Vaccination Facts - a briefing note from NFMG

Latest Press release from FMD group: Royal Society Inquiry into FMD is a foregone conclusion


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:



Previous Press Release from the National Foot and Mouth Group
~ received August 4th

The previous Press Release from the National Foot and Mouth Group: July 26th

Re: National Foot and Mouth Group

Following the meeting held at Burges Salmon solicitors on 7th June the committee have been working hard getting all the various strands in place in order that we may make significant steps towards a Judicial Review and/or a Public enquiry. We have also been working with Dr. Ruth Watkins on vaccination issues that can be used to put further pressure on both the Government and the Welsh Assembly. Earlier this week we had a meeting with the graziers from the Brecon Beacons and got their full agreement to proceed with our call for vaccination which adds further strength to our case.

We have today sent out a press release announcing the work we have been doing on vaccination. The committee overall decided on the national name of ' National Foot and Mouth Group' so that it could encompass the many other groups who would give us added strength such as hotel groups, tourist groups, Heart of ---------- groups, farmers groups et al.

Unfortunately due to holidays, illness and other commitments the committee have been very depleted which has meant that the bulk of work has been carried out by two people making time for that all important communication with yourselves very limited. We have also wanted to do more for those of you 'on the ground' who do so much to support our aims but sadly this also has not materialised for the same reasons. But we are now addressing both these problems with a significant move forward.

We have asked Tony York (Tony the Trouble-shooter) assisted by Val Sinclair and Julie Currie to set up a national sub group responsible for organising, supporting, helping and advising all those of you who, throughout the country, can assist as part of a stronger National team. Tony is organising a meeting centrally for this Sunday July 1(In the Midlands area) so as many of you as possible can attend. We hope that the meeting will be well attended but realise that it is not possible for everyone to attend so bearing this in mind Tony will be posting full details on the major websites (Farmtalking, Warmwell, Cullmaff, Sheepdrove etc.) later today. If you cannot attend then you will be able to contact Tony direct with an e-mail indicating your ability to assist and support in your area.

In future this sub group will be your link to the committee and there will be a two way flow of information that will hopefully ensure that communication lines are informative and open to everyone.

Janet Bayley
On Behalf of the National Foot and Mouth Group Committee

National Foot and Mouth Group


Janet Bayley: 01285 644319 Ruth Watkins: 01550 740660 or 07980 827273

Angela Whitlock 01497 847422

The scientific papers supporting Dr Watkins submission are available on request.

Pig Paradise Farm tonyyork@pigparadise.com

www.pigparadise.com 07967 581805

also Val Sinclair 01691 662388 or 07721416739

Julia Currie 01453 764376 or 07977215715





The National Foot & Mouth Group have today backed a call by Dr Ruth Watkins that graziers with sheep flocks on the Welsh hills should be allowed to vaccinate their animals.

Dr Watkins, who is a recently retired virologist, has asked DEFRA that she, and other graziers, be given permission to vaccinate their flocks of Welsh mountain sheep. The graziers run hefted flocks on the Brecon Beacons and Welsh Mountains. The 'cynefin' as they are locally known, literally translates as 'sheep with their own habitat'.

Dr Watkins said "The sheep are an integral part of the landscape in Wales and derive from ancient flocks going back almost 2000 years. They simply cannot be replaced. There are a number of unique genetic strains. Any sheep new to the hills wanders off not knowing where to go, nor can its owner find it again. With the 'cynefin' the lambs go up to the hills with their 'cynefin' mothers and learn from them their place on the mountain, where to go for shelter or water, and are familiarised with their flock and their environment.

"If we vaccinated all the sheep on the hills and common land the circulation of virus would cease on the commons. The welfare problem of providing winter feedstuff and winter pastures would be solved. Unless this action is taken we will be facing huge welfare issues throughout the summer, autumn and winter. When the 'cynefin' sheep return to their farms in the autumn none will return with an acute infection so a resurgence of the disease will be avoided. Only 5% of sheep carry virus for as long as 9 months so if we vaccinate now and halt the spread in the 'cynefin' flocks none will remain carriers by next summer."

The move has been welcomed by local businesses whose trade has been severely affected by the closure of the countryside and the devastating losses suffered by the tourism industry throughout spring and early summer.

Angela Whitlock of Celtic Canoes and Lodge said "As soon as we can get the countryside opened up and the footpaths and bridleways can be used again then we may be able to retrieve something of the summer season. If we carry on with no bookings and no income throughout the rest of the season then we will see many more businesses go to the wall."

Roy Miller, a farmer from near Welshpool, said "As soon as we vaccinate the clock starts ticking. But if we carry on never knowing when the last outbreak is going to happen it could be months before we can start planning and making arrangements to get stock moving and markets reopened. We've got to be realistic about when we're going to get the export markets back and we've got to get this disease stopped in its tracks. We need certainty. If the 'cynefyn' sheep go up on to the hills without vaccinating them we're looking at months before we're ever going to be clear of the disease. Many organisations are now saying openly that the subject of vaccination has never had a proper airing. It certainly deserves it now."

The Group believe that preventative inoculation of susceptible animals requires proper consideration. Without vaccination the disease will carry on breaking out throughout the summer and beyond with massive and disproportionate losses to tourism and the wider rural economy. Rural communities and their infrastructure have suffered enough and decisive action is needed now.


Janet Bayley: 01285 644319 Ruth Watkins: 01550 740660 or 07980 827273

Angela Whitlock 01497 847422

The scientific papers supporting Dr Watkins submission are available on request.