From the EFRA Select Committee April 25
|398. I will ask a strictly scientific question now. On 9 March, Dr Alex Donaldson received an e-mail from Roger Breeze, who is the Assistant to the Head of the USDA in America, Floyd Hall, asking if he could co-operate with Pirbright, using a machine which he describes as a "real-time PCR", which, as I understand it, and I am not a scientist, is a machine which will identify a virus in the saliva, or from a nasal swab, of animals that are infected with foot and mouth before they show symptoms. Now this I was told yesterday by Professor Fred Brown, from Plum Island, who was over here for a day; and, as I understand it, he received no reply. If this machine is as accurate as Professor Brown told me, he said it is 99 per cent accurate, could it not have saved this huge, vast, expensive cull of mainly healthy animals?