Royal Society Infectious Disease Inquiry Follow-Up review (pdf file) or webpage here
Page Two "We welcome the detailed work that Defra has undertaken on many aspects of our recommendations. We acknowledge that some aspects will require longer to implement than the two years since the publication of our report, and provide below, as bullet points, some areas that require further attention, largely building on work already in progress1.
- The surveillance arrangements. (1)
- The arrangements for active Parliamentary scrutiny of the contingency plans, possibly by the Environment, Food and Rural Affair Select Committee. (2)
- The arrangements for a wider interim review of arrangements for handling infectious diseases in livestock. (2)
- The capture and handling of data during an outbreak. (3) The completion of the various projects analysing the data from the 2001 outbreak and other research to inform the decision making process on whether pre-emptive action beyond the culling of infected premises and dangerous contacts is required to control the outbreak. (4)
- The structure of technical input into the handling of an outbreak of an infectious disease. (4)
- Further action to ensure that emergency vaccination is a viable option for pre-emptive action, including the validation of Non Structural Protein (NSP) tests and a better understanding of the implications of vaccination by all stakeholders. (4, 5)
- The development of portable RT-PCR diagnostic equipment that can be used in the field and sensitive enough to detect virus in pre-clinical cases. (5)
- The need to ensure that animal health research is given the support it requires and is co-ordinated with support provided by research councils. (7)
- Training, especially of farm workers and an increase in the overall number of large animal veterinarians. (6,8)
December 26 - 31 2004 ~ IDL Report follow-up is now available on the internet.
We are studying the Royal Society Infectious Disease Inquiry Follow-Up review (pdf file) in which, in the most tactful language, the Royal Society ".. highlights some particular issues and concerns identified in a more detailed review of progress on the various recommendations in the IDL report ".
" We welcome the detailed work that Defra has undertaken on many aspects of our recommendations. We acknowledge that some aspects will require longer to implement than the two years since the publication of our report, and provide below, as bullet points, some areas that require further attention, largely building on work already in progress "A certain dismay at lack of progress in the implementation of its 2002 recommendations is evident. The Review has been endorsed by the Society's Council. See bullet points The Review can be seen as a webpage here.
December 26 - 31 2004 ~ " If there are problems associated with a nonslaughter approach then these need to be resolved."
It has been reported in FWi "The UK is not ready to tackle foot-and-mouth disease using vaccination, says the Royal Society"- this gives a very simplified and perhaps even misleading view of what the Royal Society appears to us to be saying in its Follow-Up Review. The Royal Society's recommendation in 2002 - that
"... Given recent advances in vaccine science and improved trading regulations, emergency vaccination should now be considered as part of the control strategy from the start of any outbreak of FMD. By this we mean vaccination-to-live, under which meat and meat products from animals vaccinated and subsequently found to be uninfected may enter the normal human food chain. "It was clearly in favour of emergency vaccination to live, recognised its effectiveness and expected that the Government would
" ..prepare the regulatory framework and practical arrangements (e.g. validation of tests, and the supply of vaccines) There must at the outset be an exit strategy agreed among the main stakeholders that would allow this..."Progress on this is dealt with on Page 10 For example, (page 11) "It is not clear how the Defra arrangements for vaccination could be deployed at sufficient levels over the critical timescale." .... More detail
December 26 - 31 2004 ~ "Failure to clarify both the exit strategies and meat treatment protocols will undermine Defra’s sterling work in securing these derogations when the Directive was being drafted."
Meat and milk from vaccinated animals can be sold on the domestic market without having to undertake costly deboning or heat treatment [Articles 25-27, EU Directive (EU 2003)]"..... The recent publication on the role of vaccination (Defra2004d) does not mention these derogations in the sections dealing with each of the various animal species (cattle paragraph 17, pigs paragraph 23 and sheep paragraph 28) although they are described later in the document. This has caused some confusion..."
December 26 - 31 2004 ~ "Expert group", "Data collection", "Identification of DCs", "portable tests to aid rapid diagnosis in the field"
Below we direct you to some extracts from the Royal Society Review (see above) that readers of this website may find particularly of interest and concern.
- ...Expert Group "......that the core and enhanced membership of the Expert Group are currently made up of staff from Defra, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the Institute of Animal Health, with no independent members..."
- .. Dangerous Contacts .."Defra should commission research to improve the methodology used to identify dangerous contacts"
- ... development of portable tests to aid rapid diagnosis in the field.....Despite this progress in veterinary tests, it is not clear that full regard is being taken of advances in the medical field.
- ...Data Collection The capture and handling of data during an outbreak..... whether pre-emptive action beyond the culling of infected premises and dangerous contacts is required to control the outbreak.