4th December 2001
Mr Morley:...To be clear on this point, there were not 55 cases in the THIRSK area;
there were 55 cases in the North Yorkshire area.
In the THIRSK area, 10 cases were upheld by the DVM, of which two later became infected premises.
SELECT COMMITTEE 6th November 2001.............
9. (David Currie)
My second point is, you have said-in fact you said it just a few seconds ago-that delays which could, or perhaps did, help the spread of the disease were caused by farmers appealing against cull orders. How many cases do you think materially led to the spread of disease?
(Mr Morley) I think it is very difficult to put an exact number on the cases, Chairman. I can give you some idea of the kind of issues. We are aware of 103 cases where there was legal involvement or certainly appeals against culling. Of those 103 cases, 36 accepted the case and were slaughtered as planned, 42 were looked at by our divisional veterinary manager and they were accepted, 18 ran out of time -
10. You say "accepted", but accepted by . . .?
(Mr Morley) The cases were accepted not to cull by the divisional veterinary manager, which incidentally is still the situation within this Bill. Eighteen ran out of time, the time went on so long that, as the animals had not gone down, it was pointless to actually cull them in those circumstances; seven went on to become infected premises. There were three High Court cases and the Department won two and lost one and the one that was lost in Devon went on to become an infected premise itself. As time went on, there was much more attention to this and there was greater concern about the effect of the appeals and our vets on the ground inTHIRSKfelt that the appeals were a very real risk in terms of disease spread because they were very concerned about it getting into the pig centre and, in THIRSK, there were 55 local appeals dealt with by the veterinary manager-they did not go to court-and, of those, 29 were upheld by the divisional veterinary manager. Even then, nine of those which were actually agreed by our own divisional vets went down as IPs; there were two that were rejected that also went down as IPs. With each of those that went down-and I accept that the latter situation was one where our own vets accepted the case and that would not change-you are taking a risk. Many of the cases which were appealed as contiguous culling did go down; it is a significant number.
11. I want to tease out those figures. A little while ago, you spoke about 103 cases; is that nationally?
(Mr Morley) Yes, that is England.
12. Then you said that seven became infected.
(Mr Morley) Yes, they became IPs. 13. Which means that 96 were not.
(Mr Morley) Of those 103, 36 were slaughtered.
14. Did you do blood tests on all of them?
(Mr Morley) I am not sure that blood tests were done on all of them; I do not have that information.
15. The question I am getting at is, in how many of those cases where there had been an appeal . . . in many cases an appeal is just a letter, they did not reach the point of getting to court.
(Mr Morley) Not in all circumstances, no, I do not think so.
16. For example, I have been told that in Devon there were 200 "appeals" and none of those premises actually went down.
(Mr Morley) I am not sure where that figure of 200 comes from unless they were appeals to our divisional veterinary manager. There were exemptions made in relation to the contiguous culls: there were exemptions made for rare breeds; there were exemptions made where there was a case made that the animals were not infected and had not been in contact; there were cases made for cattle. Of course, many of those 200 would have been within those categories and there is nothing wrong with that. We are not looking to maximise the slaughter of animals, we want to reduce the slaughter of animals. One of the principles behind this Bill, Chairman, is to actually make sure that if you have a contiguous slaughter policy-and I emphasise again that you should not read into this Bill that we are committing ourselves to any one particular policy-then it needs to be done quickly and efficiently and I accept that appeal is only one aspect of this, there is the issue of logistics as well which is a departmental matter. I have spoken to our vets on the ground and in theTHIRSKarea in particular where I took particular attention because of the blue box scheme and the kind of new ideas that were there -
17. So did I, it was too close to home.
(Mr Morley) I am sure you did, Chairman. They were adamant there that the appeals and delays were stopping them getting on top of the disease. They were adamant about that.
18. We take your point, we do not draw from this Bill any indications about direction on policy: this is a bill which will enable you to implement a policy should you decide to go down that route.
upbeatnov9 "in THIRSK, there were 55 local appeals dealt with by the veterinary manager - they did not go to court - and, of those, 29 were upheld by the divisional veterinary manager. Even then, nine of those which were actually agreed by our own divisional vets went down as IPS; there were two that were rejected that also went down as IPS." This is directly opposite to the experience in other parts of the country, so there may be a local factor at work here that needs investigation. Whatever, this in no way justifies the contiguous cull here in Devon, for example, where 200 "appeals" all came through unscathed, or anywhere else that can show similar evidence.
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cache:2_nZjX2pOucC:www.thisisyork.co.uk/york/news/YORK_NEWS_FARMING11.html+THIRSK++morley++vets+biosecurity+%22farmers%22&hl=en News Item November 29
4th December Standing Committee http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200102/cmstand/e/st011204/am/11204s01.htm Mr Morley......I should like to clarify a point about the 55 cases in North Yorkshire, a significant proportion of which later became infected premises, where the divisional veterinary manager upheld appeals. That was described as theTHIRSKarea because theTHIRSKblue box area is used to describe that geographical location. To be clear on this point, there were not 55 cases in theTHIRSKarea; there were 55 cases in the North Yorkshire area. In theTHIRSKarea, 10 cases were upheld by the DVM, of which two later became infected premises. That 20 per cent. infection rate fits in with the North Yorkshire average of between 20 and 30 per cent. Although the infection rate was 20 per cent., that is still a significant figure in terms of the spread of a disease, which is another issue that we must take into account.