Mr Gill is quoting Professor King. This was his response on the Guardian Forum 20 Nov 2001.
Extract: Professor D King - 03:25pm Nov 20, 2001 GMT (3.1) | Reply
The advice I gave on dealing with the epidemic was based entirely on scientific analyses. The policy we came up with was the one that showed that we could bring the epidemic to an end most efficiently with the least number of animals being culled in the process. In dealing with a livestock epidemic of this kind, it is critical to get ahead of the epidemic. When an Infected Premise is reported, the animals on that farm are already producing virus: the farm is a virus factory. Animals on neighbouring farms are highly susceptible, and to stop them becoming virus factories they should be culled while they are incubating the disease and before they show the symptoms. For this reason animals on neighbouring farms were culled within a target of 48 hours. A significant proportion of these animals, in fact about 80%, were not incubating the disease and were therefore, as you say, healthy at the time of their being culled. However if the neighbouring farms had not been culled, there is a very high probability that one of the neighbours to a healthy farm would become diseased, and in time the healthy animals would have picked up the virus with a high probability. (sic)
The scientists on my team did model the use of vaccination at various stages of the epidemic. Because of the very large number of starting points for our epidemic, due to animal movements before the disease was discovered, this would have had very little effect on the development of the epidemic. I should note that in Holland where vaccination was used the vaccinated animals were subsequently culled, and as a result many more animals were culled for each Infected Premise than in Britain.
( Many thanks to Elaine for providing this link and information )
The truth is very differentas 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. On the 23 March they were granted suppressive vaccination (where slaughter would follow) in a 2 km area round confirmed outbreaks. In addition, on 3 April they obtained permission for protective vaccination, (vaccinated animals could live but would be prohibited from movement for at least one year).
The farmers, many of them dairy farmers, were led to believe their animals would be allowed to live and thus agreed to the protective vaccination area being much wider than was truly necessary for control of the disease.
After vaccination was completed, their Government changed its mind and insisted on slaughtering the animals in a bid to qualify for normal trading after three months. That was the main reason why their vaccination strategy created such a high number of animal deaths - not that vaccinating proportionately caused more slaughter, a myth now being freely peddled in this country, as witnessed by Ben Gill on the radio recently and whenever vaccination in the Netherlands is mentioned. Many Dutch farmers attempted to fight the slaughter in the courts and there was further public outcry". In fact Dr Frits Pluimers CVO of the Netherlands made an impassioned speech at the conference, stating that he could not in the future ignore the will of the Dutch people and that vaccination would certainly be used should they be unfortunate enough to have another outbreak. However, they would never again follow a policy that slaughtered vaccinated animals, proved by tests to be uninfected. They would press for such tests, which, he insisted, do already exist, to be internationally validated, and trading rules brought up to date with the science.
See also Alan Beat's commentary on Lord Whitty's arguments for the measures Health Bill