Report by Nick Green 5th may 2002



I look forward to Sundays. Not through any desire to lay in bed till noon, have a late breakfast and then fester in front of the "box " all afternoon! Far from it. I work most weekends; this is an exception, and even if I was not at work I always arise by 0600. Life is too damn short; around 3,500 weeks! Don't waste time! No my interest in Sundays is the arrival of Christopher Bookers Notebook which I read on Warmwell. Christopher has many superb qualities, not the least of which is that he tells the truth!


Todays damning evidence was that the perpetrators of the FMD foul up now appear to be equally divided between the lamentable MAFF supported by the equally incompetent British government and the European Commission. It appears also that it is not only the British Government and MAFF/DEFRA who have lied but also the EC!


EC directive 85/511 states that overall handling of FMD had been handed over to Brussels. Interesting!


Directive 90/423 states that Britain should have a detailed contingency plan in place and requiring a FULL SCALE VACCINATION programme within days of the start of the epidemic.


But as Mr Booker points out, this system "broke down at every point with liability for it failure split equally between the Commission and MAFF!


Failure no. 1.


When the Commission ordered every member state to draw up a contingency plan to deal with outbreaks of FMD in 1990, its guidelines did not allow for an epidemic remotely on the scale of that encountered by the UK. Wrongly stated as "the worst FMD outbreak ever. " by many Ministers. The fact is it was not the worst and the fact is that the contingency plans could not even cope with FMD 2001. But, the EC did require governments to submit detailed evidence that they knew exactly what to do in the event of an outbreak and had sufficient resources to implement those plans.


Failure no. 2.


MAFF's response did not meet the guidelines. It fell woefully short!


Failure no. 3.


The Commission formally approved all the member states contingency plans in 1993, but failed to examine them! It did commence checking the contingency plans in 1999 and was due to scrutiny MAFF's plan in 2001; too late!


So, failures by the British government and MAFF and the EC have been ruthlessly exposed!


A further requirement of the 1990 directive was that if the scale of the outbreak was too large to allow an instant slaughter policy of infected animals and notably surveillance of others, governments MUST be equipped to use emergency vaccination!


We have heard many times that the Commission's scientific veterinary committee issued a confidential report warning that the risk of FMD in the EU was "extraordinarily high. " It advised that additional measures must be taken "to prevent a local outbreak becoming a disaster ", laying down 10 criteria to determine whether or not vaccination should be used. Governments had to be ready to vaccinate when these criteria were met.


MAFF were simply caught with their pants down, again! Their handling of the CSF outbreak was simply incompetent and now once more this same department was about to completely mismanage the FMD outbreak! Interesting to note that evidence is now being made available that would seem to indicate that MAFF misdiagnosed CSF in some pigs. It appears that CSF and FMD were in the pig population simultaneously!


Professor Fred Brown, USDA, has written nearly 400 scientific papers on the eradication and prevention of FMD, and one such paper illustrates the difficulties in diagnosing FMD and CSF. Symptoms apparently are virtually identical! Did MAFF miss FMD during the CSF outbreak? Well, MAFF have demonstrated admirably how incompetently they perform, so it would not be beyond their ability to miss FMD during the chaos that prevailed during CSF!


However, back to FMD 2001. Within a week at least 7 of the 10 criteria for vaccination were met. But, and with MAFF there is always a big BUT! Because they had NOT complied with the EC guidance, it was forced to rely on the mass slaughter policy, some of which was illegal and which it will be remembered had already been advised as inadequate in epidemics much smaller than Britain's


I note that, very worryingly, not only does the British Government lie continually in connection with FMD but seemingly so does the EC.


In The Final Report of a Mission Carried out in the United Kingdom From 12-16 March 2001 (DG(SANCO)3318/2001  MR final), page 21, para. 8.


"The initial response to the first outbreaks was both well-organised and thorough. The staff involved responded vigorously, and made exceptional efforts to control and eradicate the disease.. "....!!!!


Sorry, but I do not quite see it that way! In similar tone to Mr Black Adder, may I just state the bleeding obvious!


It took the British government 4 days to stop stock movements! In conducting the slash and burn policy, they failed to instigate a 24/48 hr policy ever and in the early days of the outbreaks culling of infected animals took up to nine days! Animals lay on the ground for weeks rotting and stinking. We endured weeks of the stinking pyres and months of MAFF's incompetent, belligerent bullying!


The facts are that we now have to incompetent organisations covering each others backs! (The EC and the British government).


Does the EC, MAFF/DEFRA and Blair's government really think we are that stupid? In another chat with a local farmer yesterday, they explained their dealings with MAFF/DEFRA. Bullying incompetence with no regard to Bio-Security whatsoever is becoming a common theme! Not one of breathtaking brilliance!