bins made the postman gag...
every time he passed Burnside. We understand that Trading Standards officers spent many man hours compiling reports on their investigations into Burnside Farm at Heddon on the Wall.
Our information is that local council dustmen were interviewed about conditions outside the farm. A postman had made a statement saying that the smell from the bins in the yard was overpowering and that he actually 'gagged' every time he passed Burnside. A school cook made a statement about the waste given to Waugh. Locals had been interviewed, as well as a man who worked for BT. All agreed that the place was disgusting. One wonders whether these reports were given to the Lessons Learned Inquiry or quietly shelved.
November 4 - November 11 ~ "A spokesman for DEFRA last night said if there was any evidence to support the allegations it would start a new investigation"
Valerie Elliott in the Times on Monday "...video evidence obtained by Farmers Weekly from Northumberland Trading Standards shows that the virus could have been taken on to the pig farm, which was ran by Bobby Waugh, in the carcasses of sheep ...
...A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said last night that if there were any evidence to support the allegations it would start a new investigation."Read in full
Ms Elliott's article notwithstanding, it is the allegations concerning the scandal of the state of the farm and its being condoned by those who had the power to step in - which ought to "start a new investigation"
November 4 - November 11 ~ " There were complaints about fires burning on the site and swill being tipped at the side of the road..."
"..The place was very untidy. But at the end of the day, I pay my taxes for people like Defra and Trading Standards to inspect premises like this and see that they are kept up to standard. Their attitude to this place was very lackadaisical. If it had been policed properly this would never have occurred in the first place." Extract from the article from icNewcastle May 31 2002.
As an emailer wrote at the weekend, "Waugh was undoubtedly an insensitive farmer and his pigs were treated abominably, but pigs are still treated inhumanely, pig disease is still rife, still hidden and covered up for the sake of trade just as it was in East Anglia in the months before FMD struck. No lessons have been learned. The suggestion that there was at Burnside material that was either not noticed or deliberately not investigated is important. However sorry one feels for the overworked officials concerned, a new inquiry at which answers are demanded would now seem imperative. The questions are not going to go away."
November 4 - November 11 ~ Evidence against Waughs being the index case
- FMD virus was never recovered from the pig swill and there was a lot of it about - in untreated form
- A single airborne spread event (HoW to Prestwick Hall) would seem illogical
- Presence of sheep carcase(s) from Ponteland on Waugh's bonfire means that MAFF investigations as to alternative origins should have been rigorous - they do not appear to have been (video).
- Ageing of lesions is inaccurate - especially ageing of old lesions (e.g. 10 days or more).
- All 11 blue faced Leicesters treated for 'foot scald' (sic) at Prestwick Hall farm on Feb 10 and 20 were antibody positive and 3 had 'old FMD lesions' - so FMD was indeed present at this farm from late January or early February.
- Anderson did not try and establish the origins of the epidemic, just as he did not test the scientific validity of the contiguous culling policy
November 4 - November 11 ~ Video raises FMD theory doubts
Source: FWi 05 November 2004 Jonathan Riley
"..........the emergence of the Northumberland Trading Standards video, taken on Bobby Waugh’s Burnside Farm in Feb 2001 (News, Oct 29), FW has unearthed evidence of a possible alternative mode of transmission.See also FWi page "Did the disease start in sheep?""...documented evidence – a paper published by the Veterinary Record in April 2003 – also supposed that the foot lesions seen at Prestwick Hall Farm could have been F&M lesions. (see also email received) .." See also Welsh Assembly's rural affairs committee ask to see a copy of the Burnside Farm video
The video shows a dog tearing at a dead sheep on Burnside's rubbish heap and has begged the question from all of those who have seen the video, "How did the sheep get there?". Speaking to Mr Waugh, FW has learned that the animal shown in the video was one of eight dead sheep, brought on to the farm on Jan 24, 2001 – four weeks before the disease was confirmed at the farm. Mr Waugh said that the sheep were brought to his farm by a man, whose name is withheld, from land near to Prestwick Hall Farm. "We put the sheep in a shed out of the way for a while because Jim Dring [the government vet] was due to carry out his inspection for my Article 26 licence that afternoon," he said. The sheep were dragged out of the shed and burned over the next few days. Bristol University professor, Sheila Crispin, said: "The presence of the sheep at Burnside Farm and the emerging details of the movements from a site near Prestwick Hall, create considerable uncertainty over the agreed transmission theory." Read in full
November 4 - November 11 ~ Sheep tests showed disease nearly three weeks before FMD officially recognised
Sheep which had been transported to France nearly three weeks before FMD was officially identified, with health certificates signed by Welsh Assembly vets, were shown to have been infected. Once again, the names of Hugues Inizan and Marc Nozin must be remembered.
In January 2001 sheep exported from Brecon and Ross-on- Wye to France showed signs of FMD. 31 sheep were tested. 21 of those sheep proved negative, but 10 proved positive, with 7 testing highly positive. Joyce Quin, in answer to Stephen O'Brien, said in the House of Commons on May 8 2001
"The French authorities have now informed us that the seven samples that initially showed positive results have been re-tested with negative results. They have concluded that the initial serological positive reactions must be considered as false positives..."Mr O'Brien tabled several other PQs about this by MPs, as did Mr James Paice. As far as we can ascertain, answers were unsatisfactory.
( Our own researches in France met first with interest and then with stony, even frightened, silence.)
November 4 - November 11 ~ Parliamentary Questions being asked today
by Andrew George and Owen Paterson concerning the scientific test samples sent to Pirbright and results of those test samples. Read here
(We await with interest the answer to Mr Paterson's question: ".... what tests were made on the dead sheep shown in the Burnside Farm video taken by trading standards officials on 24th February 2001 to determine their cause of death; and what the results were of those tests." The dead sheep at Burnside, seen on the video but not mentioned in Mr Dring's statement (pdf), are of particular interest in view of Dr Renton's view and in view of the information we were given that the sheep originated from Ponteland where they had been "ill")
November 4 - November 11 ~ "I have absolutely no doubt that there was a cover-up" Owen Paterson
."Michael Howard has pledged to review the case for a full public inquiry into the foot and mouth disaster in the light of new evidence of a Government cover-up " is the front page news of the Western Morning News (Thursday)
" . .. The Tory leader ..... stressed that he would prefer to see those responsible held to account while they were still in office. ..It really won't wash to call this search for the truth a "politically orchestrated campaign". I have updated this website - unfunded and without political interest - every day for over three years because the politicians not only refuse to face the responsibility for a terrible set of mistakes but - to cover these mistakes - seem determined to reject even now the humane, common sense measures that should have been taken.
Shadow Agriculture Minister Owen Paterson: "I have absolutely no doubt that there was a cover-up. Many people in the countryside are still absolutely boiling about this - it will not go away."
Mr Paterson has also tabled questions about the fate of scientific test results taken on livestock at Waugh's farm at the time of the outbreak. ...... the test results do not appear to have been sent to the Anderson Inquiry.
..... Ben Bradshaw : "This is just a politically orchestrated campaign to try and put the blame for foot and mouth on the Government rather than on the farmer who was responsible through his criminal activity," he said..." Read in full
October 29 - November 4 ~ Missing Test results. It gets murkier
DEFRA maintains a loud silence over the video of Burnside. The original test results (reference) at Heddon on the Wall were deliberately removed from Dring's "memo" and never sent to the Lessons Learned inquiry. Nor was the video, eventually seen by MPs and other influential figures on October 21st 2004.
Those test results now seem crucial. Do the test results give a clear idea of when infection came to Burnside? What exactly are the discrepancies between what was said about the results and the results themselves? Were antibody positives included?
There are far too many unanswered questions in this whole matter. The tests could well show that Heddon on the Wall could not possibly have been the index case. (See also Dr Renton's words below) We hope in the near future to be able to shed more light on what level and age of infection was actually found at Mr Waugh's premises.
October 29 - November 4 ~ "... there seems very little movement by the Government to source this disease"
said the Ministry vet Dr Stuart Renton from Newcastle in April 2001 "... the infection was in sheep long before it surfaced at Heddon-on-the-Wall. And I hope you guys in the press get to the bottom of this...."
That the Government now considers the FMD outbreak to be "old news" will really not do. Too much was lost, too many lives were blighted for the truth not to matter. The heartless, arrogant government policy - one that has been defended ever since by its perpetrators - caused vital trust to be lost that shows no sign of being regained.
The video shown to MPs and others on Thursday 21 October 2004, shows dead sheep on the Burnside tip. A neighbouring farmer has apparently said that there were four dead sheep burnt on about January 20 2001and that these four sheep originated from Pontelands where the neighbouring farmer was treating his sheep for 'barley poisoning' - or was it FMD? Did the virus travel from Ponteland to Burnside rather than the other way around.?
In April 2001 Dr Renton said that he and his colleagues had come across old foot-and-mouth sores indicating the disease was present in sheep before February.
On April 28 2001 Maff 's spokeswoman claimed MAFF had never said the outbreak "definitely started" at Mr. Waugh's pig farm. "We only said it was the likely source and were not pointing fingers." Northern Echo Yet Mr Bradshaw now implies that Mr Waugh was to blame for the outbreak itself, as does the DEFRA "Origins" paper: "...the index case for the whole epidemic, is considered to have been a pig finishing unit at Burnside Farm, Heddon on the Wall." (See also warmwell chronology page)
October 29 - November 4 ~ All farmers who report and have a confirmed case of the Scrapie in their flock will now have to cull the whole flock
or blood test the flock to determine its genetic profile.
Enforcement of the EU regulation requiring Member States to "take action on sheep flocks and goat herds that report scrapie" began on Monday. We can only repeat the words of Wales' top breeder of hardy Welsh Mountain sheep, Goronwy Edwards (he trades as JH Edwards & Sons):
"I have been breeding Welsh Mountain rams for 50 years and I have never seen this disease. I was up on the hills the other day and I was thinking how my flock was a picture of perfect health. So why do we need to start meddling and take something from our ewes simply to stop something I have never seen in my life? Often the best rams are not group 1 scrapie-resistant but group 2 or 3. I've bought a group 1 ram this year but I've also bought two group 2s. I see a lot of people buying inferior rams just because they're group 1, and that cannot be good for the future of a breed."Once again, the bleak dogma of treating disease by killing healthy animals, with its roots in politics rather than veterinary science, and hedged about with unintelligible legislation, is threatening UK livestock farming. Notifiable disease is surely less likely to be "notified" when farmers are so wary of and weary of the reams of paper and rules and forms pouring out of the Ministry. Quiet burial of the evidence is far more likely. See also icnorthwales.co.uk. Warmwell has amassed many pages on the scrapie question since first becoming aware in 2001 that there was a serious intention drastically to reduce sheep numbers.
October 29 - November 4 ~"It appears that no proper investigation into the events has ever been carried out and this video seems to confirm it"
Under the headline "HORROR FARM VIDEO CLAIMS" The Western Morning News reports that "... the video could bolster claims that failings in the regulatory system were partly responsible for the disastrous foot and mouth outbreak: "We believe certificates for this farm to continue feeding should never have been issued. It appears that no proper investigation into the events has ever been carried out and this video seems to confirm it."
...... In a report that was withheld from the official "lessons learned" inquiry by the Government, Mr Dring said the foot and mouth crisis "would never have come about" if his inspection of Waugh's farm in the weeks leading up to the outbreak had been "more rigorous".
........several farming experts who have seen the video (which was shot on February 23, 2001) believe the conditions shown are so appalling that Waugh's farm cannot possibly have been in a decent state at the time of the inspection. Any evidence that suggested Government negligence could encourage compensation claims from the thousands of businesses affected by the foot and mouth crisis. Although farmers whose animals were slaughtered were compensated, many others who faced draconian trading conditions were not. ....
... Opposition MPs have challenged the Government to reopen the inquiry.... Mr George, MP for St Ives, has written o the Rural Affairs Secretary Margaret Beckett, asking her to ensure Dr Anderson is shown the video and is allowed to comment on it. He said the video made it clear there had been a regulatory failure of some kind in relation to Waugh's farm. " read in full See also warmwell's pages on the Dring case and warmwell's view of the chronology of FMD 2001
October 29 - November 4 ~ The Daily Mirror (November 1) on Burnside video furore
Mirror "......Experts and MPs last night called for a probe into why government vet Jim Dring renewed farmer Bobby Waugh's licence despite the disgusting conditions when he visited in February 2001 - shortly before the £8billion outbreak. Lib-Dem agriculture spokesman Andrew George said: "I am shocked by the video and the conditions on the farm. The pressure for opening the file on this issue is now overwhelming." Read in full
October 29 - November 4 ~ Was the vet under pressure from the Ministry?" asked St Ives MP Andrew George
- "Were his actions being monitored?
- How did anything so patently dangerous pass official scrutiny?
If there is one thing that farming does not need, it is further intrusive regulation, but this demanded just clear regulation and common sense. Neither, it seems, was present in 2001.
- How can the Anderson Inquiry call itself the 'lessons learned' inquiry when these fundamental questions as to the epidemic's genesis have not even been addressed?"
No doubt the Government will prefer once more to turn its back on the problem, in the mistaken belief that lightning does not strike twice in the same place. As any rural dweller will tell them, it does. " Read in full
October 29 - November 4 ~ Defra (and the government) cannot have it both ways. It either knows or does not know the origin of FMD 2001
One of the sickening results of government bungling over FMD is that the swill feeders have taken the brunt of blame and lost their livelihoods. The government continues to imply that Bobby Waugh's swill feeding practices introduced the virus - never referring to the details of the trial nor to the licence granted to the farmer by MAFF itself and - even under pressure, weasling out of its failure to give the full facts to the Anderson Inquiry (see below).
Mr Bradshaw's answer to Mr Paice last week was; "The Conservatives continue with their historic attempt to deflect blame for the foot and mouth outbreak away from where it belongs—with the farmer who was responsible for illegal and irresponsible practices."But, as we show below, there is a great deal of mystery surrounding the Heddon court case. The origin of the outbreak, DEFRA's report notwithstanding, has never come to light.
Mr Morley recently pointed out that the 2001 FMD crisis was "probably" caused by infected, illegally imported meat.
If the government believes it was infected meat, why do they sit on their hands over the question of illegal imports - so dangerous to human health? And why use the word "probably"? See Dirty Meat pages
November 4 - November 11 ~ "Mr Waugh is not on trial for starting the outbreak
and there is nothing with which he is charged, or could have been charged which could determine that." Judge Prowse at the trial of Bobby Waugh. Read in full the Evening Chronicle article from May 2002.Who Links Here Warmwell's chronology of Foot and Mouth
Although Mr Bradshaw and his colleagues are careful to qualify statements with phrases such as " by his criminal activity" the implication is that Mr Waugh did indeed start the outbreak because of illegal swill feeding. The stable door was then slammed and bolted by, among other things, taking away the livelihoods of the decent swill feeders.
But the video evidence that helped foster this view of "criminal farmer" in the public imagination at the time was not sent to Lessons Learned and nor was Mr Dring's statement with its test results.
Questions would certainly have followed about how such a farm could have possibly been licenced and considered satisfactory by officials who were already alerted to widespread pig disease (CSF and PMWS) in the country. The assumption that Burnside was the "index" case and that other premises must have been infected by airborne spread (shown by Dr Donaldson to be highly unlikely) from Burnside may well have been all part of the erroneous thinking that led to the unnecessary and often traumatic deaths of literally millions of animals - whereas there is much evidence (including this note by Richard Mawdsley in Jan 2002 "... it would seem animals from at least eight different farms from five separate areas, four of which were hundreds of miles apart, were infected at a similar time." ) to suggest that FMD was already established in the country.
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