I would like to make a few comments on the submission and those of the notes (in red) inserted within his submission.TaiwanThe Taiwan epidemic is of significance for the following reasons:- (see paper Howard and Donnelly 2000 )It certainly is significant............it was all about PIGS.........and there was no reported infection of CATTLE !
FMD infection in swine in Taiwan was confined to swine despite observing cattle and other small ruminants in very close proximity to infected hogs. No infection was ever reported in other species, including zoological animals.
Contributing factors, therefore, to the introduction and very rapid spread of FMD in Taiwan have been associated with
(1) very high swine density (Taiwan has been reported to have the world's highest density of hog farms),
(2) garbage feeding,
(3) hog farms located in close proximity to slaughter houses,
(4) no vaccination programalthough the disease has been absent for almost 70 years,
(5) frequent social farms visits, and
(6) lack of complete laboratory confirmation of vesicular diseases.
Figures available to us as of June 17, 1997, indicated that 6,144 farms were affected, with 1,011,421 FMD-affected pigs, 184,231 dead and 3,850,536 million pigs killed. These figures may be revised in the future.
Specimens were collected from the index farm on March 14, 1997, and sent to the Taiwan Provincial Research Institute for Animal Health (TRIAH) in Tansui, Taiwan. Laboratory work-up was completed over the weekend and all other swine diseases were excluded. The FMD diagnostic kit was opened and on March 19, a diagnosis of FMD wastentatively confirmed as type O1 and Asia 1.
OIE was notified of the outbreak on March 20, 1997. Samples from Taiwan were sent to the OIE/FAO World Reference Laboratory (WRL) for FMD, Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, UK, for further evaluation. Employing the indirect ELISA and cell culture techniques, the WRL identified FMD type O.
To determine if the Taiwan strain was naturally adapted to swine, various experiments were initiated at the WRL. Experimental pigs inoculated with the Taiwan FMD isolate became ill with generalized FMD.Four normal pigs and four normal cattle were placed in contact with the FMD pigs for 2 hours. The contact-exposed pigs developed generalized FMD. The contact exposed-cattle remained normal. Further animal studies at the WRL indicated that the Taiwan FMD isolates were naturally adapted to pigs and are considered porcinophilic strains of FMD.
Prof King : Part of the reason for this is that best estimates show that the fraction of DCs actually incubating FMD was not high.
Part of the reason (and what was the other part/s Professor ?) was that FMD was not present at all in these DC's and part of the reason in the idiotic Contiguous Cull slaughter was that FMD was absent in toto !
Prof King : Therefore, relying on IP+DC culling would have resulted in a larger epidemic and more livestock being lost.
Therefore he has placed more "reliance" on some other culling to prevent an "larger epidemic". This is the logic of a madman. If there is proof positive that an IP has FMD beyond question, and proof positive of contamination by DC, then that's where it stops; there is no profit "relying" on other sources to produce FMD if it is NOT there in the first place.
Prof King : It was concluded, based on detailed epidemiological modelling, that the introduction of contiguous premises (CP) culling would bring about a more rapid decline in the incidence of new cases and significantly reduce the total numbers of livestock lost over the course of the epidemic.
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the Professor has been proven to be completely wrong. Of the CP slaughter, NO proven case of FMD was ever recorded. So his fatuous twaddle about "detailed epidemiological modelling" was proven meaningless.
Prof King : 2.2 However, the models themselves are simply a means of expressing the underlying basis of the effectiveness of the policy.
The end of the FMD showed the blatant FAILURE of the whole system employed by the government as advised by immature modelling which bore no relation to what actually happened. Millions upon millions of healthy animals died for no good scientific reason. It was NOT an effective policy. To win a battle does not need or mean killing every last soldier on the battlefield. There is a Pyrrhic victory to be awarded to Labour - which coward wants to receive it ?
Prof King : There is, inevitably, some further delay before the signs are observed and reported, during which time the animals are highly infectious.
The professor has missed out a VITAL element in his scientific thesis...........that perhaps the animals were NOT infected !
That is why the EU Law states you must in the first instance of suspicion, "place under surveillance" those animals you suspect of being infected. This government and this professor have lost the plot, and are culpable and negligent in the execution of their duties. There is a "no kill" Directive that should be stamped on the foreheads of these people, "EU Directive 82/894/EEC(2)".Prof King : 2.3 The timing of clinical signs and increase in infectiousness depends on species, including livestock susceptibilities and excretion profiles, the mechanism of virus emission and survival, local topography and husbandry practises (sic). However, despite these variations, the general argument is robust.
With this haughty statement of his, how does he explain the Taiwan anomaly that no reports of cattle being infected with FMD when the entire country was saturated with the virus from the pig population ? The argument does not look that robust now !Prof King : Removing animals in the early pre-clinical stage of infection removes them as a potential source of further infection.So should we adopt that strategy right now (30th May 2002).........after all, we could get FMD tomorrow if we are not careful !We could remove cars from the roads to prevent the 3,000 deaths/year on our roads........that's a preventative measure along the same lines as the nutty professor has in mind for FMD.Prof King : It would be very helpful to have a test which could diagnose FMD in animals which are incubating but not showing symptoms, which is fast enough and reliable enough to allow their removal before the infection passes to other farms. However the use of such tests would mean testing a relatively large number of animals,So for the sake of being "helpful" it is best to slaughter them all just in case. This is blind madness - as has been proven.Testing "a relatively large number" is better economically and ethically than motivating vets to throw away their morals and authorise unbridled killing without being absolutely positive these millions of animals have FMD. That was a policy of the barbarian, incubated and pedalled by barbarians.Prof King : given there is no guidance as to which animals to sample.Absolute piffle and tripe..............try ones that the farmer thinks are a bit off or not up to par as he knows them.There was a rapid Test Kit available and the professor knows this. Every farm in the country could have one...........given that this loony government is spending #100 million plus chasing a theoretical risk of BSE in sheep.Prof King : Therefore culling of susceptible animals on contiguous premises removed a significant proportion of cases which had yet to be identified (because the animals were not showing clinical signs).Absolute garbage.................it has been shown that the contiguous cull was a heinous mistake and millions of healthy animals died with just cause.Prof King 3.2...........so it was no coincidence that the date of the predicted turning point of the epidemic matched the actual date of the turning point of the epidemic.With his mouth still frothing at his self professed successes, how does he explain that the whole FMD thing did not stop, when predicted, on General Election day ? Would he like to redefine the term, "we are on the home straight" ?Prof King 3.3 This effect can be explained in a way which does not rely on modelling. If animals on a CP were incubating the disease on, say, March 28th and were not culled, as was the policy prior to March 24th, they would go on to develop symptoms on, say, 30th March and would be assigned a date of infection, say March 25th; these cases would appear on the estimated infection date curve and be assigned to March 25th.Here's another explanation that does not rely on modelling...........the common sense case...........IF the animals he is talking about NEVER had FMD in the first place, all this posturing and date rape he is trying to sell would be as useful as a chocolate fireguard.I notice he uses the word "if " as well as I do............this is unsurprising, because it shows the lack of proof that runs through his entire arguments.Prof King : 4.2 Conversely, universal adoption of a 3km cull would have removed even more of the potentially infected animals, which would have brought the epidemic to an end more quickly. However, this would have resulted in more animals being culled overall, and was not an approach advised by the Science Group.Again, note the "potentially infected" slant of his argument; what if these self same animals were "potentially NOT infected" - as it turned out in FACT - what does that do to his "model" ?Can he explain in simple language why the Dutch managed so well in their hour of need during their FMD crisis ? Vaccination, as well as a slaughter policy, for those animals positively certified as having FMD.Prof King : 4.3 It must be borne in mind that the CP cull was introduced as an emergency measure to control an unprecedented outbreak of FMD. At the time the CP cull was introduced, the outbreak was out of control. As part of the control measures, the CP cull proved to be very effective in helping to bring the disease under control rapidly. It also had the distinct advantage of being administratively relatively straightforward to implement and control and, having an unambiguous definition, led to quicker culling.What has this guy been taking ? There was legislative room for EMERGENCY VACCINATION but it never happened (for political reasons). The CP cull has NEVER been proven to be "very effective". Sure if you kill all your animals there is nothing left to get infected.........a bit of that Pyrrhic victory flag waving rubbish from the mad professor again."An unambiguous definition".............in other words kill every farm animals you can catch lads.......the barbarians are back in town. This has to be a paragraph (4.3) that will go down in history as the most diabolical utterance from a learned man who has estranged himself of the facts after the event. It is a shameful short testament which illustrates the depths to which science has sunk in the name of politics.Prof King : 4.4 Further studies need to be made as to whether a CP cull would be necessary for all types of FMD outbreak. Much would depend on the density, pattern or susceptibility of farms in the area of the outbreak. The views of the two Inquiries will be a vital input to future contingency planning.He is not wrong on the further studies bit...........the opinions I have gathered from all corners indicate farmers and others would not tolerate such draconian and utter barbaric "control methods" should FMD hit these shores again.His fall into what would be necessary shows his "model" could not have been up to scratch in the first place; and his reliance on "the two inquiries" to give us VITAL clues on what our contingency plans should be, leaves us in no doubt that there was no "contingency planning" in the first place. If there had been, why would we have to wait for these two inquiries ?His submission is a bumbling, mind numbing disgrace and is in harmony with the government's wholesale humiliating and shameful handling of the entire 2001 FMD disaster.Captain Bryn Wayt