I am flabbergasted at the leniency at which the majority of Organisations have allowed this shaken, ill-prepared, arrogant and unrepentant government, off without lambasting them fully for their Olympian incompetence during (and after) the 2001 FMD crisis.
Look at what the mighty BMMA said to the question about the Contingency Plans – proven to be lamentable. They give no honest measure of how "adequate" the invisible plan/s were.
British Meat Manufacturers' AssociationHow adequate were the contingency plans at national and local level
6. It is the BMMA’s understanding that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) did have a contingency plan to tackle a major disease outbreak but that perhaps the plan did not anticipate a situation in which disease went unrecognised for some weeks.
Regardless of what their "understanding" was, did they not have the guts and honesty to tell this loathsome government that their Contingency Plans were a damnable disgrace ?
"Perhaps the plan" did more than not just anticipate the situation, it was an infertile collection of garbage; a collection of out of date (10 years) and inadequate drivel, and unrehearsed nonsense, entwined with a collection of uninspiring Ministers who had been sitting on the laurels for years.
Another astonishing admission of lack of knowledge of the Cost/Benefit equation in relation to FMD.
Would the use of vaccination have made a difference to the scale and/or duration of the outbreak?
20. BMMA would welcome a clear message about the costs and benefits of vaccination and welcomes the EU-wide review of vaccination policy. Whilst vaccination might have stemmed the spread of disease, it would also have had a greater impact on our ability to trade. UK’s disease-free status would have been more difficult to regain.
Here is a "clear message" about the Cost/Benefit of the 2001 FMD disaster.
Cost = £20 BILLION.
Meat Export trade (Prof. Midmore) £350 million.
Meat Export according to Nick Brown, "about £600 million" (Memo to the PM).
Vaccination per animal (cattle) about 50 pence to £2
Benefit = £20 billion less £350 million, less vaccination costs = one hell of a site less from the nation's purse, and a falling suicide rate of farmers.
Whilst the Dutch regained export status in three months, a vaccination to live policy can be shouldered by the British in the same fashion as Uruguay managed – we import their vaccinated products. The fact that we did not export meat products for a year did not damage us too much – I don’t think the BMMA have sewn that into their pussy-footed four page submission.
Most Organisations have fallen in line with the reckless remarks of Mrs. Beckett and her 20-20 hindsight excuses.
Her silly school-child reaction to warranted criticism ("a bit like saying flood defences were inadequate after a tidal wave came along") is the trade mark of the professional incompetent - they always blame their tools.
The only Tidal Wave we have ever seen in the UK was the waters breaking of a still born DEFRA beast.
Mr Gill has me at a certain disadvantage, he has read between the lines somewhere, and come up with facts I have missed from the RSI Inquiry and LLI which he summarises thus,
The Royal Society Inquiry made it clear that in any future FMD outbreak it will be necessary to cull dangerous contacts as well as infected premises. The Lessons Learned Inquiry has endorsed this recommendation.This inevitably means slaughtering animals not displaying symptoms of the disease.
Can somebody please tell me where in God’s name does it say anywhere, "This inevitably means slaughtering animals not displaying symptoms of the disease".
"Lessons Learned" ………..what lesson has Gill learned ? That the infamous, unscientific and illegal slaughter of healthy animals can continue next time ? Some mouth in some foot I fear.
The Contiguous Cull was a proven, unnecessary and heinous act, how Ben Gill can stand before farmers and the general public and support it again is treachery. He did manage to get a bit of it right, well nearly right,
"The confusion over the contiguous cull in 2001 makes it clear that there must be far greater clarity over scientific and practical base of a contiguous cull in future".
Confusion – you bet. Scientific and practical – you bet. None of the above.
Did Mr Gill not read the lines……."Provision should (not MUST) be made for the possible (note possible) application of pre-emptive culling policies, if justified by well-informed veterinary and scientific advice, and judged to be appropriate to the circumstances. (38, p.99)
These words harbour a politeness that really means, that there is no way on this earth that healthy cattle are to be slaughtered, for it shall not be tolerated by those who give a damn.
Vaccination and the NFU
The NFU welcomes the call from the Royal Society for swift action to put the final scientific and practical steps in place to allow emergency vaccination to become a real option.
Was it not a "real" option before then Mr Gill ?
This is as bad as Morley’s logic that just because the test result came back negative, does not mean it was negative really……...it could have been positive.
According to Mr Morley vaccination was real option at least 10 times last year.
Once or twice one might think it was an illusion on paper, but surely we must believe the Minister ?
Come, come Mr Gill, let’s replace your mealy mouthed version of "a real option" with the unequivocal words, "emergency vaccination to become a reality – it will be used without question to stop the spread of FMDv".
Given that big food stores sell vaccinated meat, and have been doing so for decades, it is a bit strange they have kept this from the UK public ? I wonder where SAINSBURY imported their meat from last year at the height of the crisis ? I have left a message on their answerphone, and I await their reply to the question posed within this excerpt from their submission.
Use of Vaccination
After an initial problem of sourcing meat and meat products, we were able to get sufficient supplies to meet demand,but perhaps not always from the countries we would have preferred.
It is pathetic that SAINSBURY’s pretends it does not know all about the tens of thousands of tonnes of vaccinated meat the UK imports from South America each year as it whimpers about,
"Throughout, customers kept a surprisingly strong level of confidence towards British meat and generally understood this crisis was not a food safety issue.
This may have been a different matter had a vaccination programme been put in place,with customers being worried about possible contamination to the quality and safety of meat particularly where in other countries meat and milk from animals which had been vaccinated was being destroyed".
It is such duplicity that undermines educated consumer confidence in the core honesty of such retail giants.
Not even the FSA raised it’s shabby dull head above the parapet and declared that the UK public have consumed vaccinated meat and meat products for decades from the land masses of South America.
Lessons Learned…………keep your pinch of salt dry, and trust few of them.
Captain Bryn Wayt