The latest outrage - DEFRA's disgraceful Animal Health Amendment Bill - must be stopped. Petition to kill the Animal Death Bill
(also known as Animal Health Amendment bill - see here for explanatory notes and direct link no 39 )
If you share our deep concern, put this notice (Animal Health Warning - DEFRA can kill ) in your car or on your noticeboard)
Some reactions about the Animal Health (Amendment) Bill
(The first is from Ken Tyrell, one of the senior vets who oversaw the last outbreak and has been scathing in his condemnation of the cruel incompetence of this one.)
I am appalled at this new bill and it must be resisted at all costs . What about Human rights? We have all these Muslim terrorists living here and they are allowed to quote Human rights. What about the farmers' Animal rights? Keep up the good work what ever you do. I attended Monday the scrutiny committee of the Shropshire County Council and had a good go at Maff - though of course it was not as good as at the Devon inquiry. Can I send you the proposals that I put before it for Warmwell .com?
What has got most people enraged about the way the Government handled the crisis is the way in which it went completely over the top with the slaughter. Although only about 2000 farms were infected, some 10,000 were culled out. Most of the latter were done as contiguous culls. The evidence available suggests only a fraction of these would have had to be culled out as infected premises, if left: we believe that comparatively few animals slaughtered on cps posthumously tested positive for fmd; and of the 375 or so premises which objected to the 3 km cull, some two thirds never contracted the disease. This is what one would expect on the evidence of the Government's own scientific advisers: tests which the Government itself sponsored showed that the chance of airborne transmission of the UK particulate were very remote. Airborne transmission was the only possible basis for the cp cull: any physical transmission (on dogs, cats, wild animals, humans, vehicles etc) was classed as a dangerous contact case. So what the Government is now wanting to do is to extend its powers so as to be able to take out animals which there is not only(ex hypothesi) no reason to believe have been exposed to the disease, but which its own scientific research and its own experience during the current epidemic show are not likely to contract the disease anyway. And all this is said to be urgent and should be rushed through whilst the Government is still refusing to hold the general Public Enquiry which so many are demanding because of the outrage generally felt, and the Enquiries it has set up are nowhere close to reporting.
What message does this send about the current Government?
Two things are for sure. First, the Government obviously doesn't want any more Gruntys (incidentally, I believe Rosemary Upton's animals have survived - and the Ministry was adamant in that case that she was an (extremely) dangerous contact). Secondly, if the new general power is enacted and becomes widely used, the compensation bill is likely to be astronomical: this is not a cost-cutting exercise.
I share your misgivings, but sadly I can't see many people doing anything about it. 55 years of being involved with politics has made me cynical. Standing on doorsteps just trying to get people out to vote is a hard enough job, let alone thinking about anything. I think you will find that the majority of voters actually vote negative i.e. against someone or something. Rarely do they vote for a person or Party, that is why it is so difficult to get them out, they have to be 'wound up' about something or other. The result in Kidderminster/Wyre Forest, where the closure of the local hospital resulted in an Independent MP is a case in point. What a sad World it is
I thought if I waited till I'd calmed down I should be able to write something coherent. I have not calmed down. This latest, breathtaking piece of government chicanery simply shows the lengths these thugs are prepared to go to cover up their own incompetence. Please guys DON'T give up! Our real stumbling block isn't the govt, disgraceful as they are...it's the more-or-less-Honest Joes who are in a position to challenge govt policy but who are seduced by the spin and the scientific myths and take the line of least resistance. I'm thinking of the interest groups, the breed societies, our local reps, the RBST, opposition MPs and so forth. It's these asses we should be kicking. Must kick. The only organisation I know of that has both the bottle and the grasp of the subject to speak out forcibly is the Soil Association. But it is brushed aside as being a minority interest only.
Joyce, are there any crofts going spare up your way? (I'm serious!) Or better still, any islands? We could all get together and buy one, pile on with our animals and declare UDI! Might be the only way.
Yes both my wife and I share your misgivings and do not know what can be done. This government has proved itself so badly advised by so-called 'experts' that I can no longer believe in any honesty coming from Downing Street, its 'expert advisors' or DEFRA. I gave up even opening their regular letters of 'important information' because their complete lack of honest, integrity, compassion etc. My fear is that they are breeding a sub culture of once law-abiding citizens who no longer have any confidence this government and just get on with life with as little to do with outsiders as possible. If they plan to substitute the home grown product that can be traced back to source with imported meat of dubious origins, then I shall be going vegetarian.
The only way i can describe my feelings is 'sick to the stomach' at this news. With Quita's email about the taxi driver and what he thought until Quita got hold of him, we will just be walked all over by this government and no-one will be able to protect the animals. In the Forest of Dean, where the Action Group forced testing instead of slaughter for the 26 farms left with A notices - ALL 26 came back negative after the tests. So these farmers actions in refusing to allow healthy to die certainly posed no threat in prolonging the fmd.
What times we are living in since this Government came into power. They mean to make us 'pay' for daring to stand up to them in the first place. I am suffering from a cold today how lucky (at the moment) that TB does not see me as a spreader of this nuisance - or else I to would be dispatched by DEFRA! Crazy, isn't it millions of animals (many healthy) all slaughtered for what is a curable preventable virus. Duncan's Mum went and had her flu vaccine the other day - same principle as the FMD vaccine - to protect her, and stop her spreading and passing the virus on! Pure simple common sense - to those of us with a brain.
MP is Tim Boswell Cons. Daventry District - he farms locally. He does know from bitter experience about most of the problems. I just can't get over it - in the real world if you make a pigs ear of anything you get powers taken away from you - not so New Labour!!! They give out even more power and you will note blaming farmers for the spread of the disease - which they almost certainly started and allowed to escalate! Tim B does say everyone pressing for full public enquiry but I do not think we will get one - do you?
I have just come from watching the BBC 1 0 clock news to the computer wondering if anyone else had suffered the impact. Are they now admitting that the cull we have all had to live through recently was in fact illegal? This is very terrible and as the majority of Britain's livestock owners are not on the internet I wonder how we can coordinate things because we sure as hell have got to stop these bastards now, the BBC is a tool in their hands and has been all along, government funded of course. I have to go out to a sick horse but will get back to you on my return.
When I say to people would any of us ever have thought nine months ago that millions of animals would have been slaughtered many of them healthy, because of FMD - they look at me as if I am spouting rubbish. When I then try to broaden that by saying imagine if it was your dog and every dog in the area - then the reply is 'we pet people would not stand for it'. Until put to the test - which I sincerely hope never arises, we will never know. Our only hope is that the 'pet' owning population is vast - and would surely be able to effect any Government being re-elected if they did decide to target them. The farmers and the rural people were never any threat in numbers regarding changing the balance of power. If this was to happen who would we go to for help and support. The RSPCA, our Vets, the Police for protection - all people and organisations who have aided and abetted the Government over FMD. Not a comforting outlook is it?
Ten years ago, in 1991, there was a mass hysteria to cull all animals of a certain type..a dog known as the Pit Bull Terrier. This was as a result of two attacks causing injury to humans yet it made no mention of Kennel Club breeds that had actually killed humans. Legislation was rushed through Parliament and The infamous 'Dangerous Dogs Act 1991' was born. It eventually turned out that 'Stafford type' dogs posed no threat to humans. They were, and still are, mans greatest best friend. We had to fight to save our beloved dog Zelda and when she was buried one year three months and twenty six days ago she was, and still remains, the best dog we had ever owned. Our beloved pride and joy.
Democracy is a thing of the past, we felt that all through the foot and mouth crisis and now this, it makes you sick to the pit of your stomach. We cannot let them get away with it. Is the RCVS going to remain sitting on the fence I wonder. The RSPCA - puppets - just like the NFU. A country which has gone rotten at its core. The farmers around me have nearly all restocked, the few who haven't are the ones who after being culled did not go and work for the ministry, they haven't been granted permission. The really interesting fact is that those who have restocked have put on at least three times as many sheep as they had before.
I hope you are not too submerged in the animal health bill. I am asking people to write to all the usual people. What more can we do? When times are as bad as this, all that's left is the pointless gesture. I'm making a postcard of the goat monument. I noticed with the dogs in Westminster yesterday, only one person's face lit up when she saw them. Most people shrank away, some even going so far as to cross the road when they saw Bonzo.
the new draconian laws giving DEFRA extraordinary powers to bully and kill as they please. There is no doubt that the agenda is to import cheap food from abroad in exchange for high tech goods. To achieve this they must remove meat farming from the UK. I also believe that the recent announcement that DEFRA had accidentally been testing cattle brains for scrapie to be a lie. We keep sheep and DEFRA have been trying to cajole farmers into free tests for scrapie, when this failed they changed to offers of compensation, still no interest, because no one trusts them. So they announce the so called cock up with the cattle brains so that they could put in place a massive compulsory testing system to "catch up". This will no doubt kill off the export trade and push out the farmers who have been left teetering after foot and mouth.
The question though is not whether the animals had the disease, but whether the disease spread due to any delay in slaughtering them, as this strain is not airborne, and providing biosecurity is observed, the answer has to be no, especially as those concerned were barricaded in their farms. As usual this is just the govt trying to shift the blame from themselves. On another note, i posted a message yesterday concerning the guardian talk board, there are some interesting threads concerning FMD and i've started one concerning the bill called 'tony blair can kill your cat.' Apologies for the sub daily mail heading but i thought it might get peoples attention. A lot of people view the GU board, it might be worth a visit to get our message to a wider audience. Just a thought. the question though is not whether the animals had the disease, but whether the disease spread due to any delay in slaughtering them, as this strain is not airborne, and providing biosecurity is observed, the answer has to be no, especially as those concerned were barricaded in their farms. as usual this is just the govt trying to shift the blame from themselves. on another note, i posted a message yesterday concerning the guardian talk board, there are some interesting threads concerning fmd and i've started one concerning the bill called 'tony blair can kill your cat.' apologies for the sub daily mail heading but i thought it might get peoples attention. a lot of people view the gu board, it might be worth a visit to get our message to a wider audience. just a thought.
In a leaflet on TB in cattle issued by DEFRA is the following statement."Mycobacterium bovis has been found in several wild mammal species. The species to have the highest rate of infection is the badger, although infection has been found in deer and other animals.The consensus of scientific opinion is that badgers are a significant source of TB infection in cattle. (Wait for this) In areas where badgers are not infected, they cannot pass the infection to cattle...Even where there is TB in the local badger population, there are many other factors which influence whether or not cattle become infected. I should think this is Elliot Morley's wording, it's about his mentality.
Whilst all sane and intelligent people know the government handled the current FMD crisis with characteristic stupidity and ineptitude of Olympic magnitudes, they now seek this draconian "new powers" regime where no cloven hoofed animal would be safe - in fact, let it be said NO animal would be safe; nor their owners Human Rights be safe, as this new Bill frog marches and bullies over everything democracy has spawned. When Elliot Morley was interviewed on the BBC's Radio 4 "World at One" the other day regarding these proposed "new powers" he characteristically talked without engaging his brain with the real facts. He has once again displayed a lamentable grasp of the proven facts even after ten months homework. He foolishly attempted to justify these outrageous "new powers" with the sad and pathetic accusation, that farmers who had actually resisted the barbaric contiguous cull process, had increased the spread of the disease. He went on to suggest that their action (lawfully resisting the cull of healthy animals) had delayed control of the epidemic and increased the sum total figure of animals slaughtered - saying that this was "a matter of fact" and was "on record". That cacophony of twaddle was of course a pile of absolutely gold plated falsehoods. Such statements qualify him for a "bar" to his Gold Medal for spouting unadulterated rubbish and being the most ignorant Minister ever connected with farm animals. Please demand that this ignoramus puts before Parliament and the people such irrevocable proof (and of course publish his results on the DEFRA website, so much loved by his friend Mrs. M. Beckett in her, tell them about the cock-up between cows brains and sheep brains fiasco) that these amazing allegations are true. Allegations such that those who lawfully resisted the slaughter of their healthy animals, under existing EU Law, were the bad guys and had caused the FMDv to spread. In that "spin" he should include the vets who darted about from infected premises to non-infected ones, within three days, without bothering to wear bio-security masks over their mouths; not to mention lorries dripping unmentionable fluids over the public roads and the funeral pyres releasing more toxins we care to measure. He might like to check first with Alayne Addy (solicitor) who knows for a fact that NONE of her farms (hundreds) so saved by lawful "resistance" ever succumbed to the FMD subsequently, and thus never spread it to their neighbours. This early step could save him and his blood thirsty jack-booted followers further embarrassment; then again they take a pride in accumulating embarrassing "howlers". Whilst you are probably aware that Morley's assertions are complete nonsense, may I remind you of the Forest of Dean experience to prove the point; the following is from their latest Press Release, Quote The experience of the Group in the Forest of Dean was that none of the 34 Contiguous culls proved positive when blood tested. Not one of the 34 farms had any animals that had been exposed to Foot & Mouth or contracted the disease. (18 farms were culled out before the Group's protests stopped the cull - all were negative when tested after slaughter - Elliot Morley eventually agreed to blood test the rest - they too were all negative.) Unquote The entire farming community, and their sympathisers like me, are aghast, outraged, and furious at these further undemocratic manoeuvres to override our Human Rights and indeed the EU Laws governing the slaughter of cloven hoofed animals INFECTED with FMD, and protecting those without. These EU FMD laws specifically forbid killing healthy animals - they insist they are placed under "surveillance". This Labour governments insolent and out-of-control panache for illegitimate and treacherous actions, and their track record for ignoring the EU Laws, are about to embellish this hellish CV once again with their unbridled arrogance and brazen neglect of democracy, and I wish you to stop them by ALL democratic means available before there is another war.
The audience, made up of more than 100 members of Cumbria's rural community, jeered at suggestions the contiguous cull had been effective at fighting the disease. They also criticised delays in the diagnosing of the disease and claimed there was a lack of clear communication with government officials leading the fight against FMD.
From the newcastle journal Nov 2 ~ The North is set to get its own public inquiry into the cause and handling of the foot-and-mouth crisis, it emerged last night. Northumberland County Council says it is "very likely" to stage its own hearing - putting even more pressure on the Government to hold a public hearing into the chaotic handling of a crisis which has cost the North £1bn and devastated the rural economy. Last night council leader Coun Mike Davey said: "We are seriously considering holding an inquiry into foot-and-mouth. It looks very, very likely it will go ahead and sooner rather than later." He added that he still backed The Journal's call for a full public inquiry by the Government. The Prime Minister has announced three separate probes into the epidemic which will begin when ministers are confident the disease has been eradicated. Crucially, however, they will not be held in public. Northumberland's move follows the findings of a public inquiry staged by Devon County Council being released earlier this week which branded the Government's handling of the crisis as "lamentable". Mr Davey added: "I think there is a public expectation that there should be a public inquiry into foot-and-mouth at Government level as well."
There is no doubt that the agenda is to import cheap food from abroad in exchange for high tech goods. To achieve this they must remove meat farming from the UK. I also believe that the recent announcement that DERFA had accidentally been testing cattle brains for scrapie to be a lie. We keep sheep and DEFRA have been trying to cajole farmers into free tests for scrapie, when this failed they changed to offers of compensation, still no interest, because no one trusts them. So they announce the so called cock up with the cattle brains so that they could put in place a massive compulsory testing system to "catch up". This will no doubt kill off the export trade and push out the farmers who have been left teetering after foot and mouth. I have sent the following e mail to the NFU & CLA to ask their position, I have also sent a copy to the Farmers Weekly, Farmers Guardian & the Western Morning news here in Devon. I believe the threat to pets will help the farmers. Non farming people have little or no understanding of farming and therefore they cannot relate to the problems however, they could become brothers in arms if their animals are threatened.