Dear Mrs Marshall,Thank you for your email and taking on the responsibility of laying down policy answers on the vaccination question and related issues.In your email you enquire of me, I hope that this answers some of your queries; I am afraid it does not and your FMD stance opens up more than queries, so I would like to reply further Linda, for I fear there is much for your department to learn about the whole FMD affair, even before they read and digest all the Inquiries and lessons learned.I am sure you will not mind if I teach a few grannies to suck a few eggs, as they all appear to have forgotten that magic art (probably still reeling from Mrs Curry's furore).You said, Vaccination was considered on a number of occasions of (sic) the outbreak for a and (sic) would have been used if it had been clear that it was the most appropriate measure to shorten the outbreak and help control the spread of disease.Elliot Morley reminded the nation that vaccination was "considered" 10 times - considering anything 10 times in quick succession is the trade mark of dithering indecision, and merely indicates a total lack of confidence in what you are about.Would you consider marrying a man 10 times within a period of eight months ? You do not even consider buying a bunch of bananas 10 times, or a washing machine.
The Dutch managed to "shorten the outbreak" using vaccination. The Uruguay government managed to "shorten the outbreak" in 2001 by using vaccination and now we are eating their vaccinated meat.There is no question whatsoever that vaccination did both shorten the outbreak and controlled the spread of disease - whilst we considered vaccination 10 times the South American's did not prevaricate and were exporting their vaccinated meat products to us, whilst the Labour government still hummed, hawed and dithered like incoherent headless EU puppets.You said, Had the support for a vaccination strategy been in place, then emergency vaccination may have proceeded in the hardest hit areas.Even you must know there are no instructions, law, or condition in the Animal Health Act 1981 or any related EU Directives for the control of FMD which states, or even mentions, there has to be, "support for a vaccination strategy been in place" before a member state can use emergency vaccination; so your (Mrs Beckett's) fatuous excuse about tearing around looking for this essential support is most unbecoming, and quiet frankly totally untrue.Had you in fact asked farmers in Cumbria for instance (not the NFU who only represent about one third of all UK farmers) did they want vaccination, the overwhelming reply would have been along the lines of ,"Yes, we want vaccination and we want it right now".It is obviously too late, but if your masters have any problem with this assertion (and it's provable, as I have independent reliable farming contacts there) then you only have to ask every farm address you slaughtered out, so just ask them - in fact it may be prudent at the same time to ask the UK taxpayer too, as they are the Stakeholders of the nation's purse.You said, Stakeholder concerns were centred on uncertainties about the effectiveness of vaccination given the weight of disease in the area, the possible implications of post-vaccination treatments, and implications for trade, in particular the threat to export markets, no (sic) just consumer reactions.Nothing in the world is certain except death, but there are a few good bets. One good bet South America relies on is that we buy their vaccinated meat . When they had FMD last year they vaccinated, and we are eating their meat today - funny that, when your concerns centre on uncertainties about vaccination don't you think ?Please do not insult the intelligence of those that did not vote Labour with silly suggestions and questions required about, post-vaccination treatments/trade implications/exports/consumer reactions that you need to pretend to them, that hindered the EU's agreement that we could/should have vaccinated.South America has more to lose than we have and they get on with it, so these bluffs and red-herrings you pull out of the hat Linda are getting a bit thin and jaded now, and consumers are not taken in by that nonsense anymore.I dare say you have heard of Dr Keith Sumption - he used to work at Pirbright. It would be worth listening to what he says about vaccination. First, let me remind you his qualifications, and what he does for a living, then you should know you can value his LLI Submission.
Keith. J Sumption, PhD (virology), VetMB, MA MRCVS, Lecturer in International Animal Health, Centre for Tropical Veterinary medicine, University of Edinburgh.
This statement is made in a personal capacity, having spent the last 14 years in research and training on the control of list A virus diseases including FMD, having trained Master’s level vets in international disease control, having worked in Pirbright on molecular virus epidemiology, worked as an epidemiologist in Kenya on diseases including FMD and in vaccine development andfield trials, and who provided independent scientific advice during the 2001 epidemic (including, on request, to the Prime Minister in March).I am also involved in diagnostic tests development with emphasis on molecular methods for rapid surveillance.This man knows ALL about FMD, which is more than can be said of the 'modellers' who advised your MAFF/DEFRA blood thirsty slaughter mongers.This is what Dr K. Sumption said of vaccination in his submission to the LLI."5 . Risk assessments (Sutmoller, revue Scientifique de OIE, in press - Dec 2001) indicate that vaccinated meat is safer than non-vaccinated meat, in countries where any recent infection has occurred or a risk exists (e.g. UK, Uruguay, Argentina etc -at present). This has exceptionally important implications; it is safer to import meat from countries using emergency vaccination than from those not using it. Uruguay, who used vaccination in 2001 to control 2058 cases, returned to exporting meat sooner than Scotland, who did not."He was not a fan of the one-stop slaughter programme either (remember it cost the UK #20 BILLION pounds ! ).8. The control policy chosen in the UK has not incorporated recent developments in FMD virus detection for SURVEILLANCE POST-VACCINATION or recent improvement in the emergency vaccines for FMD.Since your department still uses the word "may" when it comes to vaccination, let there be more light directed towards you all so you can see properly what you have missed by such FMD Scientific leaders as Dr Sumption.3. Much of the objection to FMD vaccination did not take account of the characteristics of the emergency vaccines and referred to work or experience with conventional vaccines that require several doses, more frequent re-vaccination and had a reduced spectrum of cross-protection.4. The "new generation" vaccines can be produced by a process that effectively removes non-structural proteins, enabling differentiation to vaccinates from infected animals, particularly if only single doses are given.
5. The objectors to vaccination have made the erroneous assumption that transmission of virus by vaccinated animals is a "problem" - this would be the case only if it occurred at high frequency and with no movement controls in place - but evidence indicates that frequency is <10% to non-vaccinated animals, and no evidence of a chain of infection being maintained in vaccinated animals.
13.The way ahead is the use of widescale FMD vaccination, deployed at exceptionally high rate (an area where logistics research is needed) into at-risk zones - as an adjunct to slaughter of animals on infected premises and where high probability of animals incubating infection exists.When were Stakeholders asked or seriously polled in any representative number about there reaction to vaccination ? The short answer is, they were NEVER asked. Not even to this day - that is a political disgrace.You might not have read the BRC's letter dated 13th April 2001 (signed by the Director General, William Moyes) to the PM concerning vaccination and what the view was from "retailers".He stated,"At your meeting on Thursday you asked for a considered view on the proposed policy of vaccination of dairy cattle in Cumbria and possibly Devon. This letter is written on behalf of all the retailers present at your meeting. In the time available it has not been possible to consult more widely".Time was never made available during the whole debacle to ask the taxpayer at the sharp end what was their view, despite the 10 times Mr Morley had half-baked thoughts about vaccination. Labour never made any effort to consult more widely either - that was a political disgrace too.Almost TWO months before Mr Moye's letter to the PM, the FSA knew there were no "uncertainties" about vaccination.Let us not be naive here, the FSA knew well before Feb 2001 vaccinated meat was safe - for they had allowed us to eat all that South American vaccinated meat since let's say 1990. When you look at that Declaratory Order written about FMD, your people decided to make the point a well, how kind and thoughtful !Quote20th Feb 2001 - FMD Declaratory (Amendment) Order 2001.
4 The Food Standards Agency advise that these suspected cases, even if confirmed, have no implications for the human food chain.
UnquoteYou talk about exports, OK let's have a look at what we are really talking about here ( just remember your masters were responsible for costing the UK economy #20 BILLION for their shameful handling of FMD in 2001 - Institute of Directors report). I repeat, #20 BILLION, not million.Even Nick Brown knew that the UK meat export industry had but a small impact in the overall scheme of things !He is on record as saying on the 22 Feb 2001 (Memo to the PM trying to bring him up to date),".......We estimate that the banned products probably account for some #600-700 million annual exports, out of a total exports of food, feed and drink of #9 billion".So there we have it, your Minister at the time saying banned products (I don't need to spell them out) would account for #600-700 million/year. That your government's FMD hated slaughter policy cost #20 BILLION cannot be said as a proportional response in the financial sense any more than it can be said in the disease control sense.Everybody seems to forget that FMD is a curable disease, and very few animals actually die from it. None in the UK died from the disease - those few that had it were readily dispatched (money per kill to the man with the gun) trying to defend this petty export market, which professional economists (Prof Midmore) put at far less (about half) of what Nick Brown estimated it to be worth.Let's look at your statement, For example, Uruguay's main export is beef, and beef from vaccinated animals can be traded if it is matured on the carcass, pH tested and then de-boned.So are you saying we in the UK could not do that ? What is your point here Linda ?Are you aware we imported 104 tonnes of "Bone-In" Bovine Carcase meat, 259 tonnes of Offal, and 5,358 tonnes of Bovine Meat and Offal 'preparations' from Uruguay during 2001 ?So de-boned meat has little to do with some of that tonnage (9,161 in total) from vaccinated animals. The 'preparations' include corned beef, cooked, uncooked, salted, and dried products. Have you never had a corned beef sandwich ?Let's look at Pigs now and your statement, The UK exports more pig and sheep meat, for which de-boning and maturing are not suitable nor financially viable.QuoteSteven Morris and John Vidal : Thursday February 22, 2001 The Guardian
Pork 202,000 tonnes, value #139m
Bacon 9,000 tonnes, value #21m
Sausage/processed meat 8,400 tonnes, value #14m
Live 100,000 animals, value #12m
UnquoteI make that #186 million for UK exports of ALL pork over the year.Even a first year student of economics would see that this is peanuts compared to an expenditure of #20 BILLION trying to control FMD and protect this minuscule export market, so you cannot be serious when you say it would not have been financially viable.Let's look at Sheep exports now - same source,
Around 30% of lamb produced in Britain is send abroad. Some 94,000 tonnes of carcasses and 8,000 live animals are exported - a trade worth about #212m. France, Belgium and Germany are the main destinations. There are about 6,000 sheep farmers in the UK.UnquoteSo on top of #186 million add "about #212m" for sheep. That's "about" #398 million as compared with #20 BILLION.Are you still seriously trying to argue the case that the jack-booted one-fix slaughter policy is a financially viable proposition ?How long will it take to recoup that Labour investment in stupidity ?Even if you assume all our meat related exports were valued at the incredible OTT price of #1 Billion, then it's going to take (let's get the sum wrong) TEN YEARS to get back to square one.In Nick Brown's statement of the 22 Feb 2001, he said, "......total exports of food, feed and drink of #9 billion".So would you agree Linda that if the whole of the UK's food, feed and drink industry closed down for TWO YEARS it would still not equate to the cost of Labour's FMD slaughter fiasco ? Does that make any sense to you ? Can you honestly say that the seriously flawed, totally unscientific FMD slaughter policy was financially viable ? How much more granny sucking eggs will it take ?You said, Mounting a vaccination campaign without the full support of farmers, whose assistance would be needed in managing the logistics of the operation, and the food retailers who would have provided the outlet for meat and milk from the vaccinated animals, would not have been possible.I'm afraid I shall have to say that is unadulterated poppycock Linda, and a certain Mr Brian Follett would agree with me."There are now no insuperable problems with vaccination, whether technical, scientific, trade or cultural,"
Brian Follett, chair of the RS Inquiry Report.Going back to the FMD outbreak in Uruguay last year - they are not as rich as the UK but are certainly more capable and humane in controlling FMD for they did not whimper about "managing the logistics of the operation".
14. There is NO UPPER LIMIT on rate of vaccine deployment - for example Uruguay achieved a rate of about 400,000 cattle per day in controlling a type A outbreak in 2001; 12 million doses were given in the first round in a matter of weeks.Let's just scrub out your excuse about "logistics" shall we ! It might save you further embarrassment.I know you are just regurgitating Mrs Beckett's words when she said, "It requires acceptance that meat and meat products from vaccinated animals enter the food chain normally......"but excuse me, as I have said repeatedly, VACCINATED meat is already consumed by the people of the UK. http://www.bsereview.org.uk/data/uk_imports-3.htmPlease remind Mrs Beckett that "acceptance" is ingrained into the UK meat eaters already - it's been there for decades !Has she lost her memory, or is it just selective forgetfulness to suit the politics of a gigantic cock-up ?When you say, food retailers who would have provided the outlet for meat and milk from the vaccinated animals, would not have been possible.Does that mean these same retailers have been trading illegally all that South American vaccinated material ?Is there no outlet already running in the UK, like a well greased machine, for these products ?Are you in denial Linda that this is actually happening ?Are you saying that we don't have that infrastructure already ?Your government created an infrastructure that drained us of #20 BILLION, along with the blood of innocents; surely it's not beyond the intelligence of a few sane retailers to continue selling vaccinated meat created here, whilst they still continue to sell that stockpile of imported vaccinated meat ?If Mrs Beckett needs reminding what countries have FMD and export to us, then here is the link, http://www.oie.int/eng/info/hebdo/A_DSUM.htmFor example she will see, and so will you, the UK imported 4,633 tonnes of meat from Zimbabwe during the period Jan to Dec 2001. Zimbabwe vaccinated its cattle ! Ask Sainsbury's where they imported from last year !!!Would Mrs Beckett care to tell the electorate they are eating vaccinated meat, and it has passed every import test her government stipulates ? She has not opened her mouth about that fact in the past year - perhaps you should address this dereliction of duty ?You said, Countrywide vaccination would have seriously damaged these industries and the rural economy, with ongoing negative effects on tourism and freedom of movement of people and goods.
- Countryside vaccination is not the focus; it was emergency local ring vaccination, and well you know it.
- Tourists don't give a hoot nor could recognise vaccinated cattle if they tried; there's no negative effect, and well you know it.
- Freedom of movement of people would NOT have been affected by ring vaccination, and well you know it.
- Freedom of movement of goods has not stopped South America exporting vaccinated meat to the EU, and well you know it.It is the height of hypocrisy to imply vaccination would have seriously damaged "these industries" more than the ludicrous, unscientific and heinous slaughter policy which costs us #20 BILLION - that was seriously damaging, and mega-times worse than ring vaccination; any reasonable and coherent person must be able to assimilate and understand that, surely ?Taking up your point again about the ongoing negative effects on tourism; are you saying the sight of all those hellish pyres was an attraction ? The gross incompetence of that unbridled burning policy has scarred the memories of millions and not just tourists, that is the ongoing effect on tourism you are defending !You said, We have never ruled out the option of vaccination - and we believe you, TEN TIMES over. I bet Mr Morley has never ruled out the option of eating Dodo meat either.You said, future scientific advances (especially a validated method of distinguishing vaccinated from infected animals) may allow it a larger role....... the future was with you last year, but your masters were blind and missed the show !!!!Can I just say the use of the word "may" in that last statement of yours once again outlines the continuing vagueness and dithering that clouds your departments vision of the future way to deal with FMD."May allow it a larger role" is no way to aggressively tackle any future outbreak. Emergency Vaccination MUST BE USED.Why don't you ask your ministers to take a trip at taxpayers expense down to South America and see for themselves how they live and deal with the vaccination of cattle that they feed us with ?Your scientific advisors let you down VERY, VERY badly in 2001 and should have known better - as should a well briefed and knowledgeable MAFF/DEFRA but that is an impossible dream.It is lamentable and particularly sad that your department still have not grasped the fundamentals of distinguishing vaccinated from infected animals and still ask you to peddle rubbish and misinformation - how depressing for you if you know it a lie.This is not rocket science Linda and was all available last year had your people bothered to educate themselves properly.Here are some more granny sucking eggs scenarios for you, this time from world renowned experts in FMD,Dr Paul Sutmoller and Simon Barteling in their 22nd November 2001 submission to the LLI.r Simon BCarriers and vaccination
14. Vaccination by itself does not cause the carrier status. A persistently infected animal after vaccination may remain a carrier. A vaccinated animal must be exposed to FMD virus to become a carrier.
15. Vaccination suppresses the amount of FMD virus (released or discharged) in the environment and consequently, reduces the number of (new) carriers in the population.
16. Carriers among vaccinated livestock have not caused FMD outbreaks among susceptible livestock populations, nor have they hampered FMD eradication efforts and therefore must represent a "near to zero" risk in transmitting FMD
17. Serological tests measuring antibodies against non-structural proteins are useful indicators of current or past infection.
18. Vaccines prepared from purified FMD antigens - like those in the international vaccine banks will, in combination with tests for antibodies against non-structural proteins, perform like a "marker" vaccine.
19. ‘These tests are not 100% sensitive in individual animals, but perform very well if used for screening on a herd basis.
20. In addition, the individual animals can further be tested for presence of virus e.g. by the probang tests or PCR.
21. Tests to discriminate between carriers and vaccinated animals have been widely used and the results are internationally accepted. In addition modem (purified) vaccines will not induce antibodies to NSP that interfere with the interpretation of the serological surveys.
22. If a FMD outbreak is controlled by vaccination, testing for non-structural proteins amongst vaccinated livestock contributes even further to risk reduction. A statistical valid scrological survey (type specific antibodies) of the surveillance zone around the vaccination zone further reduces the risk of hidden FMD.-------------------------------What do you make of para 21 Linda ?The EU obviously have gone through enough validation processes to allow vaccinated South American meat onto the EU populations food tables. How can 390 million people be deceived if this were not so ?In their LLI submission the doctors say further,
26. Since 1990 the FMD control programs of all the countries of South America have successfully used the oil-adjuvant vaccines for the systematic vaccination of cattle. The vaccine is well accepted by the farmers and livestock industry and it does not produce any undesirable side effects and its use is cost-effective.What do say about that "validation" Linda ?Has the EU further deceived 390 million since 1990, a mighty proportion of which have consumed that vaccinated meat over the years ?
48. Over the past 10 years many outbreaks of FMD have been rapidly controlled by vaccination of susceptible livestock in the outbreak area.
49. In The Netherlands the 2001 outbreak was - in the end - quickly controlled by the vaccination of all livestock in the infected area. The slaughter of all vaccinated animals was a decision made for economic (export) reasons.
50. In the UK - and in The Netherlands at the beginning of the outbreak - computer models that had not been validated by practical experience guided the eradication measures. This lead to "circle" stamping-out. However, FMD virus does not spread in mathematical circles and livestock on many farms were killed unnecessary.
5 1. In Uruguay an outbreak as extensive as in the UK was quickly brought under control and eradicated by the restriction of livestock movements and massive vaccination of all 10 million cattle. As in the past, the nearly 30 million sheep were not vaccinated.You confidently assert that validation is required to distinguish between the vaccinated animal and one with disease; how then can you honestly defend a slaughter policy that was entirely driven by a unproven and debased 'model' that was NOT VALIDATED ?Hypocrisy is leaking from every space and between every line in your letter Linda, and I despair for you if you believe what you have written. There are always opportunities to realise you are wrong to do this, and in all seriousness, I suggest you go away and have a sincere think at what you are upholding when you answer FMD questions on behalf of Mrs Beckett ever again.Yours sincerely,Captain Bryn WaytTanglewoodCross-in-HandHEATHFIELDEast SussexTN21 0TU
----- Original Message -----From: Marshall, Linda (AMED)Sent: Wednesday, July 24, 2002 5:11 PMSubject: FMDDear Captain Wait,
Thank you for your email of 30 June to Margaret Beckett to which I have been asked to reply.
Vaccination was considered on a number of occasions of the outbreak for a and would have been used if it had been clear that it was the most appropriate measure to shorten the outbreak and help control the spread of disease.
When considering an emergency vaccination strategy for the UK at the peak of the outbreak, stakeholders, such as consumer groups had to be considered in the decision making process. Had the support for a vaccination strategy been in place, then emergency vaccination may have proceeded in the hardest hit areas.
Stakeholder concerns were centred on uncertainties about the effectiveness of vaccination given the weight of disease in the area, the possible implications of post-vaccination treatments, and implications for trade, in particular the threat to export markets, no just consumer reactions.
Mounting a vaccination campaign without the full support of farmers, whose assistance would be needed in managing the logistics of the operation, and the food retailers who would have provided the outlet for meat and milk from the vaccinated animals, would not have been possible.You mention that the UK imports produce from vaccinated animals and this therefore should allow for a vaccination strategy in England. However, trade restrictions applying to such countries as a result of vaccination would be much more devastating for the UK. For example, Uruguay's main export is beef, and beef from vaccinated animals can be traded if it is matured on the carcass, pH tested and then de-boned. The UK exports more pig and sheep meat, for which de-boning and maturing are not suitable nor financially viable. Countrywide vaccination would have seriously damaged these industries and the rural economy, with ongoing negative effects on tourism and freedom of movement of people and goods.
We have never ruled out the option of vaccination as a disease control measure, and future scientific advances (especially a validated method of distinguishing vaccinated from infected animals) may allow it a larger role. But international rules discouraging vaccination would need to be changed, and we are pressing for that. The Lessons Learned Inquiry, chaired by Dr Iain Anderson was published on 22 July and this recommended the use of vaccination in any future contingency plans, which has already been agreed
with stakeholders. The Government is examining these proposals.
I hope that this answers some of your queries.
FMD Science and General Policy Team
Animal Movements and Exotic Disease Division