UK FMD Contingency Plan

No Plan and no science



Strategy

Para 4 says 'It is not possible to prescribe in detail which strategy will
be followed in advance'.
It is possible, and the essential job of government to do exact that.
The strategy is to have no plan, for mathematicians to make one up as the
outbreak proceeds.

This is a plan for crisis management, for disease control not eradication.
The aim of the plan is to minimise effects on animal welfare, the economy,
human health, the environment and costs. The government can set one interest
group against another to their own advantage.

The government wants 'a shared understanding' of the factors that influence
the choice of control options.
The government does not need a range of options to dither over as they
respond to political influence and opinion. Only epidemiologists need that.
We need to agree on one policy now that will quickly and definitely lead to
the outcomes wanted.
That policy is immediate mass vaccination, an option that is not included in
the consultation paper.

Science

Science is carefully excluded from the plan.

Paragraph 21 says the Government is committed to using new slaughter powers
only where this is justified by sound veterinary, epidemiological and
science advice.
21(e) the government will publish an outline of the reasons why such a cull
is needed.

22 The government would justify its decision to use the slaughter powers,
explaining the veterinary, epidemiological and OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS THAT
HAD BEEN TAKEN INO ACCOUNT.

Science is mentioned in 21 but when defining what they will publish science
has gone.

These other factors could include economic factors but could exclude science
by arguing that the science is not sound. Science is consensual, so by
getting one government scientist to disagree the government can claim it is
not sound.

Chop down Defra's decision tree. Decide on a policy now.