Part 2.



Report by Nick Green, Cumbria. 13th May 2002.  )

 In part 1, I recorded how Didi Phillips & Nick Graham had their stock killed at High Fonstone Farm, Launceston, Cornwall. They were a “Contiguous Farm”to an I/P and both of them told the SVS vet, Mr Field that they did not want their animals killed. Despite the animals being completely healthy, they were killed “as a matter of urgency”. However, Didi & Graham told me that eleven other “contiguous” farms remained standing. More worryingly, on another contiguous farm, Newhouse farm, 200 breeding gilts and 200 cattle were allowed to live under the express instructions of Truro DVM Mrs J.M.Kelly. She had already ordered the killing of some 3,800 pigs on the same farm!

 Other farms that were contiguous and not culled include:-


7        Faunson farm, comprising 30-50 sheep, grazing, 10 pigs and 5 goats.

7        Mr Johnson, renting land from Newhouse Farm, 37 Rams, grazing.

7        Exmoor Farm. Cattle and Sheep grazing. Around 100 animals.

7        Land owned by Mr. S****, 140 sheep, grazing.

7        Copper farm. 200 cows (approx.) in buildings, 200 sheep grazing. A friend of Didi & Nick, a valuer working for KVN Stockdale Auctioneers, told them he was called out twice in April to value this stock prior to suspect FMD slaughter, but both times he was phoned while driving there and cancelled by MAFF, Truro.

7        Broadlands Farm, 120 Dairy Cows in buildings.

7        Headon farm, Cattle in buildings, sheep grazing.

7        Trengune Farm, Sheep grazing, very large pig unit.

7        West Langdon Farm. 100 plus cattle in sheds, 200 sheep grazing. This family were told that their animals would be slaughtered and moved their elderly parents off the farm. However, MAFF did not arrive! A week later a vet came and told the owners to put some grazing sheep in a building with their cows to see if the cattle contracted FMD! They didn’t!

7        Sheep on rented grass on Marland farm. The owners of Marland Farm, however, had 186 Dairy cattle killed. They were housed in buildings. The sheep were not culled or blood tested!

7        East Langdon Farm. 10 cows plus calves in sheds. These animals were lucky to escape being a DC as the owner was in the shed of the I/P when the “infected” cattle were shot.

7        Silent Noon Farm. 40 dairy Cows in sheds.


Naturally, Didi and Nick were delighted that these animals were saved. But there appears to be inconsistency in the contiguous policy.

We know that Pigs release huge plumes of the virus when infected with FMD, although I am told they are quite resistant to the virus when compared with cattle. What I fail to understand is why kill the stock on High Fonstone farm, a relatively small number of sheep and cattle, kill 3,800 pigs on another contiguous farm, Newhouse farm, leaving 200 Gilts and and 200 cattle standing on the same farm!

 Further, I do not grasp why the other 11 contiguous farms were left standing!

 In Mr Field`s (VO responsible for High Fonstone farm) statement to The RCVS he said,

 “ The recommendations made by Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor King were quite clear; in order to halt the spread of FMD, contiguous premises should be culled and this should be carried out within 48 hours of confirmation of an IP.”

 Presumably this advice came from Professor Anderson, disgraced scientist, with no knowledge of FMD! (Backed up, of course, by his team of Mathematical Modellers; also with no knowledge of FMD and the model being based on a human sexually transmitted disease!).

 Field went on,

 “Policy advice is given at the time is illustrated in “The FMD:Slaughter Policy on Contiguous Premises, 6/4/2001. Although this document is dated 6th April 2001, its contents summarise advice being given to Vets. such as myself around the time of the complaint.”

 Around the time of the complaint! Around? When exactly? I have been unable to find the earlier EI relating to early April 2001. The 6th April 2001 EI superseded all others.

 Finally another telling statement by Mr Field,

 “I feel all scientific and policy advice that I had access to showed that contiguous properties were at high risk of being infected with FMD virus.”

 So, why were, if this statement was indeed true, stock left on contiguous farms? Including the highly “dangerous” gilts, which would indeed emit vast volumes of the Pan Asian Type O virus?

 I have been told that the DVM, in charge of this policy, at a local level, took the decision to stop culling. Why, when all the “evidence” submitted by experienced vet, Mr. Field and others, did this woman not kill all this stock?

 I decided ask her and so I telephoned the Truro office earlier today. At first she was at lunch, so undeterred I rang back. I was courteously asked to wait whilst vI was connected..

We exchanged pleasantries. Gradually I asked more demanding questions. We exchanged pleasantries. Gradually I asked more demanding questions. During the course of the conversation Mrs Kelly admitted making a mistake concerning contiguous premises; I had the details in front of me and immediately quoted the tasking memo.

She was surprised. She started to become agitated.

I asked her why she had called a halt to the killing on contiguous farms. She said they were not contiguous.

What about Faunson farm?

No reply!

Why were 200 gilts and cattle left on a contiguous Farm I asked.

Ah, that was different!

Why? What scientific fact did you use to leave these pigs and cattle alive when you had already killed 3,800 pigs on the same farm using barbaric electrical stunning equipment, in a botched cull, lasting 2 days?

Not all the pigs were killed with that device!

How many and why did the slaughter team on day one walk out?

No answer!

Why did you leave the gilts and cattle standing?

Why? Because the owner was being difficult!

Difficult, but what scientific or veterinary reason did you leave 200 gilts and 200 cattle standing?

I have told you, we were having difficulties with the owner and came to an agreement whereby he could keep the other stock!

You mean pigs that exhale huge amounts of virus?

They didn`t get FMD!

Precisely, I said! What scientific or veterinary reason did you base YOUR decision on?

I have told you

No! You have not! You realised that you were attempting to invoke an Illegal policy and you backed off, didnt you? Why did you leave these animals and 10 other contiguous farms?

They were not contiguous.

My map says they are!

I am sorry they were not.

OK, what is the definition of contiguous and what scientific or veterinary reason did you base your decision?

No answer!

Why did you tell Didi Phillips that the reason you did not cull all the other farms was because you had changed your mind?

I did not say that!

Well, I have a written statement here that says you did!

At this point, Mrs Kelly slammed the phone down .
I had received no scientific or veterinary reason why the gilts and cattle had been saved. The policy invoked was clearly inconsistent!

 I decided to ring the duty vet at Truro who just happened to be…..Mr Field!

 A few pleasantries. He was helpful and polite. I did not let him know I HAD ALL HIS EVIDENCE concerning the High Fonstone Farm. I asked him about A Forms etc. and he told me that stock did not have too be infected only a reasonable possibility. I read him the exact wording. He started to become suspicious. I played this down and we talked for some time. He was quick to point out that the DVM, Mrs Kelly, had been under a lot of pressure! Also he pointed out that all the staff in DEFRA at  a local level had been working flat out to eradicate the disease and had also become heavily traumatised. I sympathised and then asked him, if, as he had written in his submission, that it was imperative to cull out contiguous farms within 48hrs,was this was not done? He said that was not his decision.  Did you agree with it? Not my decision. He then quoted some ridiculous figures from the Leeds AHO based on Thirsk! I knew these backwards and said NO, they are from the whole of Nth. Yorkshire! He then said he was busy and would have to go. I thanked him.

 During both conversations, I was asked vehemently, that did I believe that a SVS member would lie? Errr! Well now as you mentioned it, and as Ministers of DEFRA lie, why then should I believe that you would not?

 I never did get a reply!