FACTS ABOUT FMD CRISIS 2001. (received at warmwell by email on 4th November)
1. In 1967 over 90% of the animals culled actually had the disease. In 2001 well over 90% of the animals taken did not have FMD if samples had been taken to be scientifically analysed in the laboratory at Pirbright.
2. If movements had been stopped immediately and at the same time as exports, the disease would have been contained in a small area of the north of England. Lord Whitty and Elliot Morley said last week that movements were stopped immediately. This is blatantly untrue!
3. There never has been FMD virus related to the outbreak in Powys of February 2001 in Welshpool Market. According to DEFRA there is evidence to indicate that virus was there. On the contrary, a scientific analysis of the situation suggests that Welshpool Market had nothing to do with FMD spread.
4. The UKs Chief Scientist is a "surface scientist" ie; a metallurgist, an expert in the corrosion of metals. Epidemiologists are mathematicians and statisticians not hands-on practising vets.
5. Prof. Fred Brown, Dr. Paul Kitching, Dr. Paul Sutmoller and Dr. Simon Barteling are the world's most respected experts on FMD. They are all horrified at how MAFF/DEFRA have handled this crisis. They offered their help on several occasions but were snubbed.
6. Mr. Terry Boundy of Montgomery, an internationally recognised expert in sheep veterinary science, has pointed out that Ovine Mucosal Gum Disease (Omugud) has been mistaken for FMD on a massive scale particularly in Dumfries and Anglesey. It does no great harm to sheep and does not affect cattle.
7. All of the above veterinarians, including Mr. Tony Edwards the Chief vet in Wales, agree that clinical visual diagnosis to be unreliable and recommend that cattle are kept in close contact with any suspect sheep and are thoroughly examined for symptoms. Carwyn Jones, who is a politician, urged farmers to keep cattle and sheep separated. The veterinarians also agree that contiguous animals in direct contact with FMD should be slaughtered, NOT contiguous farms.
8. Dr. Alex Donaldson, head of Pirbright, has said "We are suggesting that greater thought could now be given to the more traditional approach of dealing with infected premises according to the species on them, rather than automatically imposing a cull of everything in a ring around.
9. At Plum Island in the USA pigs at one end of a shed were infected with the virus type that was here, animals at the other end of the building did not succumb to the disease.
10. William Neville of Burgess Salmon maintains existing laws relating to on-farm disease control are totally adequate without having to resort to removing a farmers human rights. In Wales not one farm that opposed the Ministry and resisted its attempts to kill their animals went on to contract FMD**, neither did any of the farms that Burgess Salmon represented in other parts of the UK. There are many cases in other legal practices, especially in the southwest.
11. Prof. Brown has developed a rapid diagnostic machine to confirm whether an animal has FMD in a matter of minutes. The machine is portable and only costs about £20,000. The Government has ignored the fact that massive amounts of taxpayers money could have been saved by using 21st century technology.
12. Drs. Kitching and Sutmoller are highly influential within the OIE which ultimately determines when the UK begins to export again.
13. The Devon Public Inquiry has condemned the Government's handling of the crisis and been supportive of the farming communities observations. Identical methods of "persuasion" by the Ministry were used in Wales.
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 "..to 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.
All of the above is based on factual information and conversations with the people mentioned. The points made are documented and recorded and thus can be substantiated and verified if subjected to independent scrutiny.
**: In south Powys one farm went down, supposedly with FMD, one month after resisting a contiguous cull during the period when disinfecting and rodent control were not taking place on any infected premises.