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The Death of British Agriculture by Richard North

Essential reading for all who care about Britain "The fate of agriculture is intimately bound up with the fate of democracy civilisation has ever survived the loss of its agricultural base" concludes Dr North at the end of a most worrying, informed and penetrating survey of the legislation that has led to the situation British rural communities now find themselves in. Dr North knows intimately the ways of successive bureaucracies who have managed, by a combination of well meaning bungling and carelessly imposed regulatory burdens, to put British farming at a disadvantage. Although known to be an energetic and witty Eurosceptic, Dr North does not lay very much of the blame for the plight of British agriculture at the feet of the EU Commission. It is, to our shame, Britain itself that has so mismanaged food scares, EU regulation, the CAP and - especially - the recent animal diseases. The book is both depressing and exhilarating. Dr North is under no illusions about ...

Mr. Morley [holding answer 25 June 2001]: As at 22 October a total of 7,294 Dangerous Contacts (DC) and 255 Slaughter on Suspicion (SOS) cases, which had not been recognised as Infected Premises, had laboratory tests conducted. Of these, five yielded positive results and subsequently became IPs and were recorded as such.

That is 7549 premises. And 5 of them showed evidence of the presence of active virus

Animal Health Bill Impact on breeds of sheep

with a genotype susceptible to scrapie Information document prepared by: Northern Short-Tailed Sheep Group with support from Rare Breeds International 

A talk given on November 13th 2001 by Lawrence Alderson of Rare Breeds International to an audience of interested farmers and stock owners. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The impact of Foot and Mouth on the Rare Breeds of Britain

, and the implications of the Animal Health (amendment ) bill.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease in the United Kingdom 2001; its cause, course, control and consequences

Lawrence Alderson Rare Breeds International, 6 Harnage, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY5 6EJ, UK

Analysis of Meat import trade to the Uk The following is

a list of all countries that exported to the Uk in the Fiscal year April 2000 through to April 2001

. Beside each country is given the weight in Kilos traded, the type of meat, and the current status of Foot and Mouth in the country. A brief history is given for each country describing each outbreak.

("Serving on the (Wellcome) Council over the same period, from 1989 to 1992, was

Professor Roy Anderson.

Anderson, who heads the Department of Pure and Applied Biology at London's Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, is also a Wellcome Trustee. His position as a Trustee means that he is one of a handful of powerful men who control the Wellcome empire. Throughout the time of his term of office on the Council Professor Anderson was one of the most vociferous proselytisers for Wellcome's AZT. (Prof Anderson is married to Clare Baron one of the salaried workers in the office of the All Parliamentary Group on AIDS, which receives funding from Wellcome." ) source - Martin Walker, Dirty Medicine 1993 He moved with 35+ plus of the Oxford Centre's staff - and their grants! - to Imperial College last year where they created a whole new Dept around him. Anderson, May, King, Krebs Govt/MAFF acted on "the best scientific advice"?

Professor Anderson This is a lengthy page on

Prof Anderson and his group

- but well worth printing out and reading carefully. It is more than worrying. "Roy Anderson should be

CONTIGUOUS CULL `PREVENTED GREATER SLAUGHTER' By James Lyons, Political Correspondent, PA News Culling animals on farms neighbouring those struck by foot-and-mouth helped prevent an even greater slaughter of animals, a Government adviser insisted today. The epidemic had "totally devastated" the countryside, Professor Roy Anderson admitted. "But it could have been far, far worse," he told the Commons Select committee on the environment, food and agriculture. His remarks were branded "unproven and possibly provocative" by David Taylor, Labour MP for North West Leicestershire. But

Prof Anderson insisted that the contiguous cull policy was the best way

to contain the outbreak - and had saved animals lives.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON) Copyright 2000 Telegraph Group Limited June 22, 2000, Thursday HEADLINE: News: Oxford scientist wins the battle for her reputation NINE months ago, Dr Sunetra Gupta, a talented scientist and award-winning novelist, was falsely accused of having a relationship with a professor to gain a senior academic post at Oxford University. Today, her accuser,

Prof Roy Anderson (left), one of Britain's most distinguished scientists, makes a public apology,

and Dr Gupta speaks to NATASHA LODER for the first time about her fight to restore her reputation. Dr Gupta tells how she battled to win a retraction from Prof Anderson because "nobody should be allowed to get away with this. I felt there was no other choice".

ANIMAL HEALTH BILL - SECOND READING Thank you very much for receiving our concerns via previous communications and for questioning Elliot Morley directly on Tuesday at the Select Committee hearing.

We note that he was unable to provide adequate figures to justify his claim that resisting farmers had increased the spread of disease

, in the face of massive evidence that nearly all contiguous premises in fact remained disease free, and that he is to provide further information to you. May we briefly qualify some of the areas where confusion still exists? Alayne Addy's two hundred cases that remained disease free were mostly farms where the cull was resisted, the appeal was refused, but no legal action resulted from either side. There are many hundreds more such cases all over the country; very few went before the courts. Our own case was not untypical.

Sheep with antibodies antibody present in the saliva neutralises live virus

in a "carriers" throat and prevents infection being passed on to other animals. Michaela found the following extract in Roit Mastoff and Male, (1996), Immunology 4th Ed., Times Mirror International Publishers Spain, Commentary is between Michaela and Alan Beat. All I had to do was consult the book. "IgA is detected in seramucous secretions i.e. saliva, milk, tracheobronchial and genitourinary secretions.

IgA becomes focused atmucosal surfaces where it prevents reinfection.

ILLOGICULL The Foot and Mouth Crisis in Britain - The FMD crisis has devastated the very farmers we want to keep in this country: the small farmer and the hill farmer who knows the land and his animals and cares for them. The crisis is being used to remove them while the big agri-business farmers are the ones favoured by Lord Haskins. Small farmers need to know their rights - and they are not helped by the unelected executive of the NFU, who appear intent on their own agenda.

Cumbrian vets are very unhappy about government policy and have written to the Government to express concern that they are being asked to order the slaughter of animals that do not need to be killed

in order to contain the foot-and-mouth outbreak. The RCVS has unambiguously called for an independent inquiry once the outbreak is over, modelled on the Northumberland report into the 1967/68 outbreak. More on vaccination on this site



Best articles in the Press

N.B. If you want to print any of these, use the right button on the mouse and "open in new window" when you click on the articles Dec 20 ~ Matthew Parris - a selection Dec 15 ~ Matthew Parris on the end of his Parliamentary Sketch writing It's been great, but I'm all sketched out Dec 13 ~ Don't starve this BSE research of vital funds The Times MAGNUS LINKLATER Dec 13 Nov 12 ~ William Rees-Mogg on President Blair's House of Cards

Bioterrorism and the UK foot and mouth outbreak warmwell has come across the article quoted below in Jane's Security Intelligence Review. It was

published on February 9th 2001, before news of the FMD outbreak broke in Britain and long before the terrorist attacks in the US.

Why is this Animal Health amendment Bill such a bad bill? "This Bill will result in a complete withdrawal of co-operation by the farming community and make the control of animal disease impossible.

Here is one vet who will have nothing to do with this disastrous Bill. If this Bill, is passed I will do everything in my power to stop the veterinary profession taking any part in its implementation

. It makes criminals of people whose only fault is their love for their animals and allows officials to decide that genetic make-up is sufficient to condemn normal, healthy animals to death." Roger Windsor MBE. MA (Cantab), BSc (Edin) BVM&S, MRCVS. (Speaker at the Meeting Nov 29 Committee Room 6, House of Commons) Why is this Animal Health amendment Bill such a bad bill? 7 It confers power on one person only - the Minister - effectively removing it from the rest of the executive, legislature and judiciary....

Jan 6 ~ We now have the

Final Report and annex for the Brussels Conference 12-13th December.

Extract: In her opening speech, the Minister in charge of Agriculture, and President of the Agriculture Council of the European Union, Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, stressed that, in a most painful way, the FMD virus did not observe national boundaries. At any time the virus could affect a sensitive population anywhere, after either deliberate or accidental introduction. Any evaluation of the Foot and Mouth policy had not only to include the technical veterinary aspects but also the social, economical and ethical aspects The Minister suggested the conference should address the following questions : Is there no choice but to destroy millions of healthy animals to bring an outbreak of FMD under control? Are the disadvantages of emergency vaccination so strong that we prefer to fight the virus with our bare hands?

The editorial on the Brussels Conference (Vet Record Jan 12) was an interesting record of the event

We also attended the conference and would like to offer our interpretation of some of the points made. While it was true to say issues went further than vaccination, vaccination was without doubt the centre around which all other measures circled. What was very apparent was the difference between the attitude of the UK speakers and the others in their emphasis on the necessity for change. It was clear that a great deal more notice had been taken of public opinion throughout the world, than by the authorities in the UK. Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck, the Belgian Minister in charge of Agriculture in her opening speech, referred to the huge number of signatures on a petition delivered to her office only the afternoon before the Conference, against the culling policy. Such occurrences, although happening regularly in our country, have been studiously ignored by both press and ministers, from the Prime Minister down.

Last Monday's meeting of farmers at Builth Wells drew an attendance of approximately 800. The meeting was chaired by the Welsh NFU; also in attendance were chief DEFRA vet for Wales, Tony Edwards and Gareth Jones representing the Welsh Office.

Rural Affairs Minister Carwyn Jones, who was expected to attend, thought better of it.... which went down badly with farmers.

Among the audience were the

MAFF vet from Devon who was removed from his position for publicly expressing his total rejection of government culling policies

, and the internationally acclaimed virologist Dr. Ruth Watkins.



Cleaning the farm Asbestos is a BIG problem on most farms. Costs a fortune to dispose of and to re-roof cattle sheds. Much of the problem of having to do this is because

MAFF shot animals in their barns and left them for up to two weeks

. The animals stomachs filled up with gas and exploded - covering the roof in UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! I had ONE dead cow that took 5 days to get a contractor to bury and my wife nearly left because of the smell - imagine what it would be like to have 200 or 300 cattle lying dead in barns near your home. The killing would be easier in some respects, to cope with. Some farmers have been to hell and back over this. If they had vaccinated and slaughtered (which isn't even necessary), they could have slaughtered when they had the disposal team ready to move the carcases. Horrible balls up! Serves Townie Blair right - he hasn't a clue about the consequences of killing on farms. Farms are for rearing animals - not killing them!

Evening Chronicle Report today Jun 29 2001 by Nic Outterside, Evening Chronicle Government scientists in four countries were preparing for a foot and mouth | outbreak months before it swept Britain. A Chronicle investigation has discovered the

British, American, Canadian and Mexican governments were all staging a co-ordinated foot and mouth simulation exercise in October 2000,

despite the fact that Britain had not been struck by the disease for 34 years and the USA and Canada had not been affected since 1929. Today's discovery sparked calls for the Government to admit it knew foot and mouth was present in the UK long before it was officially pinpointed at Bobby Waugh's Heddon-on-the-Wall pig farm on February 23. And it led Mr Waugh to call for a public apology from the Government after MAFF consistently blamed his farm as 'the likely source of the outbreak." Our probe has found that last October the United States, Canada and Mexico began preparing for 'a simulated outbreak of foot and mouth disease' in all three countries.

Simon Leach and Judith Bell of Burges Salmon Solicitors and Stephen Smith QC have been successful in preventing the slaughter of Rosemary Upton's film star Grunty the Kune Kune pig, and a small flock of rare breed Portland sheep at Hill Farm, Stawley, near Wellington, Somerset.

Mr. Justice Harrison ruled that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is not entitled to a court injunction allowing the slaughter to go ahead.

From The Times, 22 June, "TV pig saved from cull by judge's order": "Mr Justice Harrison said that Grunty and 11 prized sheep at the same farm had shown no sign of disease and it was sufficient for them to be monitored. He refused leave to appeal against his decision and awarded the owner, Rosemary Upton, her legal costs, leaving the Government with an estimated bill of #40,000

Some statistics from Maff ...which raise more than a few eyebrows List showing

greatly increased number of contiguous properties identified per case since the beginning of week 11 as opposed to total contiguous overall

Countryfile Transcript by

Vaccination Programme in Argentina

programme aired on Sunday 9th September 2001 John Craven "From the empty livestock markets of Britain, we cross the Atlantic to the country of Argentina which returned to mass-vaccination when it too had an outbreak of the disease - and they did it as just a matter of routine. From Argentina, Charlotte Smith has this report." CS: Welcome to beef country , the world's fifth largest producer, Argentina, provides two and a half million tons a year. Beef's been a valuable export earner in a country where the economic situation is as bad as the current weather (shots of rain sleeting down on cattle)

Curry Report on future of Farming and Food Jan 2002



You may remember the extract from Jonathan Miller's Mean Fields article on 25th November: "I get a letter of my own from Defra. Lindsey Clothier, a death ministry apparatchik, says I have been "selected" to participate in a survey of agriculture. Inspired by Morley's bare-knuckled style of correspondence, I reply:

"Dear Lindsey: My contempt for Defra disinclines me to co-operate with your organisation in any way. I advise you to seek more reputable employment."

I received the same in the form of an e-mail. I chose a lower profile response - and ignored it.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many press officers are employed in her Department; and at what cost to public funds. [10608] Margaret Beckett [holding answer 26 October 2001]:

The DEFRA press office has a complement of 16 press officers. In the current financial year, the pay cost to date for the DEFRA press office is £433,239.

The non-paying running costs (NPRCs) for the DEFRA press office for this financial year, are as follows; DEFRA press office NPRCs (ex-MAFF)--#260,171. (By our calculations that is £693,410...

six hundred and ninety three thousand, four hundred and ten pounds - of public funds to finance the 16 "press officers" at DEFRA.)

How DEFRA finally answered Professor Mercer's questions for the Devon Inquiry which was to take place on the 8th-11th October After several reminders

DEFRA's answers for this inquiry were finally sent, a week and a half after the inquiry had finished its hearings, in a letter dated October 23rd following a phone call, "When do you want those responses by?"


RSPCA inspectors saw lambs literally drowning in mud

during the foot and mouth crisis, the Devon inquiry in public heard this afternoon. Regional superintendent John Tresidder said the outbreak of foot and mouth caused animal welfare problems on an "unprecedented scale." His colleague Steven Donahue said there were some cases where farmers had been refused permission to move their animals even a short distance.

Full report of the DEVON INQUIRY

Relative risks of the uncontrollable (airborne)spread of FMD by different species

A.I.DONALDSON,S.ALEXANDERSEN, J.H.S0RENSEN,T.MIKKELSE The modellers did not define the mechanism of 'local' spread , but assumed that it would happen as a statistical probability. Furthermore, the infectivity and transmission parameters used by the modellers were based on an average hypothetical species. Given the very wide variation between different species in terms of the quantities of virus excreted ,their susceptibility to infection ,and the routes by which they are likely to be infected, the modelling of the spread of FMD using an average species is an over-simplification, and in certain circumstances would generate inaccurate forecasts. .... The results presented in this short communication indicate that, when disease is diagnosed and movement control is fully implemented around an infected premises, the animals on contiguous premises should not be at risk from uncontrollable spread,that is, from airborne spread, 

Peter Poll, a Veterinary Surgeon in Holland.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ......there is something morally and ethically absolutely wrong In spring 2001 when Foot & Mouth Disease manifested itself in the UK, the Royal Dutch Veterinary Association (equivalent of the BVA) invited all veterinary surgeons to form a volunteers pool, in case this disease would come to the continent, and so I found myself in the crisis centre on March 21, when a very severe suspicion on a calf and goatfarm existed.

DUTCH MYTH Mr Ben Gill and certain government ministers (and Professor King ) are very apt to make misleading statements about what happened in Holland.

They point to the fact that "more animals were killed per Infected Premises in Holland than in the UK" - suggesting that this proves that vaccination is an inferior method of control. The truth is very different - as we can see from the account here of the Brussels conference " The Dutch authorities were not obliged to slaughter all their vaccinated animals. Acting against the wishes of the farmers they did so.



The Ecologist

BURNT OUT by Dr Richard North

( I add here a summary - and clickable links to main points in Dr North's article) The beginning of the catastrophe ~ Britain becomes leper of Europe again ~ Labour government secretly welcomed in the crisis ~ the bureaucrats had been at work ~ thousands of massacred animals being left in fields to rot...gruesome stories started emerging ~ a black market in 'black' sheep. EU's sheep subsidy system ~ rumour intriguing report ~ Nick Brown reacted by extending the killing zones to 2 miles ~ mass vaccination was being seriously discussed ~ naked in tooth and claw ~ Fred Brown, a British scientist suggests a different job for Mr Scudamore -saying " it was 'crazy' not to vaccinate."

20th June 2001 Dear Mr Eddy, You may not be aware that a horrific cull of farm livestock involving cows, calves and sheep, took place at Skipton, Yorkshire, last evening and early this morning. I have spoken by telephone to two of at least four local residents, who witnessed the atrocity and have reported it to the R.S.P.C.A.

They have photographic evidence and are willing to appear in Court to give evidence. What they told me beggers belief.

For a full description, may I suggest you visit the Message Board on I understand that the Vet in charge of this operation was, Reuben Whitaker BVSc., M.R.C.V.S. I have been in touch with John Avizienzius at R.S.P.C.A. Headquarters this morning. He has told me an Inspector is on the scene now to interview eyewitnesses. To my horror he also told me that he has received a report of a similar incident involving calves in Cumbria. Immediately after speaking to him I received information that another witness has photographic evidence of an incident at Bracewell a week ago. I have of course passed the details on to the R.S.P.C.A.

Dear Mrs. Barribal, I am in receipt of your letter of 20th June 2001. I was already aware of the incidents you mention in your letter and I await the results of the R.S.P.C.A. investigations and prosecutions, if these occur. You are correct, I have issued guidance on the use of form A and I enclose a copy. In contrary to your statement I do know that large numbers of our members have seen and accepted the advice we have issued. I guess we cannot expect to reach everyone immediately. I can also state that DEFRA have changed their procedures following our advice concerning form A. If you have specific observations about breaches in biosecurity by any personnel working for DEFRA I do know that the CVO will investigate thoroughly. Times, dates, names of individuals, if possible, are required.

If you have any specific examples where veterinary surgeons have acted in an unprofessional way, such as intimidation and deception, I can assure you these will be fully investigated.

However, we do need specific instances, with times, dates and addresses as well as some supporting evidence.

The purpose of the"foundation is to let Europe hear a powerful, united 'No' to the current non-inoculation policy. We ask if you could kindly sign our website guestbook -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EXTRACT: Dear Mrs Neyts- Uyttebroeck, dear listeners, Here you can see a delegation of Ent Europa. Ent Europa started as an action group during the FMD-outbreak which hit The Netherlands last Spring. Since then, the action group has grown into an official foundation.

Ent Europa opposes to the current non-vaccination policy and is widely supported by large groups in Dutch society. 

How I explained the EU to the King of Brobdingnag by Daniel Hannan a Conservative MEP for South-East England IT was when we got on to the question of parliamentary democracy that I started feeling uneasy. We had spent half an hour ticking off our Uzbek hosts about the autocratic nature of their country, where the president has almost untrammeled powers and where the parliament is a rubber-stamping chamber. We were feeling pretty pleased with ourselves until one of the Uzbeks asked how we did things in Brussels. With much clearing of throats and shuffling of bottoms, we admitted that the European Parliament didn't have any legislative powers either.

Euro- MPs, our chairman explained, could only debate proposals that came down from the European Commission.

Minutes of 06/09/2001 - Provisional Edition Foot-and-mouth disease B5-0548, 0555, 0563, 0573 and 0580/2001 European Parliament resolution on foot-and-mouth disease The European Parliament, - having regard to its resolution of 5 April 2001on foot-and-mouth disease in the European Union(1), A. whereas measures by the UK government to control foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) have failed and whereas new outbreaks of FMD are appearing in England, B. concerned about the lack of frontier controls on FMD by the UK and the lack of harmonisation of controls at ports and airports in the EU, which means there is a high risk that FMD will again spread across frontiers, C. whereas weather conditions in autumn and winter increase the risks of contamination, D. noting the increasing risk of a spread of infectious diseases from imports into the EU, which means that all Member States must remain extremely vigilant, E. whereas public opinion might not approve of a further massive destruction of contaminated and suspect animals, 1. Requests the Council and Commission to make a statement at the earliest opportunity, in which the following questions should be dealt with: -

why the outbreak of FMD has lasted so long in the UK and has not yet been controlled and why the option of ring vaccination has not been used



FMD FACTS.....sent to warmwell Nov 4th

14. The Government and The Assembly for Wales claimed to have the support of the farming Unions. Both Union leaderships justified their actions by using misinformation and unscientific humbug supplied to them by politicians. They did this knowingly and ignored the pleas of the "grass-roots". Most alarmingly, any dissent was tackled with a zeal more akin to a political dictatorship controlled by tyranny instead of intelligent debate within a voluntary, democratic representative organisation.
15. The proposed new Animal Health (Death) Bill has been sponsored by the NFU.
16. The NFU so-called leadership nor the FUW have paid any attention to Lord Chief Justice Phillips' recommendation " listen to the people on the ground, for it is they that know what is going on." (sic). Yet they claim to be supportive of a new public inquiry. ..................'spin'onanimalhealthbillslammed.htm


South West NFU regional director Anthony Gibson has slammed as pure Government 'spin' claims surrounding the launch today (Wednesday October 31st) of its Animal Health Bill that farmers who resisted having healthy animals culled had in any way contributed to the spread of foot and mouth disease. "It is absolutely outrageous and the worst kind of smear for DEFRA Ministers to appear on the media as they have been, shamelessly scapegoating farmers who were just trying to protect their life's work from heavy handed and, in many cases, incompetent bureaucrats," said Mr Gibson. "And it is especially galling because there has not been a single case in Devon where it can be shown that by attempting to resist the slaughter of healthy stock in the contiguous cull that the progress of the disease could have been halted any quicker."

Please see the attached Press Release$ from the

FMD Forum - an expanding database of like-minds, who wish to see a humane way of dealing with Foot and Mouth Disease epidemics, while working towards total eradication through the application of modern science.

If you would like further information about the FMD Forum, please contact Alicia Eykyn on 01494 - 711649 or email her on from the FMD Forum -

Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Deer

: implications for the policy of control and eradication of the disease Paul Sutmoller* and Paul Gibbs** *Animal Health Consultant, 1502 Largo Rd., Virginia 23233, USA, e-mail: ** College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA, e-mail: The continuing epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the United Kingdom (UK) has led to veterinarians and others questioning whether wildlife species (particularly deer) are perhaps playing a more significant role in the maintenance of the epidemic than is currently acknowledged.


Prof Fred Brown FRS OBE "The present vaccines are excellent

. I am speaking on my own behalf, I do not work for a drug company. They start to give protection in about four to five days and they are getting better. There is a strong argument for [vaccination] now and in the future." Jan 19 ~... the logical way to control the disease is by routine prophylactic immunization." From: Foot and mouth disease control: the next steps by A J Beale in January's Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine "...... fortunately there is a long favourable experience of using vaccines in this way-for example, in Continental Europe until 1991, and in South America. The first consideration is what strain to use. In Europe it would probably be sufficient at present to use the current OManisa vaccine strain. Prevalent strains in different areas are monitored by the World Reference Centre at Pirbright, and the strains in vaccines can be adjusted accordingly-much as happens with influenza vaccines. .......The implementation of a vaccine policy should not pose great difficulty; farmers are accustomed to immunizing their animals against various diseases. 


Private Eye "It was Mr Blair's attempt to bury the real questions arising from the 2001 foot and mouth disaster that inspired the compilation of this report.

It sets out the story of how the disaster unfolded, in nine chronological stages....the report ends with a brief summary of the main lessons to be drawn from an agricultural catastrophe for which there was no precedent." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How The Crisis Unfolded : Key Dates February 2001 19: FMD first officially ......

REPORT FROM THE FRONT--JOHN GOURIET 16th April Sitting here in the still peaceful setting of the Quantock Hills in Somerset with two telephones constantly ringing with horror stories from all over the country, I am powerfully reminded of military experiences in Borneo 35 years ago, and telephone battles at Staff College. Here are some examples. Dumfriesshire. A few miles only from where Misty the goat was brutally snatched from her owners, with whom I was in discussion as the Police arrived,

a distraught farmer was trying to swill away the blood of his 260 prize Holstein Friesian cattle and 170 calves this morning, 11th April.




UK Parliamentary search engine

for any subject that's being discussed in the UK Parliament. An example would be to: Type in e.g.Animal Health amendment bill at the prompt, Select particular 'speaker' if you want to Click on e.g. 'Lords Hansard' Complete the date range if you wish Select 'find'. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From Parliament Jan 19 ~ Animal Health bill - Second Reading Debate: an extract from the contribution made by most speakers may be seen here. There is a menu of speakers in alphabetical order. How very fortunate we are to have the House of Lords.


1. The current Foot and Mouth (FMD) outbreak differs from the 1967/68 UK outbreak in that the expected 'tail off' has not occurred. It has defied the Chief Scientist's prediction that the disease would be "successfully dealt with" by early June. Instead we have experienced a levelling-off in which recorded outbreaks since the height of the disease from early May onwards have averaged between 2-4 cases per day. This steady state includes the original hot spots of Cumbria and in addition the new outbreaks in the Brecon Beacons, Settle, Thirsk and most recently Hexham. The reason for the persistence of the disease, despite all efforts to contain it, is currently not known. It is possible that the disease is endemic in some hill flocks or in local wild life such as deer, hedgehogs or rodents. Alternatively clinical manifestation of the disease of this particular viral strain (Pan Asia serotype O) differs from its predecessors in that the asymptomatic form may occur in cattle as it does in sheep. If this were so then rapid identification, upon which the present policy depends, is hindered and outbreaks of FMD would occur inevitably in advance of detection. The policy of eradication by slaughter has proved insufficient to control the disease


Vaccination Facts - a briefing note from NFMG

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Latest Press release from FMD group: Royal Society Inquiry into FMD is a foregone conclusion -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- release November 1st NEW LEGISLATION PRE-EMPTS ALL FMD INQUIRIES Without waiting for the evidence or findings of any of the 3 Inquiries into FMD the Government has announced new legislation to reduce even further the appeals against the culling of healthy animals. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- September 3rd Press Release: 2000th CASE MARKS GRIM MILESTONE IN FMD EPIDEMIC -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- August 9th PRESS RELEASE

Quoted with gratitude from From Horse and Hound magazine July 5th 2001- A distressing record of slaughter during the foot-and -mouth crisis

Bob is not his real name. He is a contractor working for DEFRA (Maff) and fears victimisation were his name to be revealed

- the reason for this will become plain. He is, in his own words, "a stockman, not a slaughterman". He was brought up on his grandfather's farm and was taught to respect all animals, but also to realise their place in the food chain. His grandfather took him to a slaughterhouse when Bob was nine years old. Thanks to the efficiency of Maff's arrangements, Bob spent many hours sitting in the cab of his machine doing nothing, so he started to keep a diary. In it, he details some of the things he saw, as well as things he heard from wagon drivers, solicitor, soldiers, vets and MAFF men. dates and names have been omitted to protect the recors. Diary excerpts are reproduced in Bob's own words. people will find much of what follows deeply distressing.


------- GROUNDS OF RELIEF Introduction 1. The First Claimant trades in partnership as a farmer from land at Finkle House Farm, Great Fryup, Whitby, North Yorkshire. The Second Claimant owns and operates a holiday cottage business known as Downe Cottages at Downe House, Hartland, Devon. This claim relates to the 2001 epidemic of Foot and Mouth Disease in the United Kingdom. In consequence of the epidemic each of the Claimants has been affected in his business and has suffered financial loss. The Claimants each have a substantial interest in establishing the cause of the outbreak, the reasons why the disease became so widespread, the reasons why the disruption caused by the disease was so extensive and the steps which might properly be taken to minimise the impact of any future outbreak of the disease.



Intervet announces FMD marker test Press release Boxmeer, 11 October 2001

Intervet, Akzo Nobel's animal healthcare business, has developed a test for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) to indicate virus infection in vaccinated animals.

The test is now ready for registration. With this modern test it will be possible to differentiate infected animals from those purely vaccinated. The marker test, combined with modern FMD vaccines, enables authorities to use vaccination in FMD control strategies and avoid massive preventive culling of healthy animals.

Quite frankly I believe it essential that the rot is rooted out of government and its agencies,and that we get sensible, competent and traditional professional standards into the bodies that control the livestock industry in particular and farming in general. But it is going to be a hard struggle.

Margaret Beckett and all her greenery seems not to know that agriculture and a thriving livestock industry is fundamental to a good rural environment and not secondary to imposed environemntal policies based on other interests.

Look how well the French look after their farmers - am I right? (warmwell note: Yes...but consider too that the smaller french farmers have an active and vociferous union that acts for them) See Dr Irvine's letter in Scottish Farmer



June 9th 2001 I have been given information from a slaughterman who wishes to remain anonymous that there is to be a cull throughout Powys. I am not spreading rumours. One only needs to know how many hotels are full throughout the county.

The man told me there are plans to clear sheep from the Brecon Beacons, Elan Valley, Black Mountains, Epynt. The whole of Powys he said. They'll find something even if it's Orf he told me.

WHAT WILL BE THE FUTURE OF THE DALES? An article by Julia Horning. (abridged. read the full article here)

In today's world of consumerism, I think we have something very special up here. We have continuity - a deep-rooted tradition of generations of man in partnership with his animals - that together have shaped the unique environment we know as The Yorkshire Dales.

Take a good look at this beautiful landscape quickly for it is destined to never look the same again if the men from DEFRA continue to have their way. .... It has taken hundreds of years to create this wonderful balance and harmony of man and animals, working with nature to create this beautiful landscape. To suddenly take out such a major element as grazing animals from this ecosystem is going to have the most disastrous effect on everything else that is part of it.




The EU standard definition of a case of FMD (Directive 85/511/ec) is one where laboratory tests confirm the presence of disease. Under EU standards, in UK 2001 FMD epidemic,

of the 6 million animals slaughtered only 14.4%, were infected with FMD.

The epidemiological models used to analyse the epidemic included negative and untested cases as though they were laboratory confirmed cases.

Oral lesions in sheep and cattle in Dumfries and Galloway "In Veterinary Record June 9th, the above article discusses the different types of lesions that have been observed in sheep and cattle in Dumfries and Galloway. It stresses that in 4 out of the 5 premises investigated, the cause was not FMD but such things as the nature of the "herbage" (e.g. if very short it could be contaminated with rough stones or grit), the damage that can be caused by crunching on salt feed blocks, and stress. The article states that this condition (referred to as OMAGOD - Ovine Mouth and Gum Obscure Disease) has not previously been described in veterinary literature! So,

there exists a condition where sheep and cattle have a variety of these lesions, but are perfectly healthy

with clear blood tests. The problem is that genuinely infected sheep will also exhibit superficially similar lesions.

...that at a meeting in Builth Wells last Monday (18th June), promises were made by the spokesman from the Welsh Assembly and also by

Tony Edwards, the Divisional Veterinary Officer for Wales, that there was to be no mass cull in Powys.

However, hundreds of healthy animals have now been killed at *Libanus, near Brecon (on clinical diagnosis only) - no test results are known and yet all contiguous farms have been targeted and the same old threats issued to the farmers there. The browbeating is continuing with lies of no compensation if farmer refuses to have his healthy animals killed and they later become infected and that the restrictions will be lengthy if they resist. Some farmers, thank God, are refusing the cull and requesting that the results be made known first. Due to the way that sheep graze on the mountains in the National Park areas, all it will take is the 'making' of one or two cases of FMD in cattle for there to be a mass cull, particularly of sheep, in these areas. The irony is that sheep are the least likely species to transmit this virus and yet it is the sheep that are being remorselessly victimised.

Foot and Mouth Disease: Oct 31st: Lords: Questions to Lord Whitty :Public Inquiry, new bill 3.10 p.m. The Duke of Montrose asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in the light of the finding of the Devon County Council inquiry that the handling of the foot-and-mouth outbreak was "lamentable", they will now reconsider their refusal to set up a full public inquiry into these events.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): My Lords, the Devon County Council preliminary report provides a useful local perspective on the foot and mouth disease outbreak. It is to be passed on to the two inquiries and the policy commission on the future of farming and food. However, I see no reason to reconsider the decision announced by the Prime Minister to set up two independent inquiries into the foot and mouth outbreak.




Into the outbreak and its effects, their handling now and in the future and the recovery and sustaining of the well-being of Devon's countryside. Foreword Following the Foot and Mouth crisis that began in February 2001 which had such a devastating effect on the economy of the County of Devon and indeed the whole country, the County Council decided to organise an Inquiry in public into the outbreak.


two Merial vaccines for FMD are licensed for use in the UK

. For these vaccines to be used, agreement from the EU must be gained, followed by a change of UK legislation to permit their use. (The EEC acknowledges that the current epidemic in the UK is unlike any in Europe in the last 10 years. We are on our own and can propose to the EEC how we intend to manage it. The UK government can decide to vaccinate at any moment. No agreement from the NFU is necessary) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (verbatim from the Merial website) MERIAL'S FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE VACCINES THE FACTS The current outbreak of FMD in the United Kingdom is focusing attention on the role that vaccination could play in assisting the elimination of the disease. These fact sheets detail the technical issues surrounding the vaccine.


There is a terrible illogicality about DEFRA's behaviour in Brecon

. On the one hand they maintain that seropositive and therefore "carrier" animals pose an unacceptable risk. Yet on the other, the serological testing that is being carried out - for which incidentally there is no legal justification -risks not detecting some epidemiological groups with a prevalence of seropositive animals in excess of 5% and stands a good chance of failing to detect flocks with a prevalance of less than 5% seropositive animals - and leaving these immune animals alive. They must know this - and yet their justification for such extensive killing is apparently to stamp out the virus by means of killing "carriers". They really can't have it both ways. If sero-positive sheep really spread the virus as they claim then their measures are allowing carriers to carry on doing just that. Their "robust" measures of killing , following such tests are effective in reducing drastically the sheep on the hills but NOT effective at all in eradicating 100% of seropositive sheep, as Dr. Ruth Watkins explains above.

Foot and Mouth Public Inquiry Statement to be read out to the Public Inquiry on 15.01.02

Castle Morpeth Borough Council

emphasises in its evidence how the statutary role of the Borough Council as regulator has been neglected in this crisis.

Regrettably this has continued into this Public Inquiry in that the Council was not asked to contribute to the session

on overall management of the the crisis and adequacy of liaison, or communications, advice, guidance and information. The Council hopes that, and requests the panel to take particular note of its evidence in those respects. The Borough Council has a statutory role as outlined in its evidence in relation to Air Pollution and Land Contamination.

I wrote in my last letter to you that

MAFF has been conducting vaccines trials for a number of years and it now admits to testing these vaccines "in vivo and in vitro" EVERY year

. I therefore suggest, the FMD virus was more likely to have accidentally escaped from a Research Centre laboratory. Here is some evidence to show it has happened before: Catherine Diodati, M.A. writes: "certainly this confirms your concerns over using an attenuated vaccine. Just last week, I was reading an article that discussed prior FMD outbreaks and stated that those were caused by improperly inactivated (formalin) vaccines." (Copy of her letter and my reply enclosed).


1 INTRODUCTION Why we submitted our response to the Inquiry 2 PRINCIPLES 2.1 DISEASE FREE STATUS Benefits, Difficulty of Maintaining, Is DFS justified? What criteria are used to determine the benefits  economic, scientific, ethical, animal welfare, others? 2.2 VACCINES & TESTS Efficacy, potency, availability, Carriers, distinguishing between vaccinates and natural response to infection As a means to determining DFS 2.3 ROLE OF OIE What is the basis for the distinction between 3 and 12 months for return to DFS if vaccination as opposed to stamping out is used to control the disease? Assessment of risk. 2.4 FMD CONTROL IN THE FUTURE Surveillance Diagnostics Methodology Contingency Plans Control Methods International perspective

Archive of NEWSPAPER Reports on warmwell since April/May 2001

From: Dr Paul Sutmoller Sent: Friday, August 03, 2001 5:04 PM


Subject: Ben Gill's claim that vaccination causes abortion in sows

Dear A******, I have never heard of a report of abortions of sows following FMD vaccination. I have vaccinated pregnant sows (not a large number) and did not observe any adverse reaction. There is nothing in FMD vaccine that suggests that it might cause abortion. With a "live" vaccine one might suspect that it could affect the fetus, but FMD is a "killed" vaccine. I will check with some of my colleagues to see if they have any further information. If something turns up - which I do not expect - I will let you know. Warmest regards, -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- See open letter to Ben Gill and response to his reply from Professor Verner Wheelock

July 2001 Michaela wrote to the NFU hierarchy about their opposition to vaccination

and received this "standard" reply: Under it, there is her response. Thank you for your recent enquiry. The current NFU position is detailed below. NFU POSITION ON VACCINATION AGAINST FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE The NFU has firmly supported the Government's strategy for tackling FMD; that is the slaughter of confirmed cases within 24 hours and the slaughter of vulnerable animals on neighbouring farms within 48 hours. This is a tough but correct approach. And the clear evidence is that this strategy is effective (see graph). The number of confirmed cases is falling

Extracts from the speeches of some of the speakers in the Second Reading Lords' Debate on the Animal Health amendment Bill ~ January 14th 2002

Note: The speeches may not be given in full here. What is intended is to give an idea of the general trend of the speakers' views. Several excellent speeches are given in their entirety however. (alphabetical order) The Earl of Arran Lord Berkeley Lord Beaumont Viscount Bledisloe

The Northumberland Inquiry

Articles that appeared together on January 28th in the Northumberland Newspaper Morpeth Today, The Morpeth Herald RED TAPE HINDERING FMD RECOVERY
Too much time spent battling beaurocracy - Beith
Widdrington deserves better - Beith
Bringing tourists back in wake of FMD
Would vaccination have been better option?
FMD inquiry "part of the healing process"



Some observations and links - no conclusions drawn or implied -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From - a very impressive site on animal disease run by Mike Meredith, a qualified vet Notice how even this excellent site makes the assumption that the virus was able to travel "on the wind" for 7 km - a theory refuted by Alex Donaldson in the Vet Record for May 12th The origin of this terrible epidemic "The UK State Veterinary Service (SVS) believe that the epidemic originated on a swill (garbage) feeding farm at Heddon-on-the-Wall in the county of Tyne and Wear. From here the virus spread, probably by wind, to a sheep farm 7 km away, and from there was spread via sheep markets to 96 locations in different parts of the country. The epidemic was only discovered when cull sows from the pig farm went to an abattoir in Essex, where the virus spread by cross-infection of pens to a group of finishing pigs which were held in pens over the weekend - sufficient time to allow clinical signs to appear. This Type O Pan-Asia strain of FMD virus has a very short incubation period (can be less than 48 hours) in swine......." more -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reminder of the Facts? - 17th January 2001 Some more information has come my way from yet another unsolicited source, concerning the origin of the recent FMD epidemic. I never cease to be amazed at the tenacity of people to seek the truth in this regard. Many questions are raised by what I've heard and if you can refute anything or know the answers, please let me know! So, let's just set down the facts, as we believe them to be, from what has been discovered. After all, without an open Public Inquiry, how else are we to know the truth and so prevent a re-occurrence of such a disaster? Both the Government and the National Press have repeatedly stated the outbreak started at Bobby Waugh's pig farm, Burnside, Heddon on the Wall in North Northumberland. This now seems extremely doubtful. .....

Overkill' on sheep cull attacked

FOOT-AND-MOUTH experts claim that more than half the sheep slaughtered in Wales in the foot-and-mouth crisis were killed unnecessarily.

Almost 350,000 animals, including 304,847 sheep, have been slaughtered on infected premises, contiguous farms and as dangerous contacts in Wales. But Dr Paul Kitching, who was head of Pirbright Laboratory until May, has said it is impossible to diagnose foot-and-mouth disease in sheep from visual signs alone. And Dr Ruth Watkins, a former head of the diagnostic virology laboratory at St Mary's Hospital, yesterday said she believed at least half the sheep slaughtered in Wales need not have been killed. "I fully agree with Dr Kitching. There are very few infections and illnesses where you can be absolutely sure clinically," said Dr Watkins.



Classical Swine Fever was in East Anglia in August 2000 and MAFF were, for various reasons not apparent, covering up the fact that the disease was limited at first to BQP farms, (which it seems to have been)

It's possible that no one wanted a spotlight shone on any BQP farm and it was vital to squash the story. BQP pigs were involved in the early swine fever outbreaks. It was the largest outdoor pig production company in UK. It had intended to join forces with Eastbrook Organic farms and everything looked rosy. 250 farms in East Anglia looked after the BQP owned pigs. In March 2000 BQP denied that there was any question of selling up and then, in November sold the company a week before facing fines of up to £900,000 for illegally moving 880 pigs during the epidemic.

All science, law and truth have been chucked out of the window.

Control of the epidemic is now being driven solely by politics and the government spin-machine. And it is interesting that one of Mr Blair's chief collaborators in this has been Prof Anderson himself, whose past record, as is revealed elsewhere in this issue, scarcely inspires total confidence. As for what this crisis is doing for ministers' own grasp on the truth, a tiny example was a petulant answer given by agriculture minister Nick Brown when being grilled by the BBC's John Humphrys over how MAFF is now fiddling the figures. Brown was clearly floundering as Humphry's produced one piece of evidence after another to show how MAFF had shamelessly changed the basis on which its figures are calculated, basing this on a newspaper article by an expert on the crisis, Dr Richard North.

Private Eye Even Newer Muckspreader, 19/12/01 *********** Looking round for a last way to kick farmers in the teeth before the end of the year when they organised the biggest administrative shambles in British government history, ie the FMD fiasco, Mrs Beckett's officials came up with 'Operation Big Brother'. This is their brilliant wheeze to insist that every farmer in the country must buy a computer, to keep him (or her) in electronic touch with 'Control'. ie the Department for the Elimination of Farming and Rural Affairs.

This will enable Control to dish out its latest orders to farmers on a daily basis, meanwhile requiring the farmers to report back to Control everything they do on the farm.

1 Prophylactic vaccination. Yes there are seven serotypes of the virus. Usually these have occurred in particular areas of the world. For example, in Europe it is usually a virus of serotype O and occasionally A. In Africa, the three Southern African Territories Viruses SAT1, SAT2, SAT3 also occur. Vaccination against virus of one serotype does not confer immunity against viruses of the other six types. There is also a variation within the serotypes. However,

there is usually a degree of cross-protection within viruses of a given serotype. Western Europe was protected for 40 years,

apart from one hiccup in 1966, when a 'new' virus from South America of serotype O broke through. In future the aim would be to have a Polyvalent (effective against all serotypes of FMD). Trivalent vaccines are available and licensed for use*




Report from Radio Lancashire (June 18th) "Over 200 people attending the meeting at Rainhall Road County Primary School, following last week's first outbreak in Barnoldswick, were stunned when he detailed the complaints.

Slaughtermen have reportedly been chasing cattle with quad bikes and forward drive vehicles until (the cattle were) exhausted, then shooting them with rifles, taking two or three shots."

The RSPCA is investigating allegations that slaughtermen have acted with unnecessary cruelty when culling cattle infected with Foot and Mouth disease. RSPCA Inspector Richard Oddy revealed there had been six complaints of 'unwarranted cruelty' in East Lancashire during a heated meeting in Barnoldswick. Said Mr Oddy:"I have received half a dozen a number complaints from farmers who have of culls not being done in a humane method."

4th December 2001 Mr Morley:...To be clear on this point,

there were not 55 cases in the THIRSK area; there were 55 cases in the North Yorkshire area.

In the THIRSK area, 10 cases were upheld by the DVM, of which two later became infected premises. > SELECT COMMITTEE 6th November 2001............. 9. (David Currie) My second point is, you have said-in fact you said it just a few seconds ago-that delays which could, or perhaps did, help the spread of the disease were caused by farmers appealing against cull orders. How many cases do you think materially led to the spread of disease?

OBSERVATIONS ON THE FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE OUTBREAK IN CUMBRIA 2001: Alan Richardson B.Vet.Med., Ph.D., M.R.C.V.S. "Foot and mouth disease finds you out." Professor Harry Burrow, Royal Veterinary College, London, in a lecture to his students in 1963. INTRODUCTION Author's credentials The author qualified as veterinary surgeon in 1963 and worked in veterinary practice and the Veterinary Investigation Service (MAFF) for twelve years. He was Director of the Sir William MacDonald Veterinary Laboratory, Hamilton, Victoria, Australia (1975-76) and subsequently worked in research and development for ICI Pharmaceuticals Ltd. His last professional appointment was as a Home Office Inspector under the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act. He worked in the 1967 Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and came out of retirement to help in the 2001 outbreak in Cumbria. ......At the Carlisle office, on March 1st, there was inadequate office space and very few supplies of any kind. The author was obliged to buy all his kit (protective clothing, boots, buckets, etc.) at the local store, to which he went with two American volunteers. There was not a spare thermometer in the office, yet dozens of computers were being unloaded from a lorry. The first thing he was required to do was to read was a bulky COSHH assessment for disinfectants.

The organisation was completely overwhelmed and the bemused confusion among the staff of all ranks proclaimed that there had been no contingency planning at all. This situation persisted for some weeks. 

BLOOD TESTING THE HEFTED FLOCKS Concerned by the proposals to blood-test the hefted flocks,

Dr Ruth Watkins (virologist & sheep farmer) has provided some very important guidelines on the handling of hefted flocks grazing on common land.

Gathering Using the local men and their sheepdogs gather and sort into hefts. A different team of vets and handlers should be allocated to each heft. I suggest this team does not come into contact with sheep before the local men, dogs and other personnel have sorted the flocks into hefts, and indeed into the individual pens. The tagging could begin after the sheep have been penned. Penning Each heft should be divided into pens of no more than 250 animals, preferably less i.e. 200. So a heft of 1000 animals would be divided into 5 pens. Every pen of every heft should be 200 metres apart. The penning could provide ideal conditions for spread of virus. I






WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE BRECON BEACON NATIONAL PARK. INTRODUCTION Vaccination of cynefin (hefted sheep) on common land against FMD There is an emergency in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The sheep on the Brecon Beacon, Pen y Fan, and on the sugar loaf to the south, are being slaughtered now as a result of the outbreaks in Libanus and Crick Howell. The proposed vaccination programme needs to be urgently considered as it is makes slaughtering out the hefted sheep completely unnecessary. Where common land is wholly or partly within infected areas or where a piece of the common land is in an infected area, as with the Brecon Beacons National Park, vaccination of the sheep on the common land is proposed

The tail end of the epidemic and the exit to FMD-free status

by Dr Ruth Watkins During the tail end the following situations pertain: 1. Symptomatic acute infections in previously uninfected herds and flocks are still occurring. These may be both on the outskirts of areas of infection or occur within the hotspots, especially as animals are exposed to contaminated grass. 2. Asymptomatic acute infection is still spreading amongst sheep, Nsilent infectionb. This is very much more frequent in sheep than other species. 3. Asymptomatic acute infection may occur and still be spreading in cattle (the calves that were responsible for bringing infection into Holland were asymptomatic and are thought to have been exposed whilst waiting in a siding at a station where infected sheep were taken in France: Source Simon Barteling.)



18/02 16 January 2002 PRESS RELEASE


The National Scrapie Plan (NSP), which through selective breeding for genetic resistance aims over time to eradicate scrapie from the national flock, was today extended to all purebred flocks and to all scrapie-affected flocks. The first phase of the Plan, launched to pedigree sheep breeders in July last year, has so far attracted over 5,000 expressions of interest. Extension of the plan will open it up to 60,000 owners of sheep breeding flocks and speed up the overall effectiveness of the NSP.

lthough scrapie is cited as one of the reasons for the unseemly haste of this bill, (i.e. Animal Health (amendment) bill) scrapie has been in Britain for at least two centuries, is of no danger to human health - nor, as recent fiascos have shown, is there any proof whatsoever that sheep can develop BSE. NOR has any link between BSE and vCJD ever been properly proved.

The precise relationship between genotypes and resistance to scrapie is not properly understood, and decisions are being made in ignorance.

Lawrence Alderson, Director of Rare Breeds International : Meeting in House of Commons, Nov 29 "Decisions are being made in ignorance." Roger Green B.Vet Med MRCVS President Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, addressing a question at the meeting in the House of Commons on Thursday 29th November 200, had this to say: " There are several types of scrapie; what they are doing at the moment is selecting for just one thing - a bad thing to do -

Some recent theories about the timing of the bill. Threat to human health from BSE? Or is this a smoke screen? Where is there any truly independent scientific research?

BSE/vCJD link proved? Some dissenting voices If you wish to download the actual bill. Animal Health Bill These notes refer to the Animal Health Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 30th October 2001 [Bill 39]


F&MD Test Cuts Time to Minutes

March 28, 2001 USDA has developed a new diagnostic test for foot and mouth disease

and has made a major breakthrough on a vaccination as well. Agricultural Research Service Administrator Floyd P. Horn told the Senate Agriculture Committee that ARS has developed and is testing in Britain this week (sic - but this was not taken up by Pirbright) a new diagnostic procedure that can determine the presence of food and mouth disease (F&MD) in 40 minutes rather than the current 40 hours. Quick detection is critical to preventing spread of the disease. It took three weeks to identify the recent outbreak in the United Kingdom and six weeks in Taiwan. ...

The Smart Cycler

- equipment that could have saved the farmers, tourism, the rural economy, billions of pounds and millions of animals during the FMD Crisis. It was offered to the Government on March 9th - and not accepted....since then, as far as IAH Pirbright is concerned, it seemed to have vanished - until a letter appeared in the Veterinary record on Oct 6th from Dr Donaldson and others, casting doubt on the effectiveness of what it terms "of a portable 'real-time' PCR instrument ". They do not actually name the device. Since it is understood that Pirbright is involved in a commercial deal to develop a piece of equipment of their own, this piece of scientific rubbishing is, sadly, perhaps not to be wondered at.

From Stephen Smith QC: Dear Mary, Animal Health Bill

You have asked me to comment on the fmd aspects of the Bill published last Wednesday. For ease of reference I shall set out my thoughts in numbered paragraphs. 1. Much has already been written on the Bill, and doubtless much more will appear shortly. I perhaps approach it from a different perspective than the approach many others take, because my thoughts are coloured by the experiences I had over the summer as the adviser and advocate/potential advocate to several farmers threatened with foot and mouth culls, most notably Rosemary Upton with the remnants of her Portland sheep flock and Grunty the Kune Kune pig.

There is no need for a computer to predict that "too little too late" does not work!......since policy makers tend to accept modelling results at face value, particularly if the results fit their policy, modelers have a serious socioeconomic responsibility to make sure that their models and the results are transparent and well qualified.

Dr Paul Sutmoller, writing here about the modelling work much hailed by the NFU last week. (This email was first posted on the proMed site. Dr Sutmoller has given his blessing for it to be reproduced here...and wishes us "Success!")

The [Morris] model tested 2 different FMD vaccination strategies: 1. FMD vaccination of cattle in a series of rather narrow, mostly East-West "bands" across the country, positioned to create a barrier between FMD-affected and FMD-unaffected areas, with 8000 head being vaccinated in each specified area per day. 2. FMD vaccination of high density zones in combination with preemptive slaughter of infected farms in 3 areas of more than 50 infected farms per 100 km2. Within each area 8000 cattle were vaccinated per day.

From the Powerpoint presentation of Dr Paul Sutmoller at the government's Royal Society Inquiry "Vaccination" meeting on January 15th 2002

What makes sense for prevention, control and eradication of FMD? How to get rid of the disease soonest? How can we minimize impact on animal production and welfare? How can we limit the damage to the rural society as a whole? Long-term ban on free international trade of vaccinated animals Arguments: * Convalescent or sub-clinical infected animals, become FMD virus carriers. * Vaccinated animals have antibodies against FMD and that this obscures the tracing of the disease. * (One cannot eat meat from vaccinated animal) Risk of vaccinated animals * Just how large is that risk of creating vaccinated carriers and what would be the risk posed by such animals? * Does that risk justify the assumed zero-risk approach of "stamping-out" or, when vaccination is used, the killing of the healthy vaccinated livestock? * Could the risk of infected animals in vaccinated populations be managed effectively by the use of modern diagnostic methodologies? * Is stamping-out to the bitter end really assuring zero risk?



John Thorley, Chief Executive, National Sheep Association When we stand back and take an objective view of our sheep industry as we have it today we cannot help noticing our many critics

- most of them it has to be said are either academics or else driven by love of academia, irrespective of whether this love is sensible or not. I have consulted the 1985 Collins' Concise Dictionary, and a variety of other highly reputable sources. Without going into any great detail on the subject I want you to know that I am entirely supportive of the academic who belongs to a place of learning or specialist training, one who is engaged in research, development and teaching which has a practical outlook. I have however very little respect for the academics who are excessively concerned, without understanding, with matters of an intellectual nature and impose their poorly thought out theoretical and abstract views on an industry which is essentially practical and concerned with reality and all which that entails. In short, just as some farmers bring farming into disrepute so some shallow thinking academics bring the academic world into disrepute.

By The Journal

April 7: The Ministry of Agriculture pays £4m for the Inkerman site at Tow Law.

April 10: Scores of residents block the entrance to the site to shut workmen out April 17: The Government pledges not to burn carcases or slaughter animals at Inkerman, but insists mass burial will go ahead May 2: The first lorries deliver carcases. Dr Bob Dobbie, operations director for the foot-and-mouth centre in Newcastle, says: "None of us would want to have a disposal site beside us but quite frankly this is the best we can find in County Durham. May 13: Six women are charged with public order offences after clashes outside the site May 16: Health bosses test river water close to Inkerman, after locals

What follows is a paper by

Stephen Tromans, Barrister, about the various laws relevant to the FMD crisis.

The paper has implications for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries who may be considered to be in breach of both British and European law. Read the whole paper (which is excellent) or click on the link that may be relevant to your particular concern or complaint and see what the laws actually are. The Animal Health Act 1981..shows vaccination would not have required the consent of farmers Slaughter closely defined powers that do not include power to slaughter healthy animals Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights makes it clear that to be lawful, deprivation of possessions against one's will must be subject to the conditions provided for by law ( and Schedule 3 of the Animal Health Act 1981 does NOT include powers to slaughter healthy animals) Disposal of carcases



Why don't most of the world's industrialized countries who hold an FMD-free status vaccinate their livestock routinely with the current killed virus vaccine for FMD? The short answers are that: Traditional serological FMDV diagnostic methods cannot distinguish vaccinated animals from infected animals. Thus, they believe that vaccination will complicate their FMD-free status. Vaccination using traditional killed virus vaccines may itself lead to disease outbreak, due to accidental contamination by live viruses during the vaccine manufacturing. Once a nation has eradicated the disease from an area, thus gaining FMD-free status, not vaccinating the animals with the currently available killed virus vaccine allows the country to maintain a sensitive means of detecting whether the virus has crept back in again, as any accidental infection will lead to a full-blown outbreak.

However, this strategy of "non-vaccination" is a gamble.

An unholy alliance ..the freemasonry of the Royal Society

Professor "Exterminate Them!" Roy Anderson - his ascendency The evidence suggests he had 'help' from Sir Robert May (President of the Royal Society and previous Govt Chief Scientist), Sir John Krebs (Head of the Food Standards Agency and well known enthusiast for GM) and Prof David King (Chief Scientist). All four are Fellows of the Royal Society - which appears to operate as a kind of scientific Freemasonry - and May, Krebs and Anderson were all Profs in the same Dept and Oxford University prior to the Anderson scandals that led Anderson and large numbers of 'hangers on' to decamp to Imperial College last year. May and Krebs receive(d) Royal Society Research Professorships. Anderson and Krebs are widely 'seen' as May's protegis, and King almost certainly owes his position as Chief Scientist to May, as does Krebs with regard to his appointment as Head of the Food Standards Agency.



LINKS between vCJD...BSE....scrapie..... and research grants

Article:THE MONEY TRAIL -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Critical scientists like Purdey are unlikely to prevail. The pharmaceutical industry holds most research purse strings, and would hardly energetically explore an avenue of research that could expose them to litigation for causing BSE. The official theory is lavishly funded, alternative theories rarely, if at all. ...See article -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Charles backs controversial CJD research Telegraph - Jan 13 2002 By Lorraine Fraser, Medical Correspondent THE PRINCE OF WALES has given his support to a British scientist who believes that the human equivalent of mad cow disease may be caused by pollution rather than by eating BSE-infected beef. Prince Charles has asked friends in the medical community to lobby for research funds for Dr David Brown, whose findings suggest that contamination with the metal manganese may be to blame for the fatal brain illness, vCJD (variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease).

CIWF sponsored conference at Bristol University Sept 15 - Chairman Bill Eykyn

Joyce de Silva, the director of Compassion in World Farming, opened the forum with remarks about the ethical considerations of the slaughter policy and the many bad examples of culling that have been reported, the cost to the humans who have had to be involved in the cull and the cost to the animals themselves. Wendy de Vere,, whose idea the conference was, explained that as a vet in Devon watching the slaughter, she had - in mid April - 5 questions she wanted answered by Defra : Why weren't sheep being serologically tested? Why weren't local vets being used to assess local risks? Why weren't they being used to prioritise welfare cases? Why was the delay between diagnosis, slaughter and disposal stretching into days and weeks? Why were contiguous premises being killed out long after the incubation period? A partial reply to these questions did not come until 24th August (i.e. four months later). She decided that since communication was so bad vets needed to find out answers for themselves..Does vaccination work against FMD? How does it work? She was also gravely concerned about the moral and ethical obligations owed by the veterinary profession. Consequently, she conceived the idea of the conference, which was sponsored by Compassion in World Farming and organised by Alicia Eykyn. Dr Peter Poll, from Utrecht, explained to the audience how, sickened by the destruction in Holland,

FMD: there must be a proper inquiry Prof Bob Michell, BVetMed BSc PhD DSc MRCVS

Former President of the RCVS Veterinary Times, 9th July 2001 Copyright 2001 The Veterinary Times EXTRACTS There has to be a powerful independent inquiry into all aspects of FMD 2001; there is no reasonable alternative. Too many people, too many animals, have suffered both directly and indirectly; and the lessons have to be drawn with total objectivity: faced with the same situation again, what would we repeat, and what would we do differently? ......... There are already indications in the media that the Government, including the Prime Minister, are not enamoured of the prospect. This should arouse deep misgivings if it is true. Any attempt to evade such an inquiry - or to attenuate its powers - would arouse grave suspicions that there may be truths too unsavoury to be redeemed, even by the most beguiling exponents of spin.


Relative risks of the uncontrollable (airborne)spread of FMD by different species

A.I.DONALDSON,S.ALEXANDERSEN, J.H.S0RENSEN,T.MIKKELSE The modellers did not define the mechanism of 'local' spread , but assumed that it would happen as a statistical probability. Furthermore, the infectivity and transmission parameters used by the modellers were based on an average hypothetical species. Given the very wide variation between different species in terms of the quantities of virus excreted ,their susceptibility to infection ,and the routes by which they are likely to be infected, the modelling of the spread of FMD using an average species is an over-simplification, and in certain circumstances would generate inaccurate forecasts.

The Veterinary Record, October 27, 2001

Sir, - Professor David King's article entitled "The use of vaccination in the current FMD outbreak", published on the DEFRA website and summarised in the Veterinary Record (September 29th, p370) has prompted us to respond

, as there are a number of inaccuracies in his statements. Contrary to Professor King's assertions that vaccination does not completely remove the virus, mass vaccination, as practised in continental Europe before1991, effectively eliminated foot and mouth disease (FMD) from the animal population (Salt 1997, Kitching 1998,). The most recent oil-based FMD vaccines are of high efficacy, and, with high levels of immunity any virus struggles to find a suitable host and eventually dies out (Anderson and May 1991). Tests are now available to distinguish between vaccinated-immune and recovered-immune animals and also to identify animals that are harbouring the virus (Sorensen and others 1998). Non Structural Protein (NSP) ELISAS for antibodies to viral polyprotein 3ABC can distinguish between vaccinated animals and animals that have subsequently become infected with over 90 per cent sensitivity and specificity and have been validated on experimental and field sera in South America (Mackay 1998). A commercially available NSP test is intended to be available this autumn for cattle and pigs for use on a herd basis (Intervet website, This is the basis for 'vaccination to live'; a Dutch initiative which is currently being actively pursued in Europe.



Week In Week Out - the foot and mouth crisis

This programme was broadcast on Welsh Television. Extracts ...have the politicians really been acting in the interests of the country or has there been another, hidden agenda? Getting answers to these questions won't be easy because the prime minister has ruled out a full public inquiry. Roy Miller is a business man and farmer. This is his case against the cull. "The past seven months have brought terrible hardship to communities like mine and farmers are deeply concerned about the future. The presence of foot and mouth has been bad enough - but I believe the treatment has been more deadly than the disease. The way the government in Cardiff and London have handled it has been a disaster. At least twice as many animals have died as have needed to and in consequence the rural economy has been brought to its knees.


What follows is only a small proportion of instances involving Maff/Defra tactics. Why has there not been an outcry?

The killing of healthy animals goes on - January 2002 Jan 5 ~ A slaughterer told me later, that he was told to gut the ewes when they were put on the pyre, and he removed lambs from inside them which were still alive, he said that he had vomited into the mask he was wearing. My partner Nick was told by the slaughter vet, four days afterwards, that the killing of our animals had been pointless. Click here. From the Guardian ~ Mass culling on New Year's Day, on top of the 3.9m animals slaughtered over the past 10 months on almost 9,400 farms, carried a certain symbolism in the local pub, the Hollybush Arms. Farming neighbours of Mr Weeks had little to celebrate. "We have seen this all before," said one, who recalled the re-emergence of the disease in the south of the county late last August. 

September 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease :

Autumn Movement Controls

1. On 28 August I announced the outline of arrangements for restricted movements of livestock this autumn. I am writing to you now to let you know the detailed arrangements of the overall policy so that you know how this affects you. 2. In normal circumstances, we all know Autumn is the busiest time of year for the movement of livestock. But this year circumstances are far from normal. Our overriding priority is to stamp out foot and mouth disease. We must minimise the risk of the disease flaring up and emerging in new areas or re-appearing in old ones. Movements of animals pose a risk of spreading disease. We want to do our best to enable an increase in the movement of stock. But we have concluded that we can only do this if strict conditions are imposed.



by PA News reporters (October 30, 2001) Mass culling would remain the Government's policy in the event of a further outbreak of foot-and-mouth, in spite of the experience of this year's epidemic, Lord Whitty said today. The food minister said he would not pre-empt the three independent inquiries being carried out into the outbreak. But he confirmed that, at present, Government policy on culling had not changed. Lord Whitty told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today: "Policy at the moment would be to follow the successful dimensions of the strategy we have adopted so far, which is basically that the culling, as long as we match the target figures, is effective in containing the disease. 

Left to bear the scars for decades to come The Journal Oct 27 2001 Community aims to win compensation By Robert Brooks At first glance, it looks like many other places in the heart of the Northumberland countryside - small close-knit villages clustered round one another, a dotting of farms amid the open fields, and the occasional reminders of a once-thriving coal industry. But the area around the villages of

Widdrington and nearby Widdrington Station have something which makes it different It has been left to bear the scars of an agricultural catastrophe for decades to come

, a legacy which haunts every person living there and which has sown the seeds of fear for their own and their children's health in years to come


the College (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) should have led the way in condemning what I call "postcode slaughter"

- the indiscriminate and unnecessary slaughter of animals because of where they are, - and I have tried to prod the College to action, but the response, particularly from the Registrar has been that we must not offend MAFF" Roger Windsor is a Veterinary Surgeon of some considerable standing and a Member of the Council of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. A damning indictment of the Government's slaughter policy. His strong criticism of the College itself, for not doing more to call a halt an unscientific and barbarous method for the control of Foot and Mouth Disease is awesome. Here is the address he gave the Council at their most recent meeting on 6th June. "This outbreak of foot and mouth disease has been a disaster: a disaster for farmers, for the rural community and it has not been good for the veterinary profession or this College.  

We ask the same question that is on everyone's lips - why? What has been gained by killing these cattle? The Western Morning News has focussed strongly on this story - and also has a special report inside the paper on foot and mouth. updated June 11 "..

I feel bitter, tearful, frustrated and helpless, but most of all I feel desperate to highlight what is happening in the countryside

and I hope that others will realise before it is too late." Leila, Mr Winslade's daughter in Western Morning News June 11 I felt heartbroken when I heard what had happened - only the day before, Mr. Winslade had said that the thought of his pride and joy, two healthy sets of twin calves born six weeks ago, being slaughtered because of an extremely narrow theoretical risk of them contracting f and m, filled him with anger  

It will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that

Mark Woolhouse is a disciple of Anderson's

- used to work with him at Oxford! - and is another non-vet biomathematical modeller. Prof David King, Chief Scientist, has always made out that the Woolhouse team (who are the others on his team? Are there any?) at Edinburgh was independent - but I have it in good authority that he's been using the Anderson model and that they've been working essentially 'in league/in tandem' all along.






Forest of Dean Action "Foot and Mouth Action Group"
Public Inquiry Call


& CALL FOR MAJOR PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO FOOT & MOUTH Given the draconian legislation now before parliament the Forest of Dean FMD Action Group have called a public meeting to discuss what this means for the Forest. Also the Inquiries announced into FMD are proving totally inadequate to deal with dreadful mismanagement we witnessed in the Forest - we must make sure our views are heard again. Carole Youngs, one of the organisers said "Changes to the Animal Health Act will make it impossible for any farmer to appeal against a culling order, and illegal to resist the slaughter of healthy animals: Had this law applied at the time when the FoD FMD Action Group was actively supporting farmers and smallholders to protect their healthy animals, we would all have been acting illegally and the animals would all have been slaughtered." Given that there were no positive cases of FMD in any of the Contiguous culls in the Forest of Dean there can be no justification for the draconian and punitive legislation now proposed. Also, we desperately need a major Public Inquiry to get to the root cause of what went so wrong in the Foot & Mouth epidemic. The Inquiries announced by the Govt are proving to be absolutely futile

Requests for information not yet here should be sent as quickly as possible to