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The Cocktail KILLER
Dead sheep fear for lorry drivers

Have I Got It WRONG !!!!

Goat Killed while Police Distract Owner

Airwave - potential preventative cure?

Slaughter in the Spring
Two Suggestions
Stop the Slaughter NOW

The full horror story behind foot and mouth - at last!

Foot and Mouth Disease

Legal challenge.

"Black sheep economy"
FMD Chaos - The truth behind the mess

Letter to Blair 

Farming - Question

Compensation - to leave the Business

Foot and Mouth

Slaughter of the innocuous

Farming in crisis

The Truth About the Foot and Mouth Cricis
The States "SLASH AND BURN" Policy



STEVE RANSOM, of Credence Publications, on


Over the last few weeks, international television and radio news bulletins
have brought world audiences graphic reports of an encroaching pestilence.
The dreaded and highly infectious livestock disease known as 'foot and mouth
', or FMD, has returned to British shores. The globe is being treated to
round the clock reports on "the extent of the FMD nightmare".

Mounds of destroyed cattle, gruesome pyres burning through the night,
ashen-faced reporters delivering the latest outbreak statistics, people
being warned to stay away from the countryside. "As well as being airborne,
the foot and mouth virus can adhere to car tyres. Do not venture into the
countryside, unless absolutely necessary," warned the BBC Monday 26th Feb.,
10 o'clock evening news. The same feature included reports of international
rugby matches being cancelled, a meat shortage crisis pending, pan shots of
once-thriving but now empty cattle markets, lots of hype, lots of emotion,
lots of TV batten-down specials ... but, as we shall soon discover, no
actual facts.

In truth, if these events have taught us anything, it is just how much we
are at the mercy of today's media. As a result of this barrage of emotive,
inaccurate hype, there are now members of the public who consider it
genuinely irresponsible to hang out a strip of bacon for their garden birds,
or to go for a walk in the country until this crisis is over. Despite the
much-trusted BBC, ITV, C4 pronouncements, the facts surrounding this 'crisis
' are very different to what we have so far been told.

Abigail Wood is a vet and researcher into the history of FMD, based at the
University of Manchester in the UK. She remains very down to earth over
these latest 'rampaging vicious virus' reports. Credence Publications
contacted her as a result of her recent Times article (1) which began: "Foot
and mouth is as serious to animals as a bad cold is to human beings. So why
the concern?"

Wood's research, in conjunction with research carried out by Credence
Publications makes it quite clear that FMD is not the vicious gremlin we
have been led to believe.


The current wisdom theorises that FMD is viral in nature. Symptoms of FMD in
livestock begin usually with a temperature, followed within 24 hours by the
appearance of blisters and ulcerations on places such as the tongue, lips,
gums, dental pad, inter-digital skin of the feet, bulbs of the heels and
milk teats. Occasionally, ulcerations appear inside the nostrils or on the
muzzle or vulva. Visually, these ulcerations are the equivalent of large
cold sores.

The resultant illness and lameness causes decreased appetite, a drop in milk
yield, a drop in productivity, and of course, increased care costs.
Afflicted animals almost always recover, usually within a week or two. Death
occurs in only 5 percent of cases (2), and the meat is fit to eat (3).

For much of the 19th century, FMD was common right the way across the UK. In
fact, it was endemic. But it did not destroy farming. We lived with it. Our
cattle became ill . and then they recovered. Life continued on as normal. So
why today's scenes of mass destruction? Quite simply, it is because we are
continuing to adhere to some woefully errant farming policy instituted
nearly 50 years ago.

Says Wood: "The instant destruction policy was implemented in the 1950s by
the UK governing bodies, as a result of growing pressure over the years from
pedigree herd owners, (rather than the more common meat and milk producers)
who wished to see the eradication of FMD. Continued promotion of the
slaughter policy by the UK authorities as the most effective way of dealing
with foot and mouth, eventually persuaded the continent and then the rest of
the world to follow suit. We instituted the policy, and now we have to live
with the results of that policy."

In those early years, FMD was as much a part of British farming as bad
weather, poor harvests and other afflictions affecting livelihood. But in
today's intensive farming climate, production and global reputation is
everything. Because of the UK's continued and, as we shall see, unfounded
insistence that FMD is highly infectious, and must be eradicated at all
costs, one whiff on the global food markets that UK herds have FMD leads
quite naturally to today's totally disproportionate scenes.


If we are in a pit, then it is a pit of our own making. And if this latest
'outbreak' is to be referred to as a nightmare, then it is a nightmare
brought about by our own political and economic policies.

The cows, pigs and sheep dying today are not doing so as a result of any
illness. They are dying entirely at the hands of man. The preliminary report
on this latest FMD 'outbreak' submitted by Dr J.M. Scudamore, UK Chief
Veterinary Officer, to the OIE (Office International des Epizooties) tells
of 35 cases on three farms, no deaths occurring anywhere from the actual
disease, but 577 animals on those farms nevertheless instantly destroyed
(4). Should we line up our children because they are coughing?


With the facts to hand regarding FMD, we should begin to ask some
fundamental questions? Why can't our vital farming community, and the public
at large be given the necessary facts, and then more importantly, the
opportunity to question this instant destruction policy?

But therein lies the difficulty folks. "It would be very difficult to change
it now," Wood told us. "That would be to question the perceived wisdom of
the last 100 years."

It is entrenched scientific error, and intractable pride on behalf of the UK
agricultural and governmental bodies, that is the killer in our midst.

A spokesperson from the diagnostic department of Animal Health Trust who
wished not to be named, stated "The hype is all out of proportion. If the
authorities just left the animals alone to recover from FMD, this would make
them healthy, and immune the next time around."

Moving on from 'foot and mouth as common cold', what's all this about FMD
being viral in nature, being airborne, and sticking to car tyres and
Wellington boots?

Apparently, the FMD virus is quite choosy, being breathed out by pigs, but
not breathed in by cats or dogs. It can be hosted by horses, but to no
ill-effect, and humans too can contract the virus, suffering mild skin
irritations. But is this pattern of disease grounded in reality? Does it
conform to a sensible pattern of disease? Or are we once again just trusting
the wisdom of the day?

In attempting to discover how these agencies arrive at a positive diagnosis
of FMD, and to try and get an explanation for the seemingly illogical nature
of FMD proliferation, some conventional 'dodging' techniques began to
surface. And especially when questioned over the possibility of


The blood test used to determine the presence of the FMD virus is known as
the ELISA test or enzyme linked immuno-absorbent assay test. The test
delivers the positive reading by detecting proteins and antibodies in the
blood - proteins and antibodies which are presumed to be there as a result
of the presence of the virus. At no time is a virus itself ever detected. No
photograph exists anywhere of the FMD virus. Like so many other viruses in
the $multi-billion virus industry, we have only innumerable artists'
impressions to go by. As far as actual proof is concerned, there isn't any.
We accept the virus model for FMD (and BSE for that matter) because that's
what we're told. But there are good grounds indeed for questioning the
validity of this whole approach to disease detection. For ELISA comes to us
with a very chequered history.

In the realm of human medicine, ELISA is used extensively to detect certain
diseases, particularly HIV. And this same test is now acknowledged to be
responsible for delivering a very high number of 'false' positive HIV
diagnoses. Conventional medical literature lists some 60 different
conditions, unrelated to HIV that can elicit an HIV positive response,
including flu! (5)

It is conflict of interests, huge pharmaceutical losses, entrenched error
and the threat of massive litigation that has stopped this disastrous story
from becoming more widely known. The animal kingdom is equally susceptible
to foreign proteins in the blood and heightened levels of antibody activity.
The stress of confinement alone can produce an immune response in an animal.
Kelly Sapsford, Operations Manager at Harlan Sera Labs, a serum and antibody
manufacturing company told us "Antibodies are not necessarily specific to
one disease. Picture a key that fits a certain lock. The key to that lock is
not necessarily unique. There may well be other locks out there that the key
will fit."

What minor illnesses are there in the animal kingdom that might elicit the
same immune response to FMD? And with all these farms being visited at such
lightning speed, what are the protocols being adhered to? Are they being
adhered to? Surely, we are allowed to know these things.

The officials at Pirbright Animal Health Laboratory responsible for managing
this latest 'crisis', however appear to think otherwise. No awkward
questions are entertained. Under specific instruction from management, a Dr
Tom Barrett at Pirbright told us that staff were not allowed to answer any
questions, except through the Medical Director.

Numerous telephone calls to MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and
Fisheries) produced the same negative response, pointing us only to their
website. Repeated attempts to speak to somebody in authority at Pirbright
finally located the Head of Diagnostics, John Anderson. He informed us that
whilst the ELISA tests were manufactured 'in-house' "... of course, they
were accurate." This same pat answer is what was being delivered by the
relevant authorities as the accounts of HIV misdiagnosis began to surface.

Anderson then listed the other tests which are used in conjunction with
ELISA to supposedly confirm the presence of the virus. Unfortunately, the
confirmatory tests he mentioned are all equally susceptible to error. And
the fact that the Pirbright FMD tests are manufactured in-house excludes
them from that valuable check and balance system known as peer review.
Extracting qualifying information from governmental bodies is never
straightforward. Colin King, a spokesman from an independent veterinary
diagnostics company, stated; "The protocol information and detail you seek
will be almost impossible to come by. In peace time as well as in war, these
government agencies won't really tell you anything."


To summarise the current FMD 'crisis', this extract from Abigail Wood's
account of the 1920's Cheshire FMD outbreak is most revealing. Trawled from
Cheshire local newspapers available at the Cheshire Records Office we read
"Ministry teams were so far behind in their slaughtering that on many farms
the cows had recovered before the slaughterers had arrived. Farmers looked
at their now-normal cows in bewilderment and asked "Was that it? Was that
trivial illness what all the fuss was about?" (6)

Until MAFF and other responsible agencies begin to answer these questions,
and until we, the general public cease to worship so unremittingly at the
altar of conventional medical science, this crisis (as with numerous other
iatrogenic, or doctor induced crises) will remain out of control and on the

For it is in researching this situation more carefully, that we realise the
only identifiable entities out of control and on the rampage are our own
ignorance of the facts and those official bodies conducting the current

The fact that the latest news bulletins are reporting that 'expert'
intervention may now have contained the crisis, must not lull us into a
false sense of security over their expertise.

There was nothing to worry about in the first place. The whole thing has
been an absolute disgrace.


1. The Times, (London), 1st March 2001.

2. Australian Animal Health Information Services. www.aahc.com.au 5th March
2001 update.

3. The Times, ibid.

4. Office International des Epizooties

5. A more detailed account of the problems with ELISA testing can be found
at www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/cjtestfp.htm and also at


6. Ms Woods is soon to release her own report on FMD where the detailed
references will be published in full.

Contact Steve Ransom at steve1@onetel.net.uk 




In May 1996 I wrote an article "Mad Cows and Englishmen" which was
distributed widely at the time, and examined the sudden "Mad Cow" scare
which had hit the country, to hugely damaging effect.

It demonstrated that there was, and still is, no convincing evidence
whatsoever that BSE ("Mad Cow Disease") was linked to cattle feedstuffs
which had been partly derived from animal proteins, or that nvCJD in humans,
was in any way, linked to BSE.

It explained that BSE originated from the organo-phosphate chemicals which
had been used to treat warble fly in cattle - the same organo-phosphates
which are used in military nerve gas. NvCJD in humans was unrelated to
consumption of beef, and in many cases was directly related to human contact
with organo-phosphates.

The behaviour of the Government was an over-reaction based on a faulty
diagnosis. Millions of perfectly healthy animals were slaughtered and many
people lost their livelihoods. The present Foot and Mouth crisis has all the
hallmarks of another government over-reaction, which threatens the
livelihoods of thousands of people.

However, we can't blame farmers for taking whatever precautions they deem
necessary. Many farmers have worked all their lives to build herds - often
pedigree - of which they can be proud. The knowledge that an outbreak of FMD
on their farm would allow the State to move in and kill everything they own
and care for, is a horrifying thought. Many would be distraught.

So long as mass slaughter is government policy, then we need to be
sympathetic and understanding towards their plight.


In the short term, the government should admit there is no reason to panic.
It should continue to work to contain the outbreak locally and it should
scale down the essentially unnecessary slaughter policy, which threatens the
livelihoods of thousands, and gives the false impression that the disease is
something worse than it really is.

In the long-term, it will be necessary to move towards a locally and
nationally based agricultural industry rather than an industry which is
dependent on export markets, and entirely at the mercy of the ups and downs
of the global marketplace.

In this regard, an excellent new book Localization - A Global Manifesto by
Colin Hines (London: Earthscan, 2000) posits the common sensical policy of
"maximum self-reliance rather than today's fetishism of international
competitiveness" (Colin Hines, "The New Protectionism", The Ecologist, March
2001, pp. 44-45).

It argues that everything that can be produced within a nation or region,
should be. Long distance trade is then used properly for exchanging that
which cannot be produced nationally or regionally. "Beggar your neighbour"
trade is replaced by "better your neighbour" trade. "Protect the local,
globally" is the rallying cry.

Such a policy will rebuild the rural economy, free it from dependence on the
export trade and provide the long-term markets at home which will enable the
industry to weather its occasional crisis.

The same arguments are also used by Michael Rowbotham in the ground-breaking
work, The Grip of Death: A study of modern money, debt slavery and
destructive economics (Oxford: Jon Carpenter Pub., 1998).


Farming in crisis

The crisis in British agriculture, highlighted by the food and mouth
epidemic, is not a natural phenomenon.  Nor is it entirely due to our
participation in the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Other member
states, which also take part in the CAP, have not suffered as badly.

Research by UK Independence Party research director Dr Richard North has
shown that the scale and extent of the crisis is due to lack of support of
the agricultural sector, over-generous funding to competitive industries and
a deliberate policy of successive governments of under-claiming EU funds.  

The under-claiming is a result of the 1984 Fontainbleau agreement on the
rebate for Britain's EU contributions, where CAP funds above a minimum level
are clawed back from the UK's budgetary rebate.

To restore the competitiveness of the British agricultural sector would need
an additional annual payment of £3.5 billion - more than the subsidies
already paid - even without the current Foot and Mouth Disease crisis.

However, not only has the government no intention of increasing farm
payments, due to restrictive rules on state aid and the fall-out from swine
fever and BSE on the continent, there is no prospect of any additional money
even to compensate farmers for FMD losses.   

Mr Blair claims farming in Britain has a long term future but the reality is
that - without additional money - the future may belong only to foreign
farming, while while those British farmers who are not on the dole will be
park-keepers paid by the government to keep the weeds down on their otherwise
empty farms.

"By not coming clean - and admitting that there is no money in the kitty -
the Blair government is cynically exploiting this crisis", says North.

Dr Richard North's full report is available on the UK Independence Party's
web site at www.ukip.org


Slaughter of the innocuous
 the Times - 2 - Viewpoint - page 5.  What IS going on?

Foot-and-mouth is as serious to animals as a bad cold is to human
beings. So why the concern?
Foot-and-mouth has gained a grip on this nation - and fear of the
disease seems as powerful as the disease itself. We recognise foot-and-
mouth not by its symptoms, but by what we do to control it: the
restrictions on movement, the slaughter of animals, the burning of
From the panic and the headlines you would imagine that this is a most
dreadful disease. Yet foot-and-mouth very rarely kills the animals that
catch it. They almost always recover, and in a couple of weeks at that.
It almost never gets passed on to humans and when it does it is a mild
infection only. The meat from animals that have had it is fit to eat. In
clinical terms, foot-and-mouth is about as serious, to animals or to
people, as a bad cold.

Why, then, the concern? And why the policy of wholesale slaughter? The
concern, of course, is economic. This is a financial issue, not an
animal welfare issue, nor a human health one. No one abroad will take
our meat if it might be infected with foot-and-mouth. And that worldwide
exclusion zone stems from British policies of the past. It was we who,
in the late 19th century, decided that foot-and-mouth should not be
lived with, but should be eliminated, shut out through the cordon
sanitaire; it was we, in the 1950s, who encouraged first the Continent,
then the rest of the world, into following suit. Now it is we who must
live with the results of that policy.

Foot-and-mouth disease does reduce the productivity of an animal: its
milk yield, its rate of putting on of flesh. There are no figures for
how much it reduces these things; part of the reason for that is that no
one since the 1920s in Britain has seen the disease take its full
course. Any animal infected with it has been immediately slaughtered
That reduction in productivity, that fear of small economic loss, is
what lies behind the elimination policy - and the huge economic costs
that are now being incurred.

It need not have been like that. The animal control policy was the
result of economics rather than biology. Under conditions of world trade
now it is a decision almost impossible to reverse.

Foot-and-mouth first appeared in Britain in 1839 from the import of live
infected animals and later from ships, from dockyards, from Argentinian
meat and skins, even from foreign hay. For much of the 19th century it
was endemic in the UK - and it did not destroy farming. Farmers lived
with it, as they live with bad weather, poor harvests and other
afflictions of their livelihood.

It was owners of pedigree herds, rather than common-or-garden milk or
meat producers, who from 1869 prompted efforts to eradicate it. It was
achieved by isolation, by movement restrictions, by temporary closures
of markets and by prohibition of live imports - but not by slaughtering.
By 1900, Britain was disease-free - but was subject to waves of re-
introductions of foot-and-mouth from the Continent and from South
American meat. Outbreaks, and now slaughters as well as isolations, were
frequent; but familiarity made them more of an irritant than the terror
we have today.

A policy of living with foot-and-mouth almost became an option again in
the 1920s. A bad outbreak in Cheshire was on the verge of running out of
control.Ministry teams were so far behind in their slaughtering that on
many farms the cows had recovered from the disease before the
slaughterers arrived. And farmers looked at their now-normal cows in
bewilderment and asked: "Was that it? Was that rather trivial illness
what all the fuss was about?" Not surprisingly, they began to question
the need for slaughter.

Even the Ministry of Agriculture, now wedded to the policy of slaughter,
was pressured into taking heed of farmers' views, and even asked them
which policy they would prefer, elimination or toleration. It even went
to a vote. But by that time burnings had got on top of the disease, and
the vote, though close, was to continue measures of eradication.

This was the last time that people saw the full course of the illness.
Memories of what a slight disease it was began to fade. The biggest
outbreak in our history, in 1967-68, is the one that lingers in present
memories, and memory of those days fuels the grim processes we now see.

A policy of living with foot-and-mouth might have worked in the 1920s,
and had we adopted it we would not be witness to the present scenes. But
in those days productivity was not the be-all and end-all that it is
now. So many diseases were around that a farmer was happy if his animals
survived to give milk and meat at all. The rate at which they gave milk
and meat was much less important.

Today, agri-business is a term that everyone knows, and productivity is
everything. A slower growth-rate, a lesser yield, is intolerable. And
with markets being global or nothing at all, a Britain with foot-and-
mouth would find its meat unexportable and its farmers bankrupted.

It is now too late to consider the option of tolerating the disease. So
the cows are slaughtered. Our past policy has forced us to this pass.
That policy evolved in a very different farming world from today;
historical precedent has informed our current position, but, ironically,
today's realities make that position far more justified than ever it was
when it began.

The author is a vet and researcher into the history of foot-and-mouth
for the Wellcome Trust at the University of Manchester.


Foot and Mouth

There is little or no doubt that EU policy has exacerbated this outbreak.

The closure of virtually every local abattoire in Britain has led to
livestock being hauled LIVE and thus potentially contagous huge distances
for slaughter.
eg.    Pigs from Scotland & Northumberland TO *Portugal* for re-import to
Britain in freezer vans for sale in British super markets - labeled 'Produce
of Portugal'
Chickens sent live to France slaughtered together with Thai chickens and
re-imported to Britain labeled 'Produce of France'.

I understand that EU products produced to the same standards [that will be
the day] as British goods can also bear the 'Red Tractor' British produce

The dictatorship in the EU seems quite clearly to be saying 'YOU will eat
what WE give you and we will label it to suit US not you.' Further they seem
to be saying 'Britain WILL obey ALL the rules but the rest of the EU can
comply with those that suit them.'

Tiny Blur has the perfect 'out' because the British Parliament couldn't pass
wind without permission of the EU, let alone Law pertaining to farming.

This may seem an over statement but stop and think - ALL law can be tested
in the Courts and the final appeal is the EU Court ipso facto ALL law MUST
comply to the EU's diktat.

Parliament at Westminster is thus a very expensive RUBBER STAMP - your MP is
a total irrelevance, just voting fodder for the lobbies so that the EU can
*pretend* you live in a democratic country.

ALL Law is thus made by an un-elected dictator committee in Brussels which
has proved beyond doubt to be corrupt, fraudulent, incompetent and anti

Whilst British Politicians have their Foot in Their Mouth and the BBC
peddles propaganda supporting the dictatorship Britain is being destroyed.



Compensation - to leave the Business

James Black, of the National Pig Association, said he was concerned that pig farmers were missing out on compensation being offered to beef, dairy  and sheep farmers.

"We need to be treated as fairly as other sectors," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The Government was bringing in the agro-monetary compensation to help the other sectors, Mr Black said, but he added: "As far as the pig industry is concerned we are concerned that some of the money that has been announced may be just a reallocation of something we have previously had allocated to us."

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown said Mr Black had a "good point" and was absolutely correct. Under EU rules pig farmers could not receive the agro-monetary compensation and the Government was very limited in the help it could give, he said.

"What I am trying to do is find some other means that would be legal - that would conform to the state aid rules - and be of practical assistance to pig farmers," Mr Brown said.

To do that money that would have been spent in two years time helping pig farmers to leave the industry under a restructuring scheme would be spent now on aiding those who felt they had had enough, he said. "This is the best I can do in short order to try and find something that will help pig farmers as well because James Black is on to a perfectly fair point," he said.

The Agriculture Minister again resisted calls to compensate abattoirs, haulage companies and other businesses hit by the ban on moving livestock.

"The Government is spending a great deal of money, not only on controlling the disease but also on compensating those directly effected," he said. "Frankly I am not able to say today how much money the Government is going to end up spending because of these two substantial costs."


Farming - Question

Exactly how this situation has come about - and who is responsible for it - is difficult to identify


Is it? There are only two element's to this, who gains, who loses.

Who loses? Everyone in one way or another, except a few who gain a lot. 

If one takes the lowest common denominator approach i.e. who gains?

Well it's not the farmers.

Government? the fact they are 'short-sighted' is not new, but do they gain? short answer is I can't see how.

Is it 'big business'?

  • they gain, one only has to look at the growth of supermarkets to see this,
  • but how did 'big business' get that way?
  • and is it to easy an answer?

The next question is funding,

  • who pay's for the 'grant's',
  • who paid for the 'start-up' of 'big business'?
The answer to the first is the public, but any movement of money involve banks, the second is banks.

The fact that the farming problems effect the Western World more than Third World (so far) would, or should, indicate that the ones who control the money are engineering a situation that generates more money (for them) through loans etc:

  • A: to promote world trade which has more companies involved in any transaction.
  • B: farming debt is at record levels.

The promotion of mechanisation in agriculture has been a double-edged sword, it has improved 'efficiency' (although that word needs quantifying), but it has removed the political power of the farmers who were once the source of political candidates and decision-makers, they are at best on par at 2% with an ethnic-minority, and with less 'shout-ability' until something goes wrong, and when it does the effect/attitude of the thousands that were laid-off for monitory gain has an effect (well you don't expect sympathy for seeing farmers put in the same situation that they suffered).

The lowest common denominator is the banks.

Yet is this too easy an answer?

  • Who has the ability to steer the direction of banks?
  • Who has the ability to steer governments through manipulation of the money markets?
  • Who has that amount of power?
  • Have some conglomerates grown to the extent that they can manipulate the manipulators, or are the manipulators still in control?

One thing I'm sure of is that analysing who gets what out of the EU etc is a futile exercise, the 'causation' is much bigger than the EU, one has to track down who gains from it.

Second thing is the truth in "Give me control of a countries money, and I care not who makes the laws", get to grips with that one, and you'll find the answers to a lot more questions.

Third thing, in an institutionalised situation, the people involved are not aware of over-riding parameters of their existence, you need to think about that one.

Bernard Clayson


Letter to Blair 

Prime Minister
10, Downing Street
London, SW1
Dear Mr Blair,
European Union Likely To Ban ALL British Exports Of Meat For At Least Six Months: 
If the French government is still taking illegal action by not allowing British beef to be sold in France, the Labour Government must have the courage to tell the farmers that the EU is unlikely to accept any  British meat because of foot and mouth disease  for six months and it may even be a much longer period or never again in the case of France. When Greece had a recent outbreak the ban was not lifted by the European Commission until 6 months after animals on the last affected farm had been slaughtered.
The British government have to be honest with farmers and the  British people who support farmers. 
Has The Government Considered An Alternative Policy To Slaughting And Incinerating Cattle and Pigs
Has the Government considered any alternative advice from specialist scientist investigating foot and mouth disease.The article in The Times supplement 1st March by Scientist Abigail Wood (Copy attached for information) who is a vet and researcher into the history of foot and mouth disease states that foot and mouth disease rarely kills the animals that catch it. That foot and mouth is as serious to animals as a bad cold is to human beings and animals almost all recover in 2 weeks.During a bad outbreak in Cheshire in the 1920s many cows had recovered from the disease before the slaughterers arrived at farms.
I have no farming experience but I am very concerned about panic and the headlines in the newspapers - it seems that the government actions may not be aimed at animal welfare nor concerns with human health issues but are politically and financial led actions taken to satisfy the European Union. If foot and mouth is not dangerous to humans and the meat from animals that have it is fit to eat why is the Government simply not isolating farms for two weeks or other veterinary scientists approved time period instead of slaughtering so many animals. Can you please urgently review the Government policy on burning livestock as the only way of controlling the foot and mouth outbreak.
Following the quarantine of farms,with substantial penalties for transgressors, it would seem appropriate to carry out sample tests on farm animals from non-infected areas/farms. If the tests were negative the animals could be sent to the nearest abattoir. The British people would continue to eat British meat - we could freeze excess meat for home use to cover the next six month period of the EU ban. Hopefully all animals and all farms will have recovered naturally at the end this period and all farms pronounced clear of infection. Such
a policy would have substantial saving in cost to the environment and to taxpayers.
Review of Policy And Legislation Covering The Transport Of Live Farm Animals
I would respectfully request that the government also urgently review its animal welfare policies - from articles in the newspapers we must have a conscious about transporting live animals abroad and around our own country - can we urgently set into motion legislation requiring farm animals to be slaughtered at the nearest abattoir.
Urgent action needs to be taken to re-open the 50% (1,000) closed abattoirs and provide government grants if necessary for veterinary costs or other EU requirements which forced them to close.
There will be a high cost to taxpayers for such humane treatment of animals but I am sure the British people will be prepared to pay a higher price for meat to establish a better life for farm animals. The large number of abattoirs forced to close ,  as confirmed by veterinary reports and newspapers reports, has been the major contributory factors in the cause of foot and mouth outbreak. The Government must  tell the EU we intend to have such a policy in the name of decent animal welfare so that Britain can lead the way in being the first country to be seen to treat animals humanely. There is also a need to consider new urgent  legislation which prevents the export of live animals and only allow meat traders to deal in the export of dead/frozen meat in Britain and to other countries.
Newspapers have highlighted  the high level of stress caused to farm animals through being transported. Farm animals have a pretty raw deal and a very short life and they should therefore live in decent farm conditions and not sufferer through being transported unnecessary long distances because of orders for live animals from foreign abattoirs.  Britain is the first country to bring in legislation giving pigs a better farm life  and other farm animals deserve an equally high or better welfare standards.The Government has the right to make such an important decision on behalf of the British people.
 Common Agriculture Policy - European Union
British meat exports will be banned by the EU without regard to measures or action taken by Britain to control the food and mouth outbreak. It is therefore time for the Government to reassure the public that they care about British farmers who deserve more public support for doing a difficult and dangerous job. The EU Common Agriculture Policy sucks up 15 Billion Pound which is 50% of the total EU Budget.
The Labour Government must support farmers by insisting on an urgent meeting with EU CAP representatives in order to set out the costs incurred to by the British Government in carrying out control measures to prevent the spread of this infection.  Britain should accept nothing less that the full reimbursed in total costs incurred todate, from the Common Agriculture Policy budgets.
It would appear that other European Nations are too scared to put forward CAP issues on the EU agenda for discussion, fearing the reaction by France and the French farmers. It is time for the British Government to lead discussions to protect British farming interests on the fairness of current CAP  budget where there are outstanding investigations relating to unfair distribution of the budget allocation and claims that cases of fraud, totalling 4 Billion pounds per year,are not being properly investigated.
The European Union  Have Already Closed 50% of British Farms - Will the Foot and Mouth Disease Provide The EU With An Excuse not to Buy British Meat To Hasten The Closure Of  The Remain 50% of British Farms.
Any new Brussels ban or extended ban on British meat exports will devastate farming in this country and it reinforce the impression to the British public that  EU countries are intending to implement an action plan to take advantage of the current situation with a ultimate goal of permanently closing down the remaining farms in Britain over the next 5 years. It is therefore time for Britain to say NO ! Britain needs and expects positive financial help from the  EU contingency arrangements for dealing with natural disasters which can be easily met by rescheduling the CAP budgets. It is Britain's turn to get some financial help before France and Germany.
Britain Should Not Have to Seek European Union Approval 
It is pathetic that Gordon Brown who holds the purse strings for the 4 largest economy in the world has to go to the EU with his begging cap in hand to ask for  200 million of British Tax Payers Money back from Brussels to pay for just 20% of costs incurred for foot and mouth control measures . The British people are a proud and honourable nation and we have helped all countries in the world who have suffered natural disasters. Mr Gordon Brown just please tell the EU that we are just going to stop paying our EU membership fee for 5 days and we could have saved 200 million pounds (calculated on the basis that membership costs 1.8 million pounds per hour). If our Government believe a course of action or levels of compensation are right for the British farmers we should not be forced to ask the permission of the EU to redirect our EU payments to the farmers. 
Any financial savings achieved by the Government in implementing intensive EU farming practices over the past 10 years will now have devoured by other governmental budgets costs in dealing with the foot and mouth compensation issues and associated costs.It is time for a new strategy, we must stop and consider our conscious very carefully and say No where Britain is being forced to put profit before animal welfare.
The Labour Government Must Quickly Provide Proper Compensation To Farmers
Mr Blair the British people are getting very angry and we are saying enough is enough - we have been forced to close 50% of our farms because of CAP. Mr.Blair, we would ask you to bring pressure to bear on EU representatives so that we can reopen these farms through government grants in order that we can have an opportunity to move away from intensive farming practices forced onto British farmers by the EU. The proper welfare to animals on all farms will enable Britain to return to a situation where animal feed is grown in this country and the whole farming process would become British based instead of internationally based.
The unsatisfactory policy of EU to produce cheaper and cheaper food by using foreign imports of animal feed appears to have been a major contributory factor to the problems we are now facing to control foot and mouth disease.
 The British people will hold the Labour Government responsible for any additional farms that have to permanently close because of the foot and mouth outbreak. We want proper and quick compensation payments and help for farmers who have had to endure endless problems over recent year because of no fault of there own. We want all farm animals to be treated properly and we want ,for example, chickens to be able to walk and not be so frail that they cannot currently hold up their own body weight because of battery farming.
 Mr Blair, the protection of Britain's countryside and the welfare of animals is more important than money and profit, more important than keeping the EU and Brussels happy - we do not want Britain to deal in live animals anymore or export live animals.We need government support to reopen the abattoirs closed by EU red tape and interference.
French Government Gives 300 Million Pounds To French Farmers
France failed persuade its European Union partners to do more to prop up French cattle farmers.France therefore on the 1st March decided to go its own way and gave its farmers 150 million pound aid package because of lower meat sales, reports the International Herald Tribune. The decision by France was welcomed by French farmers union officials.
France has already gain large financial advantages by illegal action and not allowing British beef imports. France has also taken the largest tonnage of  fish from the British North Sea which Britain is now excluded from fishing..
Surely, if France can give its farmers 150 million pounds there should be no reason why the British government should not give British farmers 150 million pounds. Mr Blair, when can the first payments be paid please so that British farmers are playing on a level playing field with French farmers.
Urgent Action by the Cabinet
Will the Labour Government please
(a) urgently review the Governments current slaughtering and incineration policy having regard to the information contained in the article by foot and mouth scientist including Abigail Wood.
(b) urgently review the welfare legislation for farm animals and put forward legislation to grant aid the re-opening of 1,000 closed abattoirs with government grants if necessary.
(d) that the government urgently open discussions under the Common Agriculture Policy and accept nothing less than the full reimbursement of all British cost in dealing with the food and mouth infection under CAP contingency provisions covering natural disasters. To re-open general discussion to review CAP policies in order to provide more substantive direct assistance to British farmers through subsidies and grants.  
(c) urgently introduce legislation to  prevent the long transport of animals and the export of live animals ordered by foreign abattoirs
(d) reassure the British people that the Government will ensure that compensation will be paid quickly to existing farmers affected by foot and mouth control to ensure no more British farms permanently close. Also reassure the British public that France and Germany will not take advantage of this natural disaster by introducing an illegal ban or undermine British meat exports so that they can implement a 5 year action plan to permanently close all British farms.
(e)France on the 1st March 2001 gave their French farmers 150 Million pounds without the need for EC approval.There would therefore appear to be no reason why the British Government should not make similar or higher payments to British farmers.
Mr Blaire, the British people respect brave, honest and radical politicians who will fight for Britain - please do not let our farmers or the British people down.
I have circulated a copy of this letter to my friends who are equally concerned about animal welfare and no doubt they will also be writing to you.
Yours sincerely


FMD Chaos - The truth behind the mess

Christopher Gill, MP for Ludlow, and with a farming business which
includes a slaughterhouse and meat packing, has just told me that the
reason the government in general and Nick Brown in particular is making
such a mess of managing the foot-and-mouth crisis is simply this:

Every time the minister wants to do anything, or wants to know what he
should do, he has to get on the phone to Brussels and ask them.

Since the continentals want nothing better than to open up the UK to
their meat exports, they are pushing him down the road towards mass
slaughter and restrictions on movements of animals even for humane
reasons like lambing.

Whatever decisions help the EU to exploit this crisis for their own
meat exports later, they are the decisions that are being taken.

And all this comes on top of the EU policies which have shut hundreds of
small slaughterhouses in recent years and made the spread of the disease
infinitely worse than it might have been, and also ban the sensible
policy used in the 60s of deep and immediate burial of carcases.  (The
virus can only survive for a couple of weeks or so outside a host

Instead, rotting carcases, and the wind picking up the virus before and
at the start of the burning process, have all been adding to our
problems from the start.

Christopher Gill is the only Tory MP ever to say publicly that the UK
should withdraw from the EU.  He has been bitterly complaining to the
minister about this state of affairs for days, now, and has got
precisely nowhere with him.

Ashley Mote


Christopher Booker's notebook.
"black sheep economy"

Sunday Telegraph  March 16th. 2001

Last week as it became clear that the Government has completely lost the
plot over the foot-and-mouth (FMD) catastrophe, the hidden story emerged as
to just why the disease spread with such unprecedented speed all over the
country,  and why the Government is risking mass-revolt by farmers against
its plan to kill up to 1 million healthy animals.

The key to why the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food thinks it
has no alternative but to lash out blindly with this vast and seemingly
irrational cull lies in a "black sheep economy" created by the peculiar
rules of the European Union's sheep subsidy system. To conform with a
deadline under these rules, hundreds of small consignments of  sheep were a
month ago being secretly dropped by dealers around the country to enable a
minority of farmers to make up the numbers for which they had claimed EU
quota. Because these movements were not recorded, when it turned out that
many of these sheep bought in Cumbria were infected MAFF could not track
them down. This is why in panic last week MAFF was contemplating a
mass-cull of up to 500,000 sheep, because officials thought this was the
only way of killing all the "black sheep" which had disappeared off the
radar. The story of this epidemic has unfolded through four stages. Step
one was the original infection of elderly sows in Northumbria, almost
certainly through imported meat. Under EU rules, meat can be legally
imported from many countries with FMD. One possibility is that the meat
came from the nearby Albermarle army barracks, forced to use cheap foreign
meat under EU public procurement rules. Step two, the first spread of the
infection, was the movement of pigs from Northumbria to Cheale's abattoir
in Essex, because all nearer abattoirs specialising in cull sows have been
shut down by the mass-closure of abattoirs under MAFF's over-zealous
interpretation of EU hygiene rules. Step three came when the infection was
passed to sheep being sold at Longtown market near Carlisle in Cumbria,
where large numbers were bought by a small group of big dealers who then
distributed them all over the country. Much of this trade in last year's
lambs or "hoggetts" is legitimate, because this is the time of year when
many are sold on for fattening before Easter, when new lambs normally come
on the market. But step four, the real spanner in the works, came with the
additional trade in "black sheep", the unofficial or "out of ring" buying
of ewes needed to top up holdings already claimed for under the EU's "ewe
premium" quota scheme. Because this year quota has been ludicrously cheap,
partly because MAFF over-estimated last year's British sheep census by 1
million, a small minority of dealers and farmers have been buying up quota
by the sackload, without having the sheep to justify it. There are of
course draconian penalties for claiming subsidies on sheep which don't
exist, and the deadline for this was February 4, the start of the so-called
"retention period",  after which MAFF inspectors may arrive to check
whether numbers match the quota claimed and paid for. This was why after
that date there was a rush to make deliveries of ewes all over the country,
to match up to the claimed quota, and by definition these movements were
not recorded. It is this which has given MAFF the impossible task of trying
to track down where all the deliveries were made, precisely because many of
the ewes have gone to farmers who will not admit they had to buy in
illicitly to meet the quota rules. This is why, in consultation with
Brussels,  they are now resorting to the unprecedented step of trying to
kill hundreds of thousands of uninfected animals in the desperate hope of
sweeping up all those "black sheep" which might be infected into the net.
If this was not such a catastrophe for the whole of British agriculture,
one might be tempted to re-write the old nursery rhyme, "Baa baa, black
sheep, we wonder where you are. You're bought to meet the quota rules, ha,
ha, ha". But it is more than just a disaster, it is an immense national
tragedy, which, by finally wiping out many of our remaining small livestock
farmers, may end up by changing the face of our countryside forever.
******************* The only one of 659 MPs who last week had the sense to
pull out from the House of Commons library the official report on the great
1967/8 foot-and-mouth outbreak was Owen Paterson, the member for North
Shropshire, the county which 33 years ago was the epidemic's epicentre. As
was confirmed in Friday's Daily Telegraph leader, based on his researches,
what a contrast that report provides to the shambles we are witnessing
today. The central recommendation of the 1969 report was that, to minimise
the spread of infection, animals should be shot as soon as signs of the
disease appear; then disposed of on the spot without delay, preferably by
burial in quicklime. Burning was particularly advised against as it
increases the risk of spreading the virus. The contrast to the current
chaos could not be more complete, where animals are often not killed for
several days until tests are completed,  and may then lie around for
several more days until they can be trucked through uninfected areas to
rendering plants in Cheshire or Devon. As Mr Paterson asks, "why are the
lessons of that 30-year old report being so recklessly ignored?" The reason
is that disposal of animal carcasses is now governed by a series of complex
waste disposal and groundwater rules originating from EU directives, which
make it much harder to bury corpses on the spot and in many cases
necessitate carrying them miles for disposal. Our agriculture ministers
Nick Brown and Elliott Morley, their hands tied by the new
legislation,  simply deny that this creates any risk of spreading
infection. If they study that meticulous1969 report they will see just what
a dreadful gamble they are having to take.


Legal challenge.


Leading entrepreneurs to back High Court challenge by Cumbrian farmers to
mass slaughter policy

Peter and Juliet Kindersley, the publishing entrepreneurs who were behind
Dorling Kindersley books, have announced their intention to launch a
judicial review of the Government's proposed policy of slaughtering
apparently healthy livestock in the restricted areas affected by the foot
and mouth outbreak.

Together with his wife, Mr Kindersley, now a commercial organic farmer in
Berkshire is providing legal and financial backing to an action by Cumbrian
farmers, whose healthy flocks face extinction.

He has pulled together a legal case, through solicitors Burges Salmon, and a
technical one, through the respected Elm Farm Research centre, a progressive
farming trust.

An application for judicial review is set for submission to the High Court
in London this week, and in view of the urgency of the situation, Burges
Salmon will be seeking an expedited hearing for the case.

Commenting on the forthcoming legal action, Peter Kindersley said:

'Given the strength of the case for the alternatives to the mass slaughter
of healthy livestock, such as vaccination, I simply couldn't stand idly by.

'Slaughter does have a place if it can outpace the spread of a disease. But
there are no prizes for coming second in a race against an epidemic. I'm
afraid the evidence is that this is now what is happening.

'In such circumstances, there are mainstream veterinary, economic and
historical reasons why the cull is wrong.

'The judicial review will test the rational basis upon which Ministers have
arrived at this course of action.

'If the court agrees with our arguments, we will be asking it to call a halt
to the slaughter of healthy animals and to refer the matter back to
Ministers for urgent reconsideration.'

One of the farmers involved in the case, Tom Lowther, who farms at Askham in
Cumbria, said:

'My farm faces destruction because Ministers appear unwilling to consider
the alternatives to an outmoded and disproportionate response to this

'Mass culling of healthy animals was developed in the 19th century in
response to a wider and more serious range of animal diseases, like cattle

'If it cannot match the spread of the infection, then has no place in the
age of modern vaccine science, where disease and inoculation induced
anti-bodies can now be distinguished.

'Export rules could soon be changed so that the use of vaccines will no
longer militate against our ability to trade livestock overseas.

'And, even with an export ban, the costs of the cull will outweigh those of
vaccination by many millions of pounds.'

For further information:

Media officer, Josephine Spiller
07977 102 981 or 020 7905 2459

Other useful numbers:

Lawrence Woodward, Director, Elm Farm Research Centre
01488 658298

William Neville, Partner, Burges Salmon
0117 939 2000

Tom Lowther, Askham
01931 712577 or 0860 728077

About the Kindersleys:

Peter and Juliet Kindersley founded the Dorling Kindersley publishing house
in the 1970s. Dorling Kindersley was sold to Penguin Books in 2000 for many
millions of pounds. They are commercial organic farmers in Berkshire. They
own over 2,000 acres with beef, sheep, poultry and cereals as well as a few
pigs. Details about the business can be found on their web site at
www.sheepdrove.com. A copy of the briefing document 'Why we must vaccinate'
can be found at this address.

About Elm Farm Research Centre:

Elm Farm Research Centre is a respected progressive farming trust with a
distinguished international council of management. Details about the centre'
s activities can be found at www.efrc.com.

About Burges Salmon:

Burges Salmon is one of the UK's leading commercial law firms, providing a
comprehensive service for business and private individuals in the UK and
overseas. With some 500 partners, the firm is widely recognised in a range
of areas, including agriculture and farming, company and commercial,
litigation, property and tax and trusts. Details of its practice can be
found at www.burges-salmon.com.

Articles   Section Index   Top

Foot and Mouth Disease:

An evaluation of the current control policy from a historical perspective
By Abigail Woods MA MSc VetMB MRCVS
PhD student in the History of FMD in 20th Century Britain
Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine,
Manchester University.


History is commonly used as a resource by MAFF to justify the policy of FMD
control by slaughter. The adherence to the same policy for 100 years and its
supposed ongiong efficacy provide considerable authority for its continual
application, despite the fact that the disease appears increasingly out of

If the time has arrived to examine whether slaughter should continue, then
these historical certainties also require questioning. The past not only
offers guidance where similar situations appear in the present, but also
reveals profound differences which suggest that direct parallels cannot
always be drawn between past and present.

Two years' research using original documents have contributed to the
following comments:

Slaughter has never been the obvious response to FMD. Far from being
demanded by the facts of the disease, complex ongoing negotiations were
necessary in order to introduce and maintain government control over FMD.
The rationale behind this decision was largely tied to the economic,
commercial and agricultural conditions of the 19th century. It cannot
therefore be simply assumed that this past decision still holds, as at the
very least its rationale must have changed to keep pace with the changing
understanding of FMD and alterations in agriculture and world trade

The fact that slaughter has always eliminated FMD has contributed to the
authority of the policy. In fact, in several situations this stamping out
has taken months if not years, with profound personal and economic costs
which are not generally publicised. On such occasions, criticisms of
slaughter have arisen, many of which are equally relevant today. Here I
examine how from past evidence, this present outbreak was always likely to
reach this scale and that therefore the many problems generated by slaughter
in the past are likely to be re-experienced. I also explain who has voiced
these criticisms and why. This data forms a strong argument for
reconsidering the proposed intensification of slaughter.

The authority of slaughter is such that MAFF firmly believes that there is
no other way to manage FMD, especially given the technical and
administrative problems with vaccines. Here I examine why MAFF is mistaken
in this certainty which is largely grounded in past successes, and explore
deeper reasons why vaccination is not favoured.

1) Slaughter has never been the obvious response to FMD.

state control of FMD
FMD first appeared in 1839 yet despite initial reaction was largely ignored
for the next 30 years. The disease was common, extremely mild in relation to
other prevalent diseases and provoked few efforts at control. FMD was an
accepted and indeed expected occupational hazard.
FMD control by the state occurred almost as an afterthought. Attention was
primarily directed to preventing importation and spread of highly fatal
livestock ailments such as cattle plague. FMD control by movement
restrictions was merely tagged on to legislation aimed at controlling these
much more serious diseases.
Many veterinarians, farmers and MPs rejected the need to control FMD, upon
the basis that firstly the disease was not severe enough and that losses due
to legislative 'cure' would outweigh those inflicted by the disease itself.
Secondly they doubted if it were possible, stating that FMD could spread by
wildlife and people, which could not be controlled as easily as infected
Influential breeders, often MPs and Royal Agricultural Society
representatives, led the lobby for FMD elimination. They suffered most
economic losses due to the disease - their valuable young livestock suffered
higher than average mortality and occasional abortions and mastitis also
inflicted losses.
Quantification of FMD losses was as important resource in the drive for FMD
elimination. Various farming witnesses to Parliamentary Commissions put
forward their empirical estimates of financial losses caused by the disease.
These were expressed in terms of extra feed consumed, reduction in milk
production or extra time required to make market weight. In 1871 the disease
was made notifiable, and by multiplying disease incidence by these estimates
if became possible to express FMD losses on a national scale for the first
time. These contributed to the desire to eliminate the disease because it
seemed obvious that FMD affected the meat supply, and meat consumption by
the working classes was believed necessary to increase their working
efficiency. This stimulated urban, capitalist demands for FMD control.
Successful efforts to intensify FMD controls were unsuccessful. This meant
that many farmers experienced movement and marketing restrictions which
therefore became inseparably linked with FMD. Because of these measures,
farmers began to dread FMD and demand its elimination. By the 1880s
therefore, the battle over whether FMD should be subject to state-led
elimination was won. The framework for today's FMD controls were in place;
imports of livestock from FMD infected countries were prohibited (most
European nations sending livestock to Britain had FMD); disease spread was
halted by isolation of infected and contact animals; markets and movement
restrictions were imposed within large infected areas. Whether these
measures worked or the disease disappeared on its own is unknown, but
Britain was remarkably free of FMD from 1884-1900.


Therefore the original desire to eliminate FMD was driven by the following

State controls of other contagious diseases were necessary and therefore the
framework for FMD regulation existed.
Breeders perceiving FMD as a disease inflicting severe economic losses upon
their valuable stock. Breeders had the political power to impress these
notions upon others.
Capitalist fear that reduction in the meat supply by FMD would spark civil
unrest and reduce workers' productivity levels
Most other farmers perceiving FMD as a disease inflicting severe
restrictions upon the marketing and movement of stock.
It is obvious therefore that the decision to control FMD occurred within a
society very different to the present, especially in terms of where the
political power lay and in the beliefs about the value of meat consumption.

b) State slaughter for FMD

Official histories state that slaughter was 1st introduced in 1884. This
required qualification; while an act was passed in 1884 enabling local
authorities to apply slaughter if they wished, this was only used once in
the next 20 years.
Slaughter was actually introduced 'by the back door' at a time when disease
incidence was low, using the rationale that this would most rapidly
eliminate disease before it had chance to spread. The imposition of British
import controls in the 1880s encouraged many other FMD free nations such as
the US and Australia to follow suit. This affected the British export trade,
which solely consisted of British pedigree cattle owned by the same set of
influential breeders. This small trade was nonetheless extremely valuable
and therefore the drive to keep the country clear of FMD was repeatedly
asserted by these breeders. However, when disease struck these pedigree
herds were exempted of slaughter, with the Ministry stating that they were
too valuable to the nation to merit destruction. An ulterior motive was the
fact that the cost of compensation was such that slaughter could only have
stimulated opposition to the policy
The Ministry persuaded the majority of farmers who were not involved in the
export trade that slaughter was vital by portraying FMD as a disease which
would inflict severe economic losses were it allowed to run. This fact was
repeated every time FMD appeared. The 19th century estimates of losses
inflicted by FMD were used as evidence, as were high loss estimates from the
continent, where FMD was endemic. These figures were contrasted to low
average annual costs to MAFF of disease elimination by slaughter. However,
such statistics are extremely questionable: the method of loss estimation on
the continent was never described. In addition, costs to MAFF do not portray
the often substantial consequential losses inflicted by FMD upon the farmer
and meat trader. The 19thC estimates were themselves extremely empirical and
no controlled experiments have been undertaken to properly quantify the
reduction in productivity of an FMD recovered animal.
The original rationale for discriminate slaughter during the period
1900-1920 was supposedly to rapidly eliminate new invasions of FMD, and this
was largely successful; outbreaks were contained quickly and costs kept low.
However, in 1922 (as in the present case), disease spread through an
infected market yet was not notified for several days, by which time it was
already widespread. This was an entirely new context for the application of
slaughter and certainly not one which the original framers of the slaughter
policy had foreseen or intended.


This evidence undermines the authority of the state policy for control of
FMD by slaughter. This was not the 'obvious' response to this disease.
Slaughter of FMD was introduced almost by default in order to rapidly
eliminate new outbreaks, and again by default was extended to the control of
already-raging epidemics. Pressure for the continuation of this policy was
not driven by far-sighted, intelligent men but by an influential group who
manipulated their political power in order to preserve their personal
economic interests.

It is important to realise that animal welfare arguments were never part of
the discussions upon FMD control. This was always purely and simply an
economic issue. However, given the draconian methods of control and the fact
that under slaughter, none were able to encounter the disease at first hand
it is unsurprising that the disease came to be viewed as a terrible event,
largely divorced from its biological effects. The present argument upon
welfare grounds was merely to make slaughter a 'politically acceptable' move
given the wider criticisms brewing against highly intensive, economically
efficient farming systems. It is now exposed as a fallacy given that many
sheep have supposedly suffered the disease without drawing notice to

However, arguments about the effect of FMD upon the export trade have become
more cogent over time, as since WWII and especially with recent trade
developments within the EU and under the WTO, exports of British meat
products have radically increased. As such, the majority of the farming
community now possesses the same interests originally held by the few
pedigree livestock breeders. Meanwhile, trade barriers erected against
nations infected by FMD have intensified. Therefore despite the still highly
questionable long-term economic effects of allowing FMD to become endemic,
this is simply not an option and in terms of international trade, the need
to eliminate FMD is greater than ever before.

If FMD elimination is required on economic grounds, then the veracity of the
current approach is based upon the fact that elimination of disease by
slaughter costs less than the long-term loss of the export market. If this
ceases to be the case, then the policy should be reviewed and alternatives
explored. It may be, for example, that the huge costs involved in the
intensified cull outweigh the costs of the longer export ban which would
result from vaccination.

2) The past 'success' of slaughter requires qualification

FMD outbreaks occurred repeatedly throughout the 20th century, with rarely a
disease free year until 1969. In many years there were very few outbreaks
and slaughter effectively and rapidly eliminated disease.
On other occasions however, control was not so efficient and while FMD was
eventually stamped out, many animals lost their lives and the costs were
huge, both in terms of MAF compensation, farmers' consequential losses and
the overall psychological impact of the slaughter policy. History reveals
that opposition to the slaughter policy was most marked in these years. The
1922-24, outbreak effectively lasted 2 years, despite a few weeks of disease
freedom in 1923. In 1951-52 disease elimination took almost a year, and the
1967-68 outbreak lasted 8 months. While slaughter can be said to have
'worked,' the Ministry generally overlooks the events of these years and
dismisses the criticisms that emerged as unfounded and ignorant. In 1924, a
severe revolt by Cheshire farmers meant that MAFF was forced to allow the
isolation of several herds rather than slaughter. In 1968, MAFF was on the
verge of vaccination given the rapid spread of disease. Only the down-turn
in notifications prevented this strategy going ahead. Slaughter has
therefore not always been as successful as MAFF claims.
The argument that slaughter is a totally inappropriate means of controlling
FMD has always been an extreme minority position. Certainly in the present
for the economic reasons stated above, few would dispute the fact that
slaughter is a vital first line of defence against FMD
A more valid criticism is that slaughter, whilst in theory effective and the
best means of controlling disease, is inappropriate to the control of
widespread FMD. This point deserves consideration in the present situation.
Arguments which have historic roots yet are applicable to the present
Ever since this policy was introduced, MAF recognised that the rapid
notification of disease was vital in order to effectively control disease
spread. This required farmers to have a high index of suspicion that
symptoms observed in their stock may be FMD, always a problem when FMD had
been absent for a long period and compounded by the fact that symptoms are
not always obvious. This fact stimulated intense efforts by the NFU and MAFF
to 'educate' farmers of FMD symptoms.

Historically, the failure to rapidly detect FMD has led to diseased animals
inadvertently infecting markets and transit vehicles, resulting in a sudden
'explosion' of FMD throughout the nation, presenting extreme tracing
difficulties. The frequent movement of livestock through markets by dealers
was recognised in 1922 as compounding this problem.

The logistical problems presented by rapid spread of disease are well
recognised. (Cheshire in 1924 and 1967.) Problems of manpower and supplies
can prevent the rapid follow-up, diagnosis, slaughter and destruction of
infected animals. These problems have been commonly cited by critics as
permitting the ongoing spread of FMD and have also been recognised by
government inquiries into FMD outbreaks (Pretyman Committee, 1924 and
Northumberland enquiry, 1969.) Animals are at their most infective while
incubating disease, therefore if symptoms are present in only a few animals,
their contacts are likely to manufacturing large quantities of virus and if
not slaughtered immediately pose a dangerous risk. Even once slaughtered,
virus can survive in parts of the carcass, in buildings and be carried by
wildlife. If disinfection and carcass disposal is not rapid and efficient,
this poses additional routes for disease spread. When resources are
extremely stretched, the Ministry appears at best able at best to keep up
with the disease and has extreme difficulty overtaking and halting its

When large-scale slaughter has occurred and yet disease is still spreading,
opposition has frequently been directed to the sheer scale of the
destruction. The Ministry tends to counteract this by stating that the
percentage of livestock killed in national terms is extremely low. This is
an attempt to disguise the fact that in certain regions, percentages are
huge - 33% of Cheshire cattle in 1923-24 and 1967-68. In these cases,
farmers argued that disease controls had failed, and that elimination only
occurred because there were no longer any livestock left to infect. In
addition, the psychological effects of large-scale slaughter become
widespread and while not quantifiable are extremely pervasive. Critics also
assert the immorality of slaughtering huge numbers of animals (especially
breeding stock not destined for the butcher in the near future) when
alternative disease controls are available (see below.)

The cost of compensating for large-scale slaughter is huge. The Ministry has
always attempted to overcome these criticisms by expressing compensation in
terms of annual averages over a number of years. It also repeatedly states
that the cost of slaughter is worthwhile given the economic losses inflicted
by the stoppage of British exports. A cost-benefit study undertaken as part
of the enquiry into the 1967-68 epidemic is repeatedly cited as stating that
slaughter was the cheapest and preferred method of disease control.† In fact
the authors of this admitted to a number of major methodological problems
encountered with this technique (p574) including the difficulty of
quantifying factors such as the uncertainty and stress which the slaughter
policy imposed upon farmers. (p594)

† AP Power and S Harris, 'A Cost-Benefit Evaluation of Alternative Control
Policies for Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Great Britain.' J Agri Econ 24
(1973), 573-600

Historically, the NFU executive has always supported MAFF in the decision to
slaughter. However, at grass roots levels there has been considerable
dissent, but regional opinions are often discarded by HQ. The NFU supposedly
represents many different branches of farming throughout the nation. Yet
regional variations in farming practices and the fact that all branches of
farming do not share the same interests means that the task of representing
farmers as a whole is extremely difficult. Since the 1920s, the NFU has been
recognised by MAFF as the foremost farming representative body and has been
involved in many complex negotiations in order to gain overall state
benefits for the industry. Small wonder therefore that the NFU does not wish
to divorce itself from its benefactors in response to criticism arising from
a proportion of farmers.
The British Veterinary Association has always shown similar alliances,
despite grass roots objections to slaughtering. Again however, one must bear
additional interests in mind. The veterinary profession has gained
considerably in status over the years, not least as a result of state
recognition as experts in the fields of research and public health. MAFF has
been used as a vehicle in the past by the CVO to expand the veterinary role
and reward systems.
Members of the medical profession have historically been involved in major
criticisms of the slaughter policy. For obvious reasons, doctors tend to
rely on therapy and vaccination for disease control and this reliance on
scientific, laboratory-formulated measures has shaped criticisms of a
supposedly backward and barbaric slaughter policy. However, medical
criticisms have been repeatedly rejected by farmers and vets upon the basis
that doctors are only experts in the field of human disease and have no role
to play in the management of livestock problems. It is important not to
overlook the fact that certainly prior to WWII, medics and vets were
competing for 'territory' in terms of which profession should be responsible
for meat/milk inspection and for research into animal diseases.


The above reveals that the present situation is not entirely new, though
unprecedented in the scale of slaughter proposed. The history of past
outbreaks reveals that initial delay in notification and infection of
several markets by dealers have been vital factors permitting FMD to evade
control by slaughter and leading to extremely widespread disease. This
perhaps points to the fact that the present scale of this outbreak could
have been predicted as these facts came to light.
It also reveals that while criticisms against the principle of slaughter as
an initial means of disease control have little justification, there are
many objections, voiced historically but none the less relevant today, to
the continuation of large-scale slaughter once the disease is widespread.
Not least of these is the logistical problem of efficiently implementing the
slaughter policy upon a large scale. Farms affected now by FMD are far
larger than in 1967 therefore the system of slaughter and disposal is more
rapidly overwhelmed and the problems associated are therefore more pressing.
Opposition to slaughter tends to be written out of history, precisely
because the individuals concerned are not always the most prominent or
influential. However I can guarantee that it situations such as the present,
when FMD is widespread and slaughter of questionable efficacy, there has
always been considerable opposition to its continuation. It is important to
recognise that external interests will always influence the positions
individuals adopt upon the slaughter policy. Farmers may wish to keep their
animals, but is this any worse a motive that the desire for personal
economic or professional gain?

3) Why the historical authority of slaughter and rejection of Vaccination
are inappropirate responses

Authority of slaughter

Britain has always been intensely proud of her ability to abolish disease.
Our island status has meant that several diseases, once eliminated by
stamping out have been permanently kept out of the country eg cattle plague,
sheep pox, rabies. This geographical 'difference' has been continually
emphasised as reason why disease elimination is achievable in Britain but
rather more difficult elsewhere, and has been used by MAFF to justify the
rejection of preferred continental means of disease control in favour of a
stamping out policy. However, this 'island' status has been increasingly
undermined by the expansion of free European and world trade and widespread
tourism. This encourages the introduction of 'foreign' substances into
Britain. Powers to restrict such moves are extremely limited and inspection
as a means of control can never be 100%. The confidence in British isolation
and its implications for disease control measures is therefore less
justified than in the past.
In addition the conditions within the nation have undergone profound
changes. Farm size and livestock holdings have vastly increased throughout
the 20thC whilst the number involved in agriculture has plummeted.
Agri-business has forced smaller producers out of the market while economies
of scale and meat marketing practices have encouraged the nationwide
movement of livestock. Indeed, a critic of slaughter in the 1950s uses the
very same reasoning to support a call for alternative disease control
measures. While cattle passports, the smaller number of individuals involved
and IT advances should assist livestock tracing these are counterbalanced by
the sheer numbers of stock involved.
Not only has the entire context for FMD control changed, but the disease
itself has been 'reinterpreted' in the light of novel epidemiological
findings. In the 19thC, inconvenient FMD controls were eventually accepted
due to the widespread belief that simple prohibition of diseased imports
would keep the disease out of Britain. Yet the disease still appeared -
foreign hay and straw was banned in 1908 after an outbreak was linked to
this source. The 1920s saw prohibition of continental meat imports and the
imposition of stringent controls on the Argentine as meat was recognised as
a vehicle of the virus. Swill boiling regulations were introduced at this
time. At the same time, human movement in 1922-24 was linked to disease
spread between farms and research in the 1920s and 30s investigated the
potential role of wildlife, including birds, in epidemiological spread of
disease. Yet still, FMD kept appearing and spreading despite all these
additional precautions, highlighting its extreme contagiousness and virtual
impossibility in sealing off all routes of disease spread. The recognition
in 1968 that air currents could carry the virus is the ultimate example of
how resistant this virus is to man-made restrictions. If these complexities
were realised at first, it is doubtful that legislative efforts and
slaughter would ever have been thought appropriate to FMD management.
However, it is confidence borne out of past successes against FMD which is
spurring MAF to persist in slaughter and to repeatedly reject alternative
measures. This confidence is misplaced; FMD has indeed been eliminated in
the past but the world has changed and the past is no guarantee of future
success. Despite many additional disease controls, no amount of regulation
can control air or wildlife spread of FMD and disinfection of people and
vehicles is primitive and largely useless. The changing conditions of
agricultural and international trade during the last fifty years can only
assist this virus in its spread around the globe.

Rejection of Vaccines

The notion that Britain could eliminate FMD by slaughter meant that while
publicly, MAFF expressed hopes that a vaccine would emerge from Pirbright
(the FMD research lab set up in 1924) in private the CVO stated that
vaccines would find no application on British soil. However, he considered
that any scientific advances in disease control could be useful in areas
where the disease was endemic, such as South America and Europe, since this
would reduce the possibility of disease importation into Britain from these
The fact that FMD is such a contagious virus justified the restriction of
research, at least on large animals, to Pirbright and with workers employed
under the FMD Research Committee, over which MAFF had a huge degree of
influence. This made it impossible for independent researchers to
investigate the disease and formulate alternative measures for its control.
The Ministry's stance meant that there was no sense of urgency in the
British hunt for a vaccine, and most initial progress took place on the
continent, when since the 1920s, serum was used for treatment and prevention
of disease. Only when war contingency planning was undertaken in 1937 did
the threat of FMD come to light, both in its potential as a biological
weapon and the fact that given wartime meat shortages, there may be more
vigorous opposition to slaughter. This spurred British vaccine research.
By the early 1950s, vaccines were used in Europe against a severe outbreak
of FMD. When the disease reached Britain in 1951, there was a clamour for
vaccine use. All work hitherto was kept secret since the Ministry feared
such pressure. In 1951 however, MAFF was forced to account for how it had
spent 30 years of research and hundreds of thousands of pounds if it was not
to assist British farmers against FMD. MAFF stated that while vaccines were
under development, their use in Britain was inappropriate since many
technical problems had yet to be solved. Vaccines were only used on the
continent due to the 'inferior' disease status there, which meant that
slaughter was not financially feasible. Technical problems were less of an
issue on the continent, as vaccines there were used to reduce disease
spread, without the overall aim of elimination as was the situation in
50 years later, these same arguments are being used against vaccination:
that there are several strains, the cost of vaccinating all animals
repeatedly against the disease, the loss of exports, and the fact that
inactivated virus used in the vaccine may retain an element of infectivity
and induce 'masked' disease or a carrier state. In addition, the
'stigmatisation' of vaccine use remains - only nations which are unable to
control the disease resort to vaccination. The barriers erected against
goods from vaccinating nations merely re-inforce this stigma, which
originated on British soil.
While many advances have been made in vaccination, it is clear that these
advances will never be sufficient. The Ministry keeps moving the goal posts,
such that nothing short of no-risk, 100% protection will be sufficient. This
could hardly be claimed of any vaccine in existence. While good progress has
been made in tests to differentiate infected and vaccinated animals, tests
which have important implications for the export trade and considerably
strengthen the case for vaccination, MAF rejects these insufficiently
advanced for field application. This latter argument is again a long
standing one. No aspect of vaccine technology has, in MAF's view, ever been
sufficiently advanced for use in the field. There a huge irony in this
situation - that despite a culture of scientific discovery that involves the
transfer of discoveries out of laboratory into the field, MAF seems intent
on keeping FMD vaccines within the lab and locking the door.
Other nations, currently disease free, are far more open to vaccination.
Australian experts state that 'recent developments suggest that vaccination
could become a more attractive option.' Not all European nations were happy
at the decision to stop vaccinating against FMD in the EU in 1991, in order
to streamline disease control policies and lift trade barriers, as recent
comments in the press suggest. The EU Strategy for emergency FMD vaccination
suggests a number of criteria which should affect the decision to vaccinate;
the British situation already fulfils many of these such as rapid rise in
outbreaks, widespread disease distribution and the rationale for using
vaccination - to prevent FMD spread - is clearly present.
Several of the scientific arguments against vaccination are inappropriate to
Britain's current position: for example the matter of strains- there are
stocks of vaccine in existence against this particular strain. The matter of
repeatedly vaccinating animals is irrelevant since this would only be a
short term move in order to control disease. In addition, the argument that
there is insufficient manpower to vaccinate livestock is surely irrelevant
since farmers are quite capable of vaccinating their own stock without
veterinary assistance. MAFF would probably argue against this in the name of
absolute vaccine security but argument has no real weight, it simply
reflects the overall desire not to vaccinate


FMD vaccines will never be sufficiently advanced for MAF to accept their use
on British soil - MAF has set completely unobtainable scientific criteria
which while supposedly justifying its rejection of vaccination, in actual
fact only provide additional support for a pre-existing decision. The
various logistical problems associated with vaccination could be overcome if
MAFF had the will. Instead they are highlighted as reasons why vaccination
could never work.
The true reasons for not vaccinating are grounded in misplaced confidence
that because slaughter has always worked in Britain, it will work again if
applied with sufficient vigour. This ignores the huge national and
international changes in the last 50 years which assist the spread of FMD,
and the additional epidemiological knowledge which confirms FMD as the most
contagious disease known to man.
In addition there is the matter of national pride. Evidence from other
nations shows far less ambivalence to vaccination; was MAF to choose to
vaccinate at this point this decision would be entirely justified in terms
of EU policy. But MAF feels Britain is superior to vaccination, that only
'weak' or 'inferior' nations, unable to control disease properly need resort
to such technology. Ironically, scientific advance is presented as a
backward step while application of 19thC slaughter and burning is
'progress.' Britain spent the majority of the 20thC boasting about its
superior sanitary status and disease 'purity', achievable through stamping
out. In the case of FMD, Britain encouraged the rest of the world to follow
its example. There are still the shreds of this national reputation at stake
here, despite BSE and swine fever. MAF probably feels that vaccinating would
seal international opinion that Britain is 'the leper of Europe.'
Since opposition to slaughter has historically always gathered pace over
time as the policy has failed, MAF probably feels that an intensive strike
would wipe out the disease quickly and with it the public objections and
ultimately public memories of the carnage. Turning to vaccination at this
point when the decision could so easily have been made earlier without all
the slaughter would seriously undermine MAFF's reputation, as well as in a
sense betraying all those past CVOs who put their careers on the line to
withstood farmers complaints and assert that slaughter was the best and the
only way to control FMD. The fact that slaughter of up to a million animals
is supposedly justified in order to save a single government department's
credibility can surely not be tolerated.


Slaughter as a first line of defence against FMD invasion was introduced in
an entirely different context to the present, on purely economic grounds.
Those grounds are more justified today than ever in the past given present
agricultural practices and the globalisation of trade. However, the very
fact that these conditions are open to change over time means one must guard
against granting the slaughter policy a permanent status. Whilst the
economic situation may justify slaughter, if that situation changes it may
throw the policy into question. There is therefore a strong case for
examining whether costs involved in the proposed mass cull (on top of the
consequential losses to farming and the tourist industry) may outweigh the
costs to the export industry imposed by an alternative method on control.
Slaughter has always eliminated FMD but on certain occasions, as at present,
the certainty of this outcome has been thrown into question. Past outbreaks
reveal that conditions associated with the present outbreak made this state
of affairs virtually inevitable, while past criticisms of slaughter under
such circumstances are still relevant today. Leaving aside the question of
whether or not slaughter at this point is economically (or morally)
justified, the feasibility of its practical implementation must throw a huge
question over whether such a course should be attempted. It is important to
realise that those opposing slaughter are not self-interested cranks any
more than those supporting the policy, despite the fact that historically
they have been portrayed as such. Additional motives and interests shape
everyone's opinion on slaughter and should be taken into consideration when
deciding upon its continuation.
While vaccination does present technical and administrative difficulties,
these could be effectively tackled were the Ministry to desire it. Instead,
technical problems are presented as almost insurmountable and the practical
problems impossible to overcome. It is important to realise that MAFF has
never wanted to vaccinate and that the problems it cites merely justify an
existing stance rather than providing its basic rationale. No vaccine will
ever achieve the standards MAFF desires, and the reasons for this lie in the
arena of national pride, historic tradition and government credibility to
the public. MAFF hides deeper anti-vaccination sentiments behind scientific
reasoning, and this deserves to be recognised. If the economic reasons for
slaughter or its practical feasibility are thrown into question then
vaccination is the only real alternative. The grounds cited by MAFF are
insufficient for the rejection of vaccination and exposing the real
reasoning behind this decision is necessary in order for any substantial
challenge to be mounted against this decision.
MAFF has grown powerful through its past elimination of FMD and through
repeated victories against the critics of slaughter. Tradition plays a huge
role in its approach to this disease problem and in the current critical
situation, historical success is possibly the only certainty MAFF has left
to cling on to. Here I have attempted to undermine that certainty.


The full horror story behind foot and mouth - at last!

Each of the following statements about foot-and-mouth is separately and
verifiably true.  The sum of the parts is a horror story.  Several media
people have been sent this message as well.

The first statement has been given to me by a known and trusted source.
It has been verified in strict anonymity by someone who was at the
meeting concerned.

In 1998, an EU meeting of Agriculture Ministers was told of the European
Commission's long-term plans to abolish livestock farming in the UK, and
convert it to an area of arable farming only.

The Ministry of Agriculture suspected foot-and-mouth in sheep as early
as last December - two months before the outbreak was confirmed.

During that time, sheep dealers were moving animals around the country
trying to fill "quotas" under EU regulations.

Many of those movements and transactions were un-authorised and

Foot-and-mouth is highly contagious, and can be carried on the wind, on
vehicles, on clothing.  It can survive for at least two weeks outside
a host animal.

More than half the UK's abattoirs have been closed in recent years
because the EU's directives and regulations have increased costs until
they cannot make a living

As a result, livestock are shipped hundreds of miles to slaughter, and
farms from all over the country have traffic in and out of the same few

Burying infected livestock is banned under EU waste disposal directives

Dead infected animals incubate the disease as they rot

Foot-and-mouth is a wind-blown disease, whether from rotting carcases or
with the smoke from a newly-lit fire which has yet to reach full

Britain has the best grassland for livestock rearing in Western Europe

The British meat market is worth £2.5 billion a year at the farm gate,
plus subsidies.  At retail, it's worth over £6.5 billion.  Continental
farmers eye it with envy.

No newspaper has ever run this story in full.

Ashley Mote


Stop the Slaughter NOW

Foot and Mouth Disease Update 3

23 March 2001

Abandon mass slaughter - NOW

As the foot and mouth epidemic rushes towards the 500-outbreak level, with
dire warnings of the disease lasting until well into August - with cases
rising to 4,000 in June - a vital piece of information seems to have been
buried in the torrent of media coverage.

This is the startling revelation from Mr Hugues Inizan.  He is the French
stock dealer who sent sheep from south Wales to France on 31 January, which
were subsequently found antibody positive for FMD by the French authorities.

Inizan's evidence is an extremely powerful indicator that the current
epidemic started not in early February, as is officially held, but in early
January.  Other unconfirmed but convincing reports put the date earlier,
closer to mid-December or even early December.

Either way, even the very best-case scenario strongly suggests that the
epidemic was under-way a full month before the Ministry of Agriculture
Fisheries and Food started to take control measures.  The implications of
this are profound and go to the heart of the present failures to control the

Essentially, the primary control strategy is based on three principles: early
identification, isolation and slaughter, all in an attempt to eradicate the
disease before it spreads.  Logically, and essentially, the success of any
such strategy depends of the early identification of the disease before it
has spread and, therefore, if the disease has already spread, this calls into
question the whole basis of the strategy.

In fact, the disease had spread out of control before the control measures
were underway - that is evidenced by the large number of new cases being
reported, their wide geographical spread, the multi-species distribution and
the projections for further cases.  The Inizan report explains why this has
happened - the disease had already "slipped its leash" before the control
measures started.  

Given that this is the case, it is now necessary to re-examine the basis of
the current control strategy, in which context it is also necessary to review
the fundamentals of epidemic dynamics in relation to the current crisis.

Basically, the epidemic has passed through two of three phases.  Phase one
involved the occurrence of outbreaks confined to one region, geographically
confined, with little or no secondary spread.  In this phase, the policy of
isolate and slaughter would have been perfectly valid.

In the second phase, significant secondary infection occurred.  There have
been outcrops of disease in a number of geographical areas and a rapidly
growing case load.  It is indeed very clear that we are now in phase two.

Phase three is where the disease breaks out and becomes completely
uncontained, affecting all species: pigs, cattle and sheep.  The fear is
that, at the moment, the disease is largely confined to sheep, with
winter-housed cattle being largely protected.  However, from two weeks and
progressively onwards, cattle will be turned out to grazing where they will
become vulnerable to the disease and we could expect tertiary spread to these
animals, leading to an explosive outbreak, larger than we have so far

Now, in terms of control strategies, it is very clear that, while we are in a
phase two situation, the government is still in the main adopting a phase one
control strategy.  If this current ethos continues, the only response is to
widen the control areas and progressively kill more and more animals.  

However, this strategy is likely to be self-defeating on two grounds.  
Firstly, as the reservoir of infection grows, and the control areas expand,
the sheer scale of the killing necessary will outstrip the resources
available to deal with it.  There is very good evidence that this is already
the case.

Secondly, the whole case for the eradication strategy is economic - it
attempts to restore disease-free status in order to protect our export trade,
and to prevent loss in productivity which accompanies endemic status where
sporadic outcrops of disease are experienced.

However, in assessing the viability of the strategy, one must be conscious of
the fact that losses per annum are in the order of £1.2 billion whereas,
since 19th February, the epidemic has cost over £9bn with costs escalating
every day.  If the economic cut-off has not already been reached, it can only
be a matter of a short time before it does.

On that basis, recognising that we are in phase two of the epidemic - and the
priorities now are to prevent development to phase three, and to minimise
losses.  In this context, "plan A" - of ever-escalating slaughter, is hardly
a viable option.  We need a "plan B".

As to this alternative, various estimates indicated that - in the major
sheep-rearing areas - infection rates are up to 80 percent.  Most of the
animals have already had the disease - which is relatively mild in sheep -
and a level of herd immunity has been built up.  Slaughter of these animals,
far from assisting control, will in fact aid spread, by reducing her immunity
by leaving only unaffected animals.  Therefore, the obvious strategy here is
to abandon sheep slaughter - expect in individual cases on welfare grounds,
where animals are in distress.

So far, except in the early stages of the epidemic, there was little
involvement of pigs and, since most pigs are intensively reared, there are
largely protected, given adequate biosecurity measures.  Therefore, the
obvious strategy here is to maintain biosecurity but to kill out where
disease strikes.

For cattle, the situation should be different.  Here, with limited numbers -
compared with sheep and cattle - there should be a rapid vaccination
programme to protect vulnerable animals.  On previously infected farms,
re-stocking with vaccinated stock should be permitted.

Where outbreaks occur, whole herd slaughter policy should be abandoned, with
selective culling on welfare grounds only, leaving survivors with acquired
immunity.  There is then some value in "ring-fencing" uninfected areas with a
band of vaccination of all species, where blood testing reveals no acquired

Given a rise in naturally acquired immunity - through exposure to the disease
- and artificially acquired immunity from vaccination, overall "herd
immunity" will then arise to a level where the epidemic will peter out and we
will be left with a rump of sporadic cases.  These can be culled, allowing
the disease to die out naturally within ten years.

There is no doubt that this strategy would enable the countryside to return
to normal very rapidly, and reduce substantially the economic losses.  There
is no need for the continuation of mass slaughter.

Dr Richard North


Two Suggestions

Dear Sir:
    Since slaughtering livestock has not stopped hoof and mouth disease, I have 2 suggestions:
1) During the 1918 flu epidemic, intravenous hydrogen peroxide was successfully used to help flu victims. Peroxide is also an effective disinfectant. There are reams of scientific data on the subject; peroxide is not widely used in medicine because it is cheap. Why doesn't the British government just use dilute hydrogen peroxide added to the water to wash down barns and feedlots and add it to their water? Germs don't like oxygen and peroxide adds lots of it to any living creature.
2) A hospital in Omsk, Russia stopped dysentery in infants in one week by using kombucha tea. Yes I know it sounds crazy, but it works! What they are now doing ISN'T working and anyone with half a brain would deduce that they ought to change their tactics.
Kind regards, Miss CM Ross


Slaughter in the Spring

E U Diktat and the CAP behind Britain's Farming Disaster

By Michael Clark, Member of the Democratic Party Council  

The unnatural industrialisation of farming viciously intensified by European Union rules has exploded upon the nation in the form of a very serious epidemic of foot and mouth disease.  It is now manifestly clear that the disasters that have befallen farming in Britain over recent years have been the result of the economic distortions and enforced directives coming from Europe.

 Under the hugely wasteful Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the EU farming has become more and more a business and much less of a way of life.  As a result, less and less people have been employed with some 22,000 people a year leaving farming and the land in Britain, which in turn has had an enormous depressing effect on rural life.

 E U economics has treated farming like an industrial production plant where the breeding of livestock has been taken beyond natural bounds.   As a result cattle have become genetically weaker and more susceptible to disease.  We have literally "built-in" BSE into the national herd and through enforced "hygiene" rules have massively increased the risk of cross-contamination in industrial-scale abattoirs.

 Animals these days are transported over great distances and constantly so, for profit, as if they are a commodity on the stock exchange.  They can appear in rapid succession at up to ten widely dispersed auctions and with prices being compared over mobile phones, profits accumulate.  In addition the auctioneer is retaining a commission at each sale.

 Chickens have also become subject to the same wrongful breeding whereby their legs become weak and then break.  When this was pointed out to the business people running the intensive breeding farms, they had to go to France to obtain different breeds to strengthen their breeding process.

 Under EU directive 91/497 and the enforced "hygiene" rules on Britain's smaller local abattoirs, half of the 800 abattoirs that existed in 1990 are now closed and out of business.  Their profit margins proved hopelessly inadequate in the face of demands to comply with EU rules.

 Britain's long tradition of locally based abattoirs serving local markets has been wiped out and replaced by a big-business industrial nightmare where animals are put under stress being shunted hundreds of miles across the country.  There are, for instance, only some 14 abattoirs left between Scotland and Wales to serve a huge rural area.

 For many years, under both Conservative and Labour governments, the number of experienced senior ministry vets has been allowed to decline, with the starting salary for newly qualified vets being reduced from £24,000 to £18,000.  It is not surprising that they found they could not recruit and as a result the starting salary has been raised twice.  All this has undermined the competence and morale of vets as the number of staff has fallen.  The reduced number of younger vets failed to confirm foot and mouth disease quick enough, which contributed massively to the rapid spread of the disease.

 It must now be faced by the Government that EU membership has removed Britain's national democratic control over agricultural issues.  This control now rests in the hands of unaccountable eurocrats whereby our farming and industrial structures are being phased out.  The EU plans for Britain are as a provider of financial service industries as well as for the production of pharmaceuticals.

 In 1998, an EU meeting of Agricultural Ministers was told of the European Commission's long-term plans to abolish livestock farming in the UK and convert it to an area of arable farming only.  This statement has been verified in strict anonymity by someone who was at the meeting concerned.

 Evidence is also now coming to light that the Ministry of Agriculture suspected foot and mouth in sheep as early as December 2000, two months before the outbreak was confirmed!  Furthermore, quotations were being sought two weeks before the outbreak for the supply of timber for burning carcasses.  What is really going on when we consider the EU plans for Britain?

 Late, very late in the day, the Prime Minister is saying that "nothing less than a revolution" is needed in the way our food is produced.  Not being willing to attack the EU, he picked on the supermarkets.  Distribution of course is not equal and there needs to be a code of practice between the small suppliers and the big supermarket chains.

 The milk supply consortium was broken up by the Government and this has resulted in milk producers being squeezed almost out of existence.  Farmers certainly need to form a cooperative in order to be able to look big retailers in the eye.

 For years, even while the CAP has operated, farmers have seen their income reduce by some 70 per cent.   They have become a very small part of the food chain while others are making huge profits.  Yet at the same time the average family is paying around £1,000 extra per year for food under the CAP.  Something somewhere is very wrong.

 Price wars in the long term are not in the consumer’s interest.  What the public want and need is quality food, safe food and affordable food.  Germany wants 20 per cent of its food to be organic by 2010.  It will have to pay more to do it.

 We are going to have to follow the Swedish model where ethical and traditional values that are operated have brought light, space, ventilation and right feed to livestock.  There is no travelling between farm and abattoirs – the farms have demanded it.  Swedes pay double the price for their meat as a result, but it is surely securing the future of their food production and preventing the disaster that farming in Britain is now facing.

 With the prospect of 13 eastern European countries due to join the EU which have lower standards and where growth-promoting anti-biotics are used, it is time for the British Government to take back control of its agriculture and food production.  It is now imperative that the Treaty of Rome is dissolved and a new trading arrangement drawn up which will avoid all the waste and corruption of the CAP.  It will mean a lot of disruption to the EU but in the long run it will prevent a total collapse of the system which could be so very much worse.

 At the present moment, thousands of agricultural workers are looking into an abyss of unemployment and farmers are committing suicide.  Over 60,000 workers could lose their livelihoods in the coming weeks and months.  The dreaded Common Agricultural Policy has hideously warped farming in Britain, just as the Common Fisheries Policy has decimated the British fishing industry.

We need real hands-on leadership and a democratic government that will turn back the tide of destruction coming from the European Union that has been overwhelming the agricultural life of our nation for the past three decades.  The time has come for our nation to regain the sovereign control of its essential food production, which must surely be a mandatory requirement for any island nation, but most certainly for the United Kingdom.

 We are calling for a massive and radical change of direction to be put into immediate effect by a grassroots uprising at the ballot box.  Nothing short of a sea-change is required which will break the present political mould.


Pneumonia cure keeps livestock foot-and-mouth free says farmer
12:40pm Wednesday, 28th March 2001

A farmer claims a prevention and cure for foot-and-mouth is available and currently in everyday use.

Tony Cleasby, from Penrith in Cumbria says an everyday cure for pneumonia which is in common use by farmers nationwide can also be used to tackle foot-and-mouth.

Mr Cleasby, whose family farm of Barton Church Farm, Tirril, has 250 cattle and 180 sheep, is in the middle of one of the areas worst hit by the disease.

However, his animals have been healthy for the past month, despite surrounding farms falling prey to the rapidly spreading virus.

He has been using a licensed pneumonia product called Airwave ever since the first outbreak of foot-and-mouth more than a month ago and is convinced that it is one safeguard to protect his livelihood.

He claims that the idea for the cure came from a study of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Germany in the 1930s in which thousands of farms were affected, except for one farm which had a saw mill on its grounds.

Acids released when timber was cut acted as an antidote to airborne viruses which ravaged the country's farming population.

Mr Cleasby said the Airwave pneumonia treatment - which is a blend of organic acids, eucalyptus and herbs - mimicked the effect that the timber acids had on livestock in the German outbreak.

Cattle, which are being shielded in the farm's barns are subjected to twice daily "fogging" - an operation where the pneumonia solution is mixed with water and heated until it forms a fine mist which coats the nasal and throat passages of the cattle and stops airborne viruses including foot-and-mouth from infecting the animals.

The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food says the pneumonia treatment was not a solution to the outbreak that had yet been considered but officials are open minded about any potential way to halt the disease.


Now we know why we don't go out!

Mrs Elizabeth Walls, proud owner of Misty, a 1 year old goat, was last night
distracted by police, while a vet and Maff official broke into her stable
and killed the frightened animal - without any written or verbal permission
whatsoever from Mrs Walls.

Mrs Walls, who also owns a pony, 2 dogs and a cat, kept Misty in a stable at
the bottom of her garden in Mouswald, Dumfriesshire. Misty used to regularly
accompany the family and the dogs on walks in the surrounding countryside.

Vets and Maff officials have been attempting for several days to convince
Mrs Walls that Misty posed a risk to health, on the grounds that Mrs Walls'
back garden borders a farm which has recently had all its cattle destroyed.
Mrs Walls today voiced her suspicion that the cattle on the neighbouring
farm possibly didn't have Foot and Mouth anyway, and certainly had all the
appearances of being perfectly healthy.

At around 9pm on the evening of Thursday 5th April, a vet came to the door
and stated bluntly, "I'm here to dispose of the goat. If you don't agree I'
ll get the police."

Mrs Walls asked him if he had any proof that Misty had Foot and Mouth and he
replied that he did not. She asked him if he would take blood tests of
Misty. He would not. He was even asked if he could prove that the
neighbouring farm had Foot and Mouth. He could not.

Again he stated, "If you don't let me dispose of the goat, I'm going to get
the police to arrest you".

Mrs Walls replied, "Well, I'm not prepared to give you permission."

The vet left and almost immediately the police, who must have been lingering
nearby, appeared on her doorstep. There was a man and a woman and the
policewoman said to Mrs Walls, "I don't want to arrest you."

However, it was claimed that the Animal Health Act 1981 gave them authority
to arrest Mrs Walls if she attempted to prevent the slaughter.

While the police were speaking to Mrs Walls in the kitchen, the vet was
nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly Mrs Walls was alerted by screaming from her daughter Kristine who
was returning home from work.

 "Misty's dead! Misty's dead!"

As Mrs Walls tried to rush out, one of the police officers attempted to stop
her saying, absurdly, "You can't go out of the house, it's an infected

"Don't be ridiculous" replied Mrs Walls. The officer shot back, "Well, why
do you think we're all dressed up in this plastic clothing."

However, she did get outside, only to find a strange man standing around in
the dark.

"Who are you?" she asked, and he promptly turned his back on her.

"Excuse me, don't turn your back on me. Who are you?"

"I'm only the driver."

It later transpired that he was the Maff official. He had also tried to stop
Kristine at the end of the driveway when she was coming home, and had
followed her down the road saying, "Your mother's going to be arrested, and
the police will soon sort you out."

While the police had been keeping Mrs Walls speaking in the kitchen, the vet
and the Maff official had sneaked round the back, broke into the padlocked
stable, and killed Misty!

They did this without obtaining any written or verbal permission whatsoever
from Mrs Walls.

A horrified Kristine was told by the policewoman, "Grow up. This is the real
world, not Disney World."


Am I dreaming or have I got it wrong !!! There has been pages and pages of information and reports in papers which seem to complicate and confuse the real issues confronting the Government about foot and mouth disease or is there a hidden agenda which is supposed to be a secret!!! .
Problem: Foot and Mouth Disease - what actions are being taken by the Labour Government to 
                save 1.3 Billion Pounds British meat export market.
 Stop exports of British Meat for 12 months or longer and produce meat only for home
 consumption. Use new vaccine and vaccinate all farm animals which can be affected by Foot and Mouth. Treat animals on farms showing symptoms or arrange for slaughter of really ill
animals by the army. 
 So what If  Britain Looses 1.2 Billion Pounds Meat Exports - it will give Britain an opportunity
 to stop sending live animals abroad for barbaric live slaughter. We can use the land for additional crops and get higher subsidies and more of our money back from Britain's 11 Billion Pound paid into the EU Common Agriculture Policy budget.
Solution By Labour Government: Kill 1 Million farm animals from over 1,000 farms- estimated cost of compensation and lost tourist trade to Britain and the Government is estimated to 8 Billion pounds in 1 year alone - we must be crazy !! - the policy will also result in thousands of bankruptcies and broken families needing government support. Is the Labour Government telling us that we must sacrifice our conscious and sacrifice the welfare of animals for money!!! and to protect an export market.
The solution is flawed as we cannot test all foreign meat imports into Britain from countries which have foot and mouth disease so it is only a matter of time after we have killed millions of our animals and trashed our countryside, lost more farms and killed of our tourist industry before it all happens again.The last foot and mouth case in Britain 1967 involved 1750 cases; in 2001 Britain has 1000 cases rising - next outbreak 2002 ???? 
The Labour Government instructs the Ministry of Defence to buy 95% of its beef and 50% of its lamb,pork and bacon overseas even though Nick Brown, Agriculture Secretary has said the source of the infection is almost certainly imported meat.  What is wrong with British meat why is the Labour Government not instructing the MOD to support Britain and buy British meat - just crazy!!!
You can be rest assured that Britain will not be able to export meat for years into  France and Germany whether or not we achieve disease free status - it makes sense for both these countries to  continue to take illegal action to ensure that their mountains of surplus meat in their own countries can be imported into Britain.
What has been learned from the 1967 foot and mouth disease in Britain. There are new vaccines but the European Union has refused to allow Britain to use more than 180,000 doses which would be a waste of
time. We cannot bury animals quickly as the British Government decide in 1967 - the Labour Government has now to obtain instructions from the European Union to bury sheep and burn cattle which has caused delays and mountains of dead animals to lay around and decompose. The British people have been told that once the animals are dead the virus is dead and cannot float in the air from the mountains of dead animals to infect other farms - if the virus is killed so easily why are farmers excluded from using land of infected animals for 6 months? Why is the EU instructing Britain to make large pyres to burn cattle at great environmental and pollution costs - how many people will die as a result of cancer from the pollution from these fires.So it is good bye to British farming and the countryside - we can import all out meat from the EU - the countryside only give Mr.Blair 29 Labour Seats so its not worth the hassle. We need to loose our 4th highest world economy status so an increase in meat imports will do no harm into making our entry into the single currency
that much more easier for Mr.Brown.
Conclusion: The actions by the Labour Government does not make sense; the sums do not make sense; the grief inflicted on British farmers does not make sense; the grief inflicted on the British people who love the countryside does not make sense; the massive costs to the taxpayers does not make sense; it does not make sense that Britain with all its experts and world leading scientists has apparently learnt nothing since the 1967 foot and mouth outbreak; it does not make sense that Britain continues to import meat from countries with foot and mouth disease which means we could be destroying our animals again in 2002; it does not make sense that the European Union with mountains of  spare meat should be making decisions in the best interest of the British people; it does not make sense that the cost of foot and mouth will cause substantial damage to the British status of being the worlds 4th largest economy and 1st choice for inward investment; it does not make since that the British Government is trying to save a 1.3 Billion Pound meat export market at a cost of 8 Billion pounds to the British economy;  it does not make sense that Under the Treaty of Rome the European Union is the law making power that cannot be dismissed by British voters in our election; it does not make sense that Mr.Blair and Parliament are already extensively subordinate to the unaccountable and constitutionally irresponsible government of the European Union who are making decisions in the interest of British people without regard to the interests of their own countries of France,Germany,Italy etc ; Just crazy !!! but hands up those who believe Britain is being ruled by a foreign power--- perhaps it does make sense after all !!!!
Please see UK Independence Party manifesto on website www.ukip.com
See 1,000s of documents/items on www.SilentMajority.co.UK


Dead sheep fear for lorry drivers

                 By Deborah Williams

                 A WEST Wales haulier has warned that dead sheep
                 destined for burial because of foot and mouth could
                 end up falling off the back of lorries.

                 The haulier, who did not want to be named, is one of
                 many who are about to pack their lorries with 26 tons
                 of carcasses and dump them on Eppynt Mountain in
                 the Brecon Beacons.

                 But he says the vehicles only have four bolts securing
                 the back doors and with the weight of the animals
                 plus the steep, windy roads, there is every chance
                 the load will come tumbling out.

                 He told the Post: "As a haulier, I am concerned about
                 the weight of these dead animals against the back
                 doors and I am afraid they will not hold shut.

                 "What will happen then is that the back doors will
                 burst open and the animals will fall out.

                 "The mountain is very steep, they will have to have a
                 towing vehicle to get the lorries up there.


                 "But there are only four little twist locks holding the
                 back door shut, just four inches long and they are
                 hand tightened.

                 "If the animals fall out, there is a great risk of
                 spreading foot and mouth disease."

                 The driver is also concerned about the risks of
                 spreading the disease through watercourses in Eppynt
                 which lead to the River Tywi.

                 These water courses provide Swansea and Gower with
                 drinking water.

                 He has joined the calls from politicians, fishermen,
                 farmers and vets who say using land so close to
                 Carmarthenshire, which remains foot and mouth free,
                 is ludicrous.

                 "I'm very concerned that the water could become
                 contaminated," he said.

                 "The river flows past Llandeilo towards Carmarthen
                 and just before it reaches Carmarthen, it is drawn off
                 at a plant which provides water for Swansea.

                 "They have got to get rid of these carcasses but they
                 should burn them on their own land the way they did
                 in 1967 and not risk spreading the disease."



The Cocktail KILLER

For several years the EU has banned British meat and dictated policy
regarding our farming - due they *claim* to BSE.

One absolute diktat has been that ALL spinal cord etc. is destroyed and the
second has been the VERY specific method in which cattle are slaughtered and
their carcasses destroyed.

The BSE virus which came about in cattle, most probably as a result of the
use of Organophosphates in sheep dip and warble fly treatments etc.
(Remember that OPs have much the same chemical root stem as SARIN!!): It has
been repeated again and again that the bovine virus can cause CJD and nvCJD.

The EU issued diktats on how the carcasses must be destroyed and the British
Government carried out their master's orders with assiduous care. Only
certain incinerators were to be used and NO carcasses were to burnt below
certain temperatures as it was believed that the virus would not be killed,
except at very high temperatures. The fear of airborne CJD & nvCJD was

Now cattle are being piled in heaps on nothing more than glorified bonfires
and toasted for long periods as they progressively burn away!! This is in
ABSOLUTE dissregrad for the fact that the EU and their puppets, both in the
present and former British Governments, are convinced that the CJD & nvCJD
virus can be spread by burning at too low a temperature.

We know from the official report on the 1967 outbreak that it was proved
that burning CAUSED the spread of the virus. We have examples already in
this outbreak that burning HAS caused the spread of F&M virus.

So it would seem that the EU plan is to use the British Government and their
QUANGOs MAFF & the NFU to spread F&M virus rught across Britain that is bad
enough but it would seem that the British Government and their QUANGOs the
NFU & MAFF are carrying out EU orders to spread CJD & nvCJD throughout the

One starts to wonder when the EU will issue an edict that all British
citizens are to wear the Yellow Star from the EU's sales logo and be marched
into shower blocks and dosed with SARIN, so much more efficient than Zyclone

When will this government stand down and await the outcome of an INDEPENDENT
Public Enquiry into their Treason and the appropriate sentencing. Please
ensure their carcasses are NOT burnt as heaven only knows there are some
real Mad Cows in this clique!!



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