To all interested 9/5/01

 

It is five weeks since our nearest 'infected' farm was culled.
A week ago I contacted my intelligent and rational Maff TVI Dr Bertie Ellis,
who said that David Thomas (regional vet in charge) wanted to test my sheep
before notices would be lifted.  Bertie wanted to carry out the tests here
shadowed by a camera crew covering a day in the life of a TVI because he
wanted the 'barriers' that I had put into practice seen (good TV?).

 

Today a media person phoned asking for my permission to film and I said fine
but be prepared to 'dress-up'.  I also took the opportunity of pointing out
that by testing now would be opening a can of worms.
1. I have already used the chromagraphic field test: result negative.  If
there is a discrepancy with Pirbrights test then we will have to argue it in
court.  There have been too many false negatives and false positives,
.perhaps the testing requires scrutiny.

 

2. If Pirbright confirms the negative test, then the dangerous contacts and
contiguous culls are thrown into complete disrepute.

 

Additionally as my sheep were not an economic proposition, I receive no
subsidy, was informed as to European law which takes precedence over UK law,
understood the science, was not easily intimidated or browbeaten...I grew up
in a police state for goodness sake!

 

Media person phoned back 10 minutes later to say that they had spoken to David Thomas, who
said that this area was not on the list for testing yet.  Testing would
commence 21 days after the last involved farm had been completely
disinfected.  As farms have been taking in some cases in excess of 6 weeks,
he was unable to say when testing might take place.
Therefore they will not be filming.

 

So consider this.  If all the contiguous farms were thoroughly disinfected
overnight, then in 3 weeks testing could commence.  Allow a couple of weeks
for the results.  If  positive, then a cull must be carried out, which
closes down the entire area for at least another month.  This would take us
to mid July at the earliest.
There will be many situations that | believe they will not get round to
testing.  It is not in their interests to do so.  They would certainly find
some positives and think what that will do for efforts to regain the FMD
free status of export marts.

 

Do you suppose that they may logically conclude that we are not infected, or
infected and recovered but therefore pose no risk.

 

Michaela