Extract from Alan Beat's Newsletter for Smallholders.org received March 23 2003
We draw your attention to two points from this interesting report. First, the lack of clinical signs in deliberately infected sheep. Second, the disinfection procedure required:
The vets had to change into lab clothes -- including government-issue boots and
underwear -- for their daily sessions with the animals. On the way out they
had to strip down and take two showers -- each one a mandatory three
minutes -- before they could leave the building. They were also required to
blow their noses, and soak their glasses in disinfectant for 20 minutes as
part of the decontamination routine.
Now cast your minds back to the UK epidemic in 2001 - and the much looser procedure that vets were supposed to follow here. Our experience was that vets were reluctant to wear face-masks and had to be requested to do so; but of course, this only protected the next farm visited against transfer of our FMD virus (if we had any) in the respiratory tract. To protect our farm, the vet needed to wear a face-mask on the previous farm, since only inhaled breath is filtered, not exhaled. Think about it.
Now think about the oft-repeated official claim that most new cases of FMD arose within 3 km of an existing IP - precisely the restriction zone within which vets were most active, visiting every farm repeatedly.
We certainly never saw disinfection of glasses, shower for three minutes - or a change of underwear.
If the Canadian procedures are really necessary, the conclusion can only be made that UK procedures were inadequate and that vets were directly responsible for onward spread of FMD.