Dear Warmwell,

We're all getting a bit weary after so long battling against a brick wall. After over a month since our few stock (13 sheep of which they only tested 8, and four goats) were blood tested and yet another pile of scrap paper came through the post disguised by DEFRA a 'Important Information' containing a phone number for information, I gave them a ring to ask if there was any danger of getting the results back. They replied with a verbal "They were negative" and claimed to be printing out a letter as we spoke! When I asked about movement licences, I was told they must be moved within 14 days of the results coming back so I asked them if that meant 'now'? They agreed. Had I not phoned them for another month or so the 'now' would have been even further down the line. What is the point of them specifying a deadline from a date that could be anytime from here to eternity.

When DEFRA phoned to make the appointment to blood test, they thought we had 42 sheep. When I asked where they got the information from they said it was last years census. I told them there would have been only five sheep so they then suggested it must have been the previous owners details. I said this was unlikely as before being broken up the farm had been breeding Jersey cows! I even phoned up the last owner who said there would not have been that number of sheep here for about 10 years! So much for DEFRA's information. Their incompetence knows no bounds! If they put our so much rubbish then they must expect the same in return.

I read today in the DASH Update magazine of one lady whose honesty got here a summons and a vist to the local police station even after she had been told she had done the right thing. It no longer pays to be honest in a world where even democracy is failing us! ....



. The two vets did warn me not to hold my breath waiting for a reply so I would have been very blue by now. The many that assured me that the longer it took the safer we were likely to be did ease the worry a bit. On the other hand no news is good news so if your don't ask for the news you still have a 50:50 chance that it will be good.

With regards to the consultation document mentioned in todays info, (I've just printed out) how would we find out who the government reckon the stake holders are? We are all stakeholders in our community and, in theory, should all have a crack at answering the four simple questions but this would be impractical for them to analyse in the time allowed if they can't analyse a blood sample and reply in less than a month.

Was it published in Farmers Weekly (couldn't find it on Farmers Weekly Interactive site but could have missed it) inviting readers to submit answers or simply for information?

Perhaps they could have produced a series of questions with multiple choice answers and let a computer analyse them to save time.

The answer here, I think, may be that Mr Curry's group does not expect much in the way of submissions

- and more than the Royal Society inquiry does. We are constantly bewlidered by the mass of people - including vets and politicians - who simply have NO conception of the issues surrounding FMD and have swallowed hook, line and sinker the notion that the outbreak has been "handled well" and that "vaccination wouldn't have helped"...!!

We are so close to it and so aware of facts that are hidden from the general public that it is all too easy to assume that others share our concern and dismay. They do not. They have no idea of what is actually happening. SUBMISSIONS

Royal Society

Please do send submissions of any length or complexity - even one or two lines - to the Royal Society Inquiry or to the Secretary of the inquiry is Dr Geoffrey Findlay at the Royal Society, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG. Tel 020 7451 2569, fax 020 7451 2692. E-mail:

Food and Farming Policy Commission

and/or to the Food and Farming Policy Commission (DonaldCurry) The website
"Regional stakeholder meetings: We are in the process of arranging a series of stakeholder meetings around the country, to be held in the last two weeks of October and the first two weeks of November. Details of times and dates will be posted here when they are available." Members have been appointed in a personal capacity, taking account of their background and expertise. They have not been appointed as representatives of any organisation. Membership of the Commission
Chairman: Sir Donald Curry CBE, farmer (Northumberland) and former chair of the Meat and Livestock Commission Members: Helen Browning OBE, organic farmer (Wiltshire) Chair of the Soil Association Sir Peter Davis, Group Chief Executive, Sainsbury's plc. Chair of Business in the Community Iain Ferguson, QC, Senior Vice-President, Unilever plc. Deirdre Hutton CBE, Chair, National Consumers' Council DeAnne Julius, economist, former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Fiona Reynolds CBE, Director-General, National Trust Mark Tinsley, farmer (Lincolnshire) David Varney, Chairman, BT Wireless. Graham Wynne, Chief Executive, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Commission Secretariat The Commission is supported by a secretariat based in the Cabinet Office. Secretary: James Quinault Other staff: Philip Andrews Diana Linskey Kerry Thomson Anthony Zacharzewski