Submission to the Temporary Committee on Foot and Mouth Disease

R P Kitching National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease

"Because of the difficulty in making a clinical diagnosis in sheep

and because of the probability than the FMD virus had been present in a suspect flock for sometime,

I queried the necessity of using the 24 hour cull policy, as there would be no disadvantage to waiting for laboratory confirmation.

A blood sample from a suspect infected sheep would be either virus positive or antibody positive, sometimes both

- this advice was ignored.

Later the question was raised that the sensitivity of the tests being used at Pirbright was not sufficient to identify al infected animals.

In my opinion, samples collected, following recommended procedures, from infected animals in an unvaccinated population , would be close to 100% sensitive


The consequence of adopting the policy recommended by the models was:

1 Excessive slaughter of healthy animals(during the 1967/8 outbreak in the UK, there were approximately 2500 affected farms, and, 500.000 animals were slaughtered, in the 2001 outbreak, there were 2026 declared infected farms in the UK, and over 4,000,000 animals slaughtered, plus 2,500,000 slaughtered for welfare)......

See Dr Kitching's full evidence