Cull vets risk virus spread by Alistair Driver GOVERNMENT vets testing sheep for foot-and-mouth are breaching
guidelines by failing to wear proper protective gear, according to video
Vets blood-testing sheep in the Brecon Beacons exposed their
clothing to the virus by keeping overalls open and tying clothes around their
waists. Teams wore no head covering, face masks or gloves as they handled the
animals they were testing for foot-and-mouth. The infringements were seen in
video evidence of testing on 27 July which has been obtained by FARMERS WEEKLY.
Leading international foot-and-mouth expert Professor Fred Brown of the Plum
Island Animal Disease Centre in the USA branded the vets "foolish". They ignored
basic measures to prevent cross contamination, he said. "The vets were foolish
not to take these basic safety precautions."
Ironically, this breach comes
weeks after the government sent videos to more than 85,000 livestock farmers,
setting out biosecurity precautions for producers. British Veterinary
Association vice-president Peter Jinman said exposing clothes risked spreading
the disease if the garments were taken to another farm. "Clothes can spread the
virus when they have brushed against animals carrying the disease," he said.
.....The video was shot by John Dobson of the Foot and Mouth Group, which has
attacked the government's handling of the crisis.
"It is completely
hypocritical of the government to blame farmers for spreading foot-and-mouth
when its own vets could be spreading the disease." Aug 10