Dear Prime Minister
The Governments reluctance to use vaccination in the present FMD outbreak.
Foot and Mouth Disease Some questions about the government's reluctance to use vaccination
Vaccination works. You only have to listen to the wide field experience of Dr Paul Sutmoller for five minutes to be convinced of that. Vaccinated animals pose a zero risk of infecting others. This too is beyond question according to Dr Simon Barteling , so experienced in dealing with the virus for the EU. There is a portable box for safe "farm-gate" use which provides a 40 minute FMD test of easily obtained swabs from suspect animals. Professor Fred Brown FRS OBE demonstrated this machine at close quarters at the vets' Forum at Bristol University on Saturday and showed video footage of its efficacy. There is also, according to these quietly spoken experts, a valid test for distinguishing vaccinated from infected animals. The myth that there is not is mischievous in the extreme.
There is no special processing of meat that needs to follow the vaccination of animals destined for the food chain and nor is there any necessity for it to be specially labelled. The naive belief of the NFU that exports can be swiftly resumed after an outbreak of such proportions is surely doomed. Which of our partners would dare to take the risk of importing animals that might be still incubating the disease? Only vaccination would reassure the markets after such an unprecedented outbreak.
The level of ignorance among our own scientific advisers is truly horrifying if it is genuine.
We are still hearing them describing this "threat" from sheep, using such language as "silent shedders of virus" or attributing new outbreaks to "old disease in sheep". We have repeatedly asked for scientific evidence to support such statements but none has been produced, while there is plenty to discount such accusations.
At the Forum, it was made very clear that the scientific evidence all points to only one conclusion - to quote Dr Paul Sutmoller "All experimental evidence of FMD virus transmission by carrier sheep is negative". After the meeting we made sure we had got this correct and he dismissed such phrases as "silent shedders" and "old disease" as nonsense.
We are left asking these questions: -
Why are David King, Jim Scudamore, Roy Anderson and other UK scientists spreading misinformation?
Why are they so determined to slaughter millions of sheep that cannot pose any threat?
Why is the proven and documented effectiveness of vaccination ignored and denied?
Why did the government refuse to trial the "Smart Cycler" device for rapid FMD diagnosis when Prof. Fred Brown offered it on 9th March?
If no answers can be forthcoming we are left with only one conclusion: the slaughter policy has nothing whatever to do with disease control in the current epidemic.
All the science is telling us that vaccination should have been used at a very early stage of the epidemic, and would certainly have dramatically reduced the scale of the slaughter, the economic and environmental costs, the human and animal suffering, and the duration of the outbreak.
Instead, the slaughter policy was imposed by a government that repeatedly claimed to be following "the best scientific advice"; they, too, must seem liars to their own electorate, just as the Dutch government deceived its people over the slaughter of vaccinates.
Prime Minister, do find us answers to the questions above. Or, if your enquiries lead you to the same conclusions as ourselves, please use the present difficult days quietly to introduce vaccination and then take the statesmanlike stance of demanding from the EU that modern vaccination should confer the same FMD-free status as the barbaric slaughter policy.
Mary Critchley on behalf of WARMWELL.COM