Yes, there certainly is something fishy about the sudden fuss made over these two recent "suspect" cases.

Until now, the government has been keen to remove antibody-positive sheep quietly and without comment, as the steady increase in slaughter totals has testified. Now, two scare stories are spoon-fed to a gullible media. Ask yourself, can this be a coincidence? This looks like a deliberate ploy and we have to pose the question, why?

We think that the intention is to influence the judgement now awaited on the recent court action over the lack of a full public inquiry. The government's case rests largely upon the claim that there is an urgency to report back quickly as FMD could re-appear at any time, and that a public inquiry would take too long. So here is a good scare story to concentrate minds on their own version of events.

It is all nonsense, of course. There has been no evidence of live virus since September last year. The virus cannot survive for that length of time outside the body of a host animal. There is no single instance, anywhere in the world, of "carrier" sheep or cattle being proved to cause a new outbreak of disease. So there is no mechanism by which the disease can re-occur after all this time. It's all over. The government know this perfectly well, but they need to cultivate the fear of resurgence for two reasons; to justify their continuing controls over markets, animal movements and all the rest of their new-found powers; and to continue the cover-up of their mishandling of the crisis.