For the whole of Wigtownshire, there were only 2 positive results, yet nearly 90,000 animals killed, and how many livelihoods destroyed?
 
I asked Peter Ainsworth to table some PQs for me (on behalf of a farmer, originally) to try to ascertain the scale of slaughter of healthy animals in Wigtownshire, part of Dumfries and Galloway.  (The Questions, 56623 and 56624, are copied below). This region is included in the area that Roger Windsor was referring to in his letter from 40 vets from Dumfries to Tony Blair last April.  In it he spoke of the "scorched earth policy" of mass slaughter, that was carried out "without rhyme or reason".  (Carolyn Hoffe, with her 5 pet sheep - Wigtownshire).
 
 
Briefly, 15 Premises were clinically diagnosed as having FMD.  13 were tested, but only 2 actually had FMD.
The total number of animals on these 2 Premises was 1129 (299 cattle, 803 sheep, and 27 pigs) as stated in answer to PQ 56623 below. 
 
 However, in addition to the animals on these 2 genuine IPs, another 88,446 animals were automatically slaughtered in Wigtownshire, after a decision was taken on 15 March to cull  all contiguous and 3 km premises. (Total of 89,575 animals slaughtered obtained from DEFRA website some months ago, but as DEFRA has been adjusting figures, the current figure may be higher).
 
Tests were only carried out on 3 other premises besides the 13 IPS, and these were 3 SOS premises, all of which returned negative results(N.B. lambs etc to be added to 90,000?)
 
Even if one assumes that all 20,304 stock (1129 on the IPs themselves and 19,175 from the Contiguous, 3 km and other Dangerous Contact Premises) were infected (and this is not borne out by evidence on the ground, nor evidence from research, nor confirmed by clinical diagnosis or testing), then one is still left with a minimum overkill figure of 69,271 (89,575 - 20,304). 
 
The incorrect clinical diagnoses would have been known by SEERAD and DEFRA HQ, and also the DVM in charge in this area  In spite of this, the mass slaughter was pursued relentlessly. The answer to the PQ 2164 (8 Jan) from Peter Ainsworth gives details of the numbers of premises slaughtered out, and it can be seen that as a result of the above-mentioned 15 IPs, a further 203 farms were automatically slaughtered out, 200 of which were as a result of the controversial contiguous and 3 km culls, and other Dangerous Contacts. The remaining 3 were the Slaughter on Suspicion premises referred to above.
 
If one looks at the total number of premises slaughtered out to total number of actually infected premises, then in Wigtownshire it is a staggering 109 to 1.
 
The sheer barbarity of this mass slaughter in Dumfries and Galloway has been highlighted by such cases as Carolyn Hoffe and Mossburn, among many others.  However, the insanity of the cull is extremely well illustrated by the case of Mr Cochrane-Dyet's pet goats in Dumfries.  He is a retired vet, and was a TVI in 1967 FMD, and yet still his quarantined goats were culled many weeks after an outbreak, even though he was separated from the source of the disease by a housing estate. He had appealed to the authorities in vain, and requested testing. See his letter to the Vet Record, May 26 2001. 
 
 
Parliamentary Questions June 18 2002
 
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals, by type, were slaughtered during the foot and mouth outbreak on the 13 infected premises in Wigtownshire which returned negative blood tests. [56624]

Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 May 2002]: The following animals were slaughtered on the 13 infected premises in Wigtownshire:


    3,539 cattle


    3,572 sheep


    55 pigs.

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) cattle, (b) sheep, (c) pigs and (d) other animals were slaughtered during the foot and mouth outbreak on the basis of (i) contiguous premises, (ii) three kilometre premises, (iii) slaughter on suspicion and (iv) other reasons as a result of the two infected premises which returned positive blood tests in Wigtownshire; and how many animals of each type were slaughtered on the infected premises themselves. [56623]

Margaret Beckett [holding answer 15 May 2002]: The table sets out the animals it was necessary to slaughter for disease control purposes as a result of the two infected premises in Wigtownshire.

18 Jun 2002 : Column: 225W

Cattle Sheep Pigs
Contiguous premises 3,485 2,424
3k cull 952 8,801 2
Dangerous contacts 2,049 1,462

299 cattle, 803 sheep and 27 pigs were slaughtered on the infected premises themselves.

(Note: in the first PQ it implies that  13 IPs had negative tests.  However, in PQ 2164 Ainsworth 8 Jan 2002 it stated that there were 11 "IPs" with negative tests, 2 IPs with positive tests, and 2 that were not tested. (15 "IPs" in all). 

 

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