Anne Lambourn writes,

"In view of the very interesting article that you posted on warmwell yesterday

from the Scotsman by Fordyce Maxwell

particularly his comments from the "farmer" who was anti vaccination, it is helpful to view some of the Info Sheets/advice posted by the NFUS (National Farmers' Union of Scotland) on its website over the weeks.

General index website link below - several pages.  Separate link given by me with each article.  Several news Releases/Information Sheets copied below. 

 Interesting to note how over the weeks the NFUS presented the anti vaccination argument.  See the type of advice they gave e.g. "Vaccination not legally allowed" in article "Why slaughter?  Why not vaccinate?".  Also, see the letter below and note the signatories.  In "Vaccination - the raising of false hope" it states that "Around 50% of the vaccinated animals would become carriers potentially spreading infection to other non vaccinated animals."  There are other Info Sheets worth looking at.

Website for Index of Information Sheets

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/By%20Category?OpenView

News Release
No : 92/01
Date : 18 April 2001
Contact : Maria Limonci
Telephone : 0131 472 4018
Email : Maria.limonci@nfus.org.uk

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/c63cc7c811b3184180256a02005f715d/95457ccadbc4cb1e80256a32005501e3?OpenDocument

OPPOSITION TO VACCINATION MOUNTS

Opposition to vaccination against foot and mouth has stepped up to include a wide range of farming, food and rural interests in Scotland.

In a joint letter to the Prime Minister, the heads of ten organisations have warned that, if vaccination goes ahead now, it will undermine the government's whole strategy for dealing with the disease.

The letter points out that the current policy for eradicating the disease, devastating though it is, is beginning to work, so diverting resources from the existing policy towards vaccination would make no sense. They warn that vaccination would create new risks of spreading the disease and that, if it goes ahead now, it will be seen as a betrayal of all the farmers who have already sacrificed large numbers of animals under the pre-emptive cull. It will, they predict, cause chaos for the government's whole eradication strategy.

The letter has been signed by:

Jim Walker, President of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland,
Neil Kilpatrick, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland,
John Duncan, Chairman of First Milk
Alan Wiseman, Chairman of Robert Wiseman Dairies PLc,
Keith Redpath, Chairman of the Scottish Beef Council*
Loudon Hamilton CB, Chairman of Scottish Food Quality Certification Limited,
Hamish McCall, President of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers of Scotland,
Rod Mackenzie, Scottish Chairman of the National Sheep Association,
Alec Telfer, Chairman of the Scottish Organic Producers Association

*This stance is also supported by the Breed Societies representing Limousin, Belgian Blue, Simmental, Charolais and Aberdeen Angus Beef Breeders

Ends

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________-

 

  Information


Date : 5 March 2001

Number : 31/01

Contact : Maria Limonci
Direct dial number : 0131 472 4018
E-mail address : maria.limonci@nfus.org.uk

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/c63cc7c811b3184180256a02005f715d/eab2ef3376a37d5c80256a070042c0a8?OpenDocument

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE – WHY SLAUGHTER? WHY NOT VACCINATE?

A lot of questions are being asked about why it is necessary to slaughter animals with foot and mouth disease rather than letting the disease run its course or vaccinating against it. This note sets out to answer some of these questions.
7 Foot and mouth disease has serious animal welfare implications, even although it presents no risk to human health.
7 It is fatal to about 50 per cent of young animals. Whilst fewer older ones die, they can suffer prolonged pain and distress. Blisters form in and around the mouth and feet. These burst causing lesions. Animals find it painful to stand or walk. Some animals stop eating and starve. Animals lose weight (or stop gaining it). Milk production falls. There is no cure. Whilst animals recover, they are never the same.
7 If the disease is allowed to become endemic, there are few countries in the world which would accept our meat exports.
7 Vaccination is not legally allowed.
7 Supplies of vaccines against most of the 80 or so strains of foot and mouth disease are held in this country for emergency use only - and only after approval from the EU. Approval could only be granted if a member state justified it to the EU Standing Veterinary Committee. Vaccine has never been used in the UK.
7 The disease is currently too spread out around Britain to make even ring vaccination around the outbreaks a consideration – even if it was allowed. And even if the decision was made to prevent further disease spread by ring vaccination, the vaccinated animals would have to be slaughtered after the outbreak had been eliminated.
7 Vaccines are not 100 per cent effective and there is risk of a vaccination breakdown actually causing the disease.
7 If the vaccine works, animals develop antibodies which will be present and detectable in their system for maybe 18 months afterwards.
7 This means that our country's disease-free status is lost. Few countries in the world would accept our meat exports.

Note: This information has been jointly compiled by the National Farmers' Union of Scotland and the National Farmers' Union.

___________________________________________________________________________________-

 

 

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/c63cc7c811b3184180256a02005f715d/1657ba9342a49abe80256a310031a6d5?OpenDocument

 



VACCINATION – THE RAISING OF FALSE HOPE
BY Jim Walker, President of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland


None of us underestimates what it will take to eradicate foot and mouth disease and the distress it is causing. The policy involves the slaughter of any animal either with the virus or suspected of being exposed to it. This is a massive operation which requires further resources, but devastating though it is, there is clear evidence that it will succeed. On the other hand, there is no hard scientific knowledge on disease control using vaccination on this scale from anywhere in the world. All the scientists have is information from field observations and small-scale experiments. Nevertheless the possibility of diverting scarce resources from a proven policy to an experiment with vaccination is once again on the agenda.

The arguments against vaccination are clear:
7 Vaccination does not guarantee immunity
7 On average 2 per cent of animals vaccinated would not get immunity
7 Around 50 per cent of animals vaccinated would become carriers of the virus, potentially spreading infection to other non-vaccinated animals

The EC has only given the UK permission to vaccinate cattle in Devon and Cumbria. They have laid down stringent movement controls on cattle within the vaccinated areas, with the requirement that products from those animals are labelled separately. What will consumers do confronted with a choice on the shelf of milk or meat labelled as having come from vaccinated animals?

These controls would be in place for at least a year after either the vaccination was completed or the last outbreak of foot and mouth occurred – leading to the economic collapse of agriculture and associated industries in these areas. The rest of the country would be condemned to a nuclear winter with the loss of exports of all livestock products.

Vaccination now would be a betrayal of all those that have already sacrificed stock to try and halt the spread of the disease. It will not get the universal support it requires. And its introduction will cause the breakdown of the slaughter policy. Hundreds of farming families in Devon and Cumbria would be expected to agree to sheep and pigs being taken out while some neighbouring vaccinated cattle survived. Cattle farmers elsewhere in the country would be expected to agree to the slaughter of their animals as the best means of controlling the disease. This will lead to confusion and bewilderment amongst the farming community already failed by lack of direction from Whitehall in the early days of this outbreak.

With the disease on the retreat, this is the time for strong leadership and courage at the top. It is not the time to let politics take over from common sense.


17 April 2001

 

News Release

No : 117/01
Date : 7 June 2001
Contact : Maria Limonci
Telephone : 0131 472 4018
Email : maria.limonci@nfus.org.uk

FOOT AND MOUTH – 100 DAYS IN SCOTLAND

The hundredth day since foot and mouth was first diagnosed in Scotland falls tomorrow (Friday 8 June 2001). According to the NFU of Scotland, the day sees the disease firmly on the wane, but not beaten yet; and a newly-elected government with the responsibility of ensuring that a solid agriculture industry is re-built and that such a devastating disease is never again allowed to take hold.

Jim Walker, President of the NFU of Scotland, said: "Farmers who have had to suffer the horror of losing their animals are desperate to move on. Many want to re-stock, but don't know when they will be able to, where the animals are to come from and what sort of market will exist for them. Some cannot face livestock farming any more and want to find a way of leaving the industry altogether.

"Farmers who still have their livestock are struggling to go about their normal business. Movement restrictions are still in place across the whole country and these are particularly strict in Dumfries and Galloway. No livestock markets are able to operate and we have no access to export markets, which are crucial since 40% of Scottish farmers' produce goes abroad.

"There is a clear need for government action in the short term not only to get the disease eliminated, but to provide the answer to the simple question that many farmers are desperately asking - how are we supposed to get through this season?

"In the longer term, a change in the way the industry is treated and managed by government is required. That means addressing the fundamental problems that have persisted over the past few years and have resulted in the average farm income last year being #3,800.

"We produce high quality beef which is in demand, yet even before foot and mouth arrived, our exports were restricted. At the same time we have repeatedly seen sub-standard and illegal imports come into this country. In the UK there is strong consumer demand for the food we produce to high welfare and quality standards under strict regulation, but when it comes to buying these products, consumers are baffled by a lack of clear country of origin labelling to identify them. Government must take effective action on all these fronts.

"This industry is resilient and the foot and mouth disaster has shown what a crucial economic and social role agriculture plays. The industry will re-build, but it will never be the same again and the challenge for the new government is to work with the industry to remove unfair trading conditions and encourage agriculture to prosper."


 

While every care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is accurate, neither the Union nor its employees nor Office Bearers accept any liability for the contents or their application to any individual circumstances.
 
 

In view of the very interesting article that you posted on warmwell yesterday from the Scotsman by Fordyce Maxwell, particularly his comments from the "farmer" who was anti vaccination, it is helpful to view some of the Info Sheets/advice posted by the NFUS on its website over the weeks.

General index website link below - several pages.  Separate link given by me with each article.  Several news Releases/Information Sheets copied below. 

 Interesting to note how over the weeks the NFUS presented the anti vaccination argument.  See the type of advice they gave e.g. "Vaccination not legally allowed" in article "Why slaughter?  Why not vaccinate?".  Also, see the letter below and note the signatories.  In "Vaccination - the raising of false hope" it states that "Around 50% of the vaccinated animals would become carriers potentially spreading infection to other non vaccinated animals."  There are other Info Sheets worth looking at.

Anne

 

Website for Index of Information Sheets

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/By%20Category?OpenView

 

 

News Release
No : 92/01
Date : 18 April 2001
Contact : Maria Limonci
Telephone : 0131 472 4018
Email : Maria.limonci@nfus.org.uk

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/c63cc7c811b3184180256a02005f715d/95457ccadbc4cb1e80256a32005501e3?OpenDocument

OPPOSITION TO VACCINATION MOUNTS

Opposition to vaccination against foot and mouth has stepped up to include a wide range of farming, food and rural interests in Scotland.

In a joint letter to the Prime Minister, the heads of ten organisations have warned that, if vaccination goes ahead now, it will undermine the government's whole strategy for dealing with the disease.

The letter points out that the current policy for eradicating the disease, devastating though it is, is beginning to work, so diverting resources from the existing policy towards vaccination would make no sense. They warn that vaccination would create new risks of spreading the disease and that, if it goes ahead now, it will be seen as a betrayal of all the farmers who have already sacrificed large numbers of animals under the pre-emptive cull. It will, they predict, cause chaos for the government's whole eradication strategy.

The letter has been signed by:

Jim Walker, President of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland,
Neil Kilpatrick, Chairman of Quality Meat Scotland,
John Duncan, Chairman of First Milk
Alan Wiseman, Chairman of Robert Wiseman Dairies PLc,
Keith Redpath, Chairman of the Scottish Beef Council*
Loudon Hamilton CB, Chairman of Scottish Food Quality Certification Limited,
Hamish McCall, President of the Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers of Scotland,
Rod Mackenzie, Scottish Chairman of the National Sheep Association,
Alec Telfer, Chairman of the Scottish Organic Producers Association

*This stance is also supported by the Breed Societies representing Limousin, Belgian Blue, Simmental, Charolais and Aberdeen Angus Beef Breeders

Ends

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________-

 

  Information


Date : 5 March 2001

Number : 31/01

Contact : Maria Limonci
Direct dial number : 0131 472 4018
E-mail address : maria.limonci@nfus.org.uk

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/c63cc7c811b3184180256a02005f715d/eab2ef3376a37d5c80256a070042c0a8?OpenDocument

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE – WHY SLAUGHTER? WHY NOT VACCINATE?

A lot of questions are being asked about why it is necessary to slaughter animals with foot and mouth disease rather than letting the disease run its course or vaccinating against it. This note sets out to answer some of these questions.
7 Foot and mouth disease has serious animal welfare implications, even although it presents no risk to human health.
7 It is fatal to about 50 per cent of young animals. Whilst fewer older ones die, they can suffer prolonged pain and distress. Blisters form in and around the mouth and feet. These burst causing lesions. Animals find it painful to stand or walk. Some animals stop eating and starve. Animals lose weight (or stop gaining it). Milk production falls. There is no cure. Whilst animals recover, they are never the same.
7 If the disease is allowed to become endemic, there are few countries in the world which would accept our meat exports.
7 Vaccination is not legally allowed.
7 Supplies of vaccines against most of the 80 or so strains of foot and mouth disease are held in this country for emergency use only - and only after approval from the EU. Approval could only be granted if a member state justified it to the EU Standing Veterinary Committee. Vaccine has never been used in the UK.
7 The disease is currently too spread out around Britain to make even ring vaccination around the outbreaks a consideration – even if it was allowed. And even if the decision was made to prevent further disease spread by ring vaccination, the vaccinated animals would have to be slaughtered after the outbreak had been eliminated.
7 Vaccines are not 100 per cent effective and there is risk of a vaccination breakdown actually causing the disease.
7 If the vaccine works, animals develop antibodies which will be present and detectable in their system for maybe 18 months afterwards.
7 This means that our country's disease-free status is lost. Few countries in the world would accept our meat exports.

Note: This information has been jointly compiled by the National Farmers' Union of Scotland and the National Farmers' Union.

___________________________________________________________________________________-

 

 

http://www.nfus.org.uk/footandmouth.nsf/c63cc7c811b3184180256a02005f715d/1657ba9342a49abe80256a310031a6d5?OpenDocument

 



VACCINATION – THE RAISING OF FALSE HOPE
BY Jim Walker, President of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland


None of us underestimates what it will take to eradicate foot and mouth disease and the distress it is causing. The policy involves the slaughter of any animal either with the virus or suspected of being exposed to it. This is a massive operation which requires further resources, but devastating though it is, there is clear evidence that it will succeed. On the other hand, there is no hard scientific knowledge on disease control using vaccination on this scale from anywhere in the world. All the scientists have is information from field observations and small-scale experiments. Nevertheless the possibility of diverting scarce resources from a proven policy to an experiment with vaccination is once again on the agenda.

The arguments against vaccination are clear:
7 Vaccination does not guarantee immunity
7 On average 2 per cent of animals vaccinated would not get immunity
7 Around 50 per cent of animals vaccinated would become carriers of the virus, potentially spreading infection to other non-vaccinated animals

The EC has only given the UK permission to vaccinate cattle in Devon and Cumbria. They have laid down stringent movement controls on cattle within the vaccinated areas, with the requirement that products from those animals are labelled separately. What will consumers do confronted with a choice on the shelf of milk or meat labelled as having come from vaccinated animals?

These controls would be in place for at least a year after either the vaccination was completed or the last outbreak of foot and mouth occurred – leading to the economic collapse of agriculture and associated industries in these areas. The rest of the country would be condemned to a nuclear winter with the loss of exports of all livestock products.

Vaccination now would be a betrayal of all those that have already sacrificed stock to try and halt the spread of the disease. It will not get the universal support it requires. And its introduction will cause the breakdown of the slaughter policy. Hundreds of farming families in Devon and Cumbria would be expected to agree to sheep and pigs being taken out while some neighbouring vaccinated cattle survived. Cattle farmers elsewhere in the country would be expected to agree to the slaughter of their animals as the best means of controlling the disease. This will lead to confusion and bewilderment amongst the farming community already failed by lack of direction from Whitehall in the early days of this outbreak.

With the disease on the retreat, this is the time for strong leadership and courage at the top. It is not the time to let politics take over from common sense.


17 April 2001

 

News Release

No : 117/01
Date : 7 June 2001
Contact : Maria Limonci
Telephone : 0131 472 4018
Email : maria.limonci@nfus.org.uk

FOOT AND MOUTH – 100 DAYS IN SCOTLAND

The hundredth day since foot and mouth was first diagnosed in Scotland falls tomorrow (Friday 8 June 2001). According to the NFU of Scotland, the day sees the disease firmly on the wane, but not beaten yet; and a newly-elected government with the responsibility of ensuring that a solid agriculture industry is re-built and that such a devastating disease is never again allowed to take hold.

Jim Walker, President of the NFU of Scotland, said: "Farmers who have had to suffer the horror of losing their animals are desperate to move on. Many want to re-stock, but don't know when they will be able to, where the animals are to come from and what sort of market will exist for them. Some cannot face livestock farming any more and want to find a way of leaving the industry altogether.

"Farmers who still have their livestock are struggling to go about their normal business. Movement restrictions are still in place across the whole country and these are particularly strict in Dumfries and Galloway. No livestock markets are able to operate and we have no access to export markets, which are crucial since 40% of Scottish farmers' produce goes abroad.

"There is a clear need for government action in the short term not only to get the disease eliminated, but to provide the answer to the simple question that many farmers are desperately asking - how are we supposed to get through this season?

"In the longer term, a change in the way the industry is treated and managed by government is required. That means addressing the fundamental problems that have persisted over the past few years and have resulted in the average farm income last year being #3,800.

"We produce high quality beef which is in demand, yet even before foot and mouth arrived, our exports were restricted. At the same time we have repeatedly seen sub-standard and illegal imports come into this country. In the UK there is strong consumer demand for the food we produce to high welfare and quality standards under strict regulation, but when it comes to buying these products, consumers are baffled by a lack of clear country of origin labelling to identify them. Government must take effective action on all these fronts.

"This industry is resilient and the foot and mouth disaster has shown what a crucial economic and social role agriculture plays. The industry will re-build, but it will never be the same again and the challenge for the new government is to work with the industry to remove unfair trading conditions and encourage agriculture to prosper."


 

While every care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is accurate, neither the Union nor its employees nor Office Bearers accept any liability for the contents or their application to any individual circumstances.