From a letter from Didi Phillips
to Mr Anthony Gibson, South Western Director of NFUWe have been offered funding by the NFU, but as all we seemed to do was lose our appeals, and have spent over £40,000 so far, we felt that the NFU money would be better spent elsewhere!
I cannot begin to tell you how important to us , your radio and TV appearances were last March and April - all I can say is that you are my hero!
In return I shall include some of the more entertaining remarks which we have received from DEFRA recently:
We put in a complaint about our slaughter vet, David Fields (who ran the IP centre in Devon in March). He was asked by Penny Butler of the RCVS Professional Conduct Department "Whether the animals were examined." Part of his written reply is :
A full clinical examination of all the stock would have been extremely time consuming and stressful for both the family and, most importantly, the stock. To examine a sheep effectively for lesions of FMD requires in my opinion: handling and restraint, taking of the temperature, casting of the individual, cleaning of the feet of all mud and debris, thorough examination of all feet and the mouth. This is a procedure that could not be accomplished without stress and disturbance to the individual concerned, and could have caused actual harm to the heavily pregnant ewes present. Stock could have been examined for lesions of FMD after death.
We received a three page letter from Fred Landeg, Head of Veterinary Exotic Disease Team, in October 2001. In it he states:
"FMD was not confirmed on your premises, but there are strong grounds for believing that your premises were contaminated as a result of contiguity to infected premises." (We are one mile from the IP!)
Two months later we received the following from Mayur Patel, Head of Civil Litigation, DEFRA:
"What the department had intended to convey,.... was that there was a risk of contamination, not necessarily that it had taken place."
Having spoken to several other farmers in Devon, who have also been afflicted with a multitude of FMD Forms sent to them by DEFRA, we have considered starting a swap shop....we have a Form A, a Form E (but no Form D to go with it), a Form B and a Form 37B - which a friend thought was a ladies bra - and which I have now given to Tony Blair....I will have to wait and see what he will offer to swap for it! I must add though, that as a hobby, I am rapidly losing interest in it, and would not recommend "FMD Form Collecting" to anyone!