The Veterinary Record, November 13, 2004
FMD and the contiguous cull
SIR, - I am writing on behalf of the Lakeland Veterinary Association regarding the papers published recently in The Veterinary Record by Taylor and others (2004} and Honhold and others (2004a, b). In this area we had nearly 50 per cent of the cases of foot-and-mouth disease is (FMD), and so had considerable, and very harsh, experience of the 2001 epidemic.
These papers clearly add weight to the view that the contiguous cull policy, which was adopted during the FMD epidemic of 2001, was based on advice which was flawed, and that the epidemic was brought under control not by computer modelling but by the more traditional methods of strict movement controls, speedy removal of Infected Premises, intensive surveillance and sound risk assessment of the threat posed by Dangerous Contacts often based on detailed local knowledge. We have written to the Chief Veterinary Officer suggesting that, in the light of these studies, the contiguous cull strategy can now formally be abandoned so that our members will never again have to undertake this type of distressing and unpleasant task, which many of us instinctively knew was unnecessary. We have yet to receive a reply on this matter.
These papers would also seem to further highlight the value of local practitioners in the disease control effort, a resource which now seems to be continually under threat in the wake of the Marsh Report, the Competition Commissions report and the Government's response to EFRACom regarding the provision of farm animal veterinary services, particularly in the more rural parts of Britain.
We believe that local farm animal practices still have a central and vital role to play if any form of animal health and welfare strategy is to be delivered as a reality and not merely a paper exercise.
J. G. Cook. Honorary Secretary, Lakeland Veterinary Association, Paragon Veterinary Group, Carlisle House, Townhead Road, Dalston, Carlisle, Cumbria CA57lF
HONHOLD,N.,TAYLOR,K.M.. MANSLEY,I.M. & PATERSON. A. D. (21514a) Relationship of speed of slaughter on infected premises and intensity of culling of other premises to the rate of spread of the foot-and-mouth disease epidemic in Great Britain, 2001. Veterinary Record 155,287-294
HONHOLD, N., TAYLOR,K.M, WINGFIELD. A., FINSHOJ, P. MIDDLEMISS. C., SPINK, L., WROTH R. & MANSLEY, 1.. M. (20(511,1 Evaluation of the application the veterinary judgement in the pre-emptive cull of contiguous premises during the epidemic of footand-mouth disease in Cumbria in 2001. Veterinary Record 155,349-35,;
TAYLOR, N. M.. HONHOLD, N.. PATERSON, A. D.& MANSLEY. L. M. (2004; Risk of foot-and-mouth disease associated with proximity in space and time to infected premises and the implications fur control policy during the 2001 epidemic in Cumbria. Veterinary Record 154, h 17 626