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The Foot and Mouth Crisis in Britain - Archive from May 2001 - Jan 2002

click here for succinct history of FMD crisis

Results on serological testing on sheep - updated July 16

Comment on Upton v. Defra case June 22

Jan 11 ~ Test results from the 2,100 sheep in Falstone, Northumberland who were all slaughtered on New Year's Day, have come back negative today.

Jan 11 ~ "Legal experts are expected to provide evidence supporting a public inquiry

Jan 11 ~... it confirms the impression that the Animal Health Bill bears the worst hallmarks of New Labour: apparently modern and scientific, actually authoritarian and ill thought through.

Jan 11 ~ A press release from DEFRA promises a consultation paper on the Animal Health amendment Bill. "The Bill does not advocate any one approach to disease control but strengthens the four available main elements of culling, vaccination, blood-testing and biosecurity," says Mr Morley....

Jan 11 ~ An interesting short paper on vaccination, with contributions from authoritative sources, has been sent to this website.

Jan 11 ~ Sir John Krebs FSA, and Prof Tim Lang, Thames Valley University on the Today Programme yesterday. The transcript...

Jan 11 ~ The Australians, it seems, are less than impressed with the sheep scare story plastered over the world's Media yesterday. From News.com.Australia...

Jan 10 ~ This article from the vet, Alan Richardson, was published today in the Veterinary Times.

Jan 10 ~ Interestingly, the Mirror headline has just been changed. (10.30 ish)

Jan 10 ~ Sir John Krebs, head of the Food Standards Agency and long time associate of Professor Anderson, says "one solution could be to breed sheep that were resistant to BSE or scrapie."Ananova Well there's a surprise....

Jan 10 ~ The Inquiry into Foot and Mouth to be held in Strasbourg is now on track

Jan 10 ~ As we feared, the media have succumbed to the very "knee-jerk" reaction that Prof Ferguson maintained that he was "warning against"

Jan 9 ~ The epidemiological models used to analyse the foot and mouth epidemic included negative and untested cases as though they were laboratory confirmed cases.

Jan 9 ~ Our friends at Imperial College are at it again. Neil Ferguson, honoured with an OBE in the New Year, has predicted 50,000 deaths from vCJD - from sheep

Jan 9 ~ Unaccountable slaughter figures. We have received the following reply - hot from the Stationery Office presses -

Jan 9 ~ The Lords give the Animal Health (Death) bill its Second Reading on Tuesday.

Jan 9 ~ Farmers For Action is sending a final plea today to Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco's chief executive, demanding a meeting to discuss his commitment to help to improve farmers' incomes

Jan 9 ~ The vet who killed all Didi's animals is reported to have said, in answer to a question about why he did not give these healthy animals a clinical examination, "This is a procedure that ....... could have caused actual harm to the heavily pregnant ewes present."

Jan 8 ~No account is made of the "estimated "losses of the Welsh Farming Industry. Having seen the published "total" costs of FMD in Wales, Roy sends us this comment.

Jan 8 ~ Farmers for Action are meeting today to decide whether to step up blockades at depots belonging to Tesco.

Jan 8 ~ Some interesting news from Mark Purdey's website.

Jan 7 ~ Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, will go far. He has written yet another attack against Welsh Farmers. What a perfect tool for his masters

Jan 7 ~ Agriculture & Rural Development Committee investigation into the handling of the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Wales

Jan 7 ~ "We do need to be a little bit cautious" ( Recent newspaper reports do not seem to agree about what has been said by Professor Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Scotland

Jan 6 ~ We now have the Final Report and annex for the Brussels Conference 12-13th December.

Jan 6 ~ Secret documents revealed last week under the 30-year rule complete the story of the most cynical smash-and-grab raid in the history of the European Union.

Jan 5 ~ The phrase "New World Order" is being used more and more by journalists, it seems.

Jan 5 ~ Listeners to Radio Four's Any Questions and to the Jimmy Young show yesterday will have heard opinions expressed about the right of raving vandals to force their way onto farms.

Jan 5 ~ A new "Animal Welfare" bill is being planned by the Ministry of Defra...

Jan 4 ~ At the Oxford Farming Conference today, Mrs Beckett has said "taxpayers expect better value for the billions of pounds spent each year on agriculture"

Jan 4 ~ Margaret Beckett has attacked farmers for "complacency" in an interview given to Valerie Elliott of The Times in advance of her speech today at the Oxford Farming conference.

Jan 4 ~ For the second time in two days we hear of a farmer being obstructed by the very police he had assumed would help him

Jan 4 ~ If , as many have seriously suggested, there really is a hidden government agenda to close down family farms behind the ever more draconian regulations, red tape and legislation, it would appear to be succeeding.

Jan 4 ~ We are delighted and grateful to see that the Queen has chosen to help farmers

Jan 3 ~ Robert Persey, a farmer from Honiton, Devon, has launched a fund-raising campaign under the slogan "We seek the truth"

Jan 3 ~ Farmers for Action are living up to their name. David Handley has pledged to blockade distribution depots belonging to Tesco unless the supermarket agrees to talks by 8 January.

Jan 3 ~ Alarm about the European Union may seem irrelevant to the main concern of this website,

Jan 3 ~ We are still rubbing our eyes in disbelief at the story that the farmer David Benton, whose barn was invaded by New Year ravers causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage, has been told by police that he will be arrested if he tries to defend his property in future.

Jan 2 ~ Among the speakers at the Oxford Farming Conference that begins tomorrow and lasts until Friday

Jan 2 ~ We have received a despairing email : "This morning is New Year and my husband and I have avoided giving each other the customary greeting.

Jan 2 ~ Reminder: Lord Willoughby is anxious to hear from farmers who have any opinions - pro or anti - about the Animal Health amendment Bill,

Jan 2 ~ We have been alerted to a piece of legislation in the United States that bears more than a passing resemblance to our own Animal Health amendment Bill which receives its Second Reading in the House of Lords on January 14th.

Dec 31 ~ Nick Clark: Weren't you a bit all over the place as a government on this? We had an extraordinary statement by Tony Blair only a few weeks really after the whole thing began saying, "the Countryside is open for business"

Dec 31 ~ Brigadier Alex Birtwistle has been awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours list.

Dec 31 ~ W F Deedes, always worth reading, points out in his Notebook today the contempt and disillusion shown by the frugal Scots for MSPs and the new Scottish Parliament.

Dec 31 ~ TOMORROW, the euro will take physical form. Everyone in Britain should wish the project well.

Dec 30 ~ The Animal Health Bill will have its Second Reading in the Lords on Monday 14th Jan.

Dec 30 ~ On the subject of the RCVS failure to censure the vets against whom legitimate and very serious complaints have been lodged,

Dec 29 ~ It is strange that Prof King and others claim that it is impossible to tell infected from vaccinated animals. ..From the United Biomedical website.

Dec 29 ~ The total number of animals - sheep, pigs, goats deer and "others" - slaughtered in November (i.e. in the month following the last recorded case) showed an increase of a staggering 62,496.

Dec 29 ~" This weekend marks the three-month milestone since the last reported case of foot-and-mouth in the UK. It means there is a chance the country will be declared free of the disease in time for the new year.........."

Dec 28 ~ Mr David Black has publicly disagreed (in the Cumberland News) with Mr Scudamore

Dec 28 ~ The Today Programme's round up of foot and mouth continued this morning

Dec 28 ~"The Animal Health Bill is unnecessary, infringes civil liberties, is based on unsafe and bad science, and threatens breeds of special genetic importance with extinction."

Dec 27 ~ The movement restrictions, contemptuously ignored by intelligent farmers and shepherds where they are clearly daft (such as where a licence is required for moving sheep across a road from one half of a field to the other on the opposite side) are nevertheless still causing the most dire hardship to obedient farmers and hapless animals

Dec 27 ~ "What is the point of an inquiry if it doesn't have the legal powers to force key witnesses to give evidence? I believe that a full public inquiry is the only way of getting at the truth, however difficult or embarrassing for individuals that truth may be."

Dec 27 ~ The Today Programme's round up of foot and mouth was broadcast this morning.

Dec 27 ~ Astounding quotations from Mr Scudamore in an article in The Times today by Valerie Elliott :

Dec 26 ~ Don't forget the elephants.

Dec 26 ~ The Queen's speech was downbeat. She reflected on how the UK had been hit by floods as well as the foot-and-mouth epidemic, with devastating consequences.

Dec 24 ~ " Regrettably the status accorded to Pirbright, instead of increasing its efforts, has apparently led to complacency and apathy on account of its monopoly of the subject. " The Moredun Research Institute too is less than helpful.

Dec 24 ~ Since posting the item about Defra and Powys below, we have received the following which may, perhaps, be a possible explanation. We very much hope so.

Dec 23 ~ "As the disease finally peters out, the government has refused to hold an inquiry into the epidemic. If it did, it would reveal a catalogue of blunders": the article in today's Sunday Times

Dec 23 ~ DEFRA have contacted workers previously employed to carry out Disinfecting and Cleaning work and told them that there will be new work available for them in Powys in January.

Dec 22 ~ Throughout the whole FMD crisis Defra has maintained that deer do not spread foot and mouth. This article in today's Telegraph reveals their inconsistency as well as their lack of Christmas Cheer in the matter of Santa's reindeer.

Dec 22 ~ Mr Blunkett's terrorism Act and DEFRA's Animal Health amendment bill are both bad and unnecessary curbs on traditional British freedoms - and we go on banging on about it long after the Media fall silent because it is so important.

Dec 22 ~ In spite of the above, we have not lost our faith in the High Court. A Public Inquiry seems increasingly possible and indeed may even be probable.

Dec 21 ~ The irony implicit in the MMR vaccine story will not have escaped many readers of this website.

Dec 20 ~ DEFRA's "accurate reflection of reality" and "continuing exercise of quality assurance"

Dec 20 ~ The Royal Society of Edinburgh FMD Inquiry is now underway. We recommend it as being much more wide ranging than the Royal Society of London Inquiry.

Dec 20 ~ The NFU appear alarmed at the popularity of the Rural Rebels in Scotland.

Dec 19 ~ Extract from the submission to the Royal Society which should be required reading for all deskbound DEFRA employees: "Indeed, not only were many Infected Premises later shown to test negative to the disease, but the percentage of infected stock culled as a result of Contiguous Cull, Slaughter on Suspicion, Dangerous Contact is estimated to be only about 18.5%. Conversely, a staggering 81.5% were healthy and not infected.

Dec 19 ~ Today's news is that NHS Waiting list figures have been "massaged" The Times reports that nine NHS trusts "inappropriately adjusted" their waiting lists

Dec 18 ~ "one of the biggest blows to environmental protection and democracy in the past 50 years"

Dec 17 ~ The Earl of Lytton writes for many of us in a Telegraph letter entitled, " Totalitarian plan" It is a characteristic of all totalitarian regimes that they get an inflated idea of their own abilities and resounding successes.

Dec 17 ~ Yesterday's march in Edinburgh, although widely reported as a Pro-hunting demonstration, was attended by 15,000 frustrated and angry country people who had many other things on their minds.

Dec 17 ~ Plans will be announced today to stop people challenging the need for new roads, airports, nuclear dumps and power stations at public inquiries.

Dec 16 ~ The Independent on Sunday reports that Ministers from Tony Blair down are convinced that the public will never accept another mass cull

Dec 16 ~ Today in the Sunday Telegraph, Booker's Notebook takes as its main story the strangely vindictive case against 22 year old Kirstin McBride in Dumfries.

Dec 16 ~ In yet another Orwellian statement, Elliot Morley has claimed as a "success" the fact that "quality control arrangements put in place to spot mistakes" had highlighted the failure of a laboratory engaged in government tests.

Dec 15 ~ The good news today, for which we have been hoping for some time, is that the European Parliament is to hold its own inquiry into foot and mouth, which could lead to the Prime Minister being called to give evidence.

Dec 15 ~ Big Brother comes a step closer. Proposals to link every farm in Britain to Defra by means of a computer are being considered by Margaret Beckett, according to the Telegraph today.

Dec 15 ~ A Dr Peter Nettleton, of the Moredun Research Institute is, it seems, the latest in a long line of the apparently sane to have rejected the idea that vaccination would have helped in the foot and mouth crisis.

Dec 15 ~ Exit Mr Jim Scudamore...who has sent to all the staff a letter saying that a civil servant will be in charge of the State Veterinary Service from next March.

Dec 14 ~ Dr Ruth Watkins' document for the Brussels Conference. Here is one British delegate at least who, as a practising farmer, knows not only how to differentiate between a sheep and a cow but also, as an virologist, actually understands the science. Click here to see Dr Watkins' questions for the conference.

Dec 14 ~ Tony Blair has again shown his disregard for Parliament and his increasingly worrying dictatorial tendencies.

Dec 14 ~ In sharp contrast to the less than informed speech of Margaret Beckett is this paper delivered at the same International Conference this week:

Dec 14 ~ Readers of this website will still be reeling from the sheer audacity of Margaret Beckett's Brussels speech about the "dangers" of vaccination.

Dec 14 ~ EUROPE'S leaders will engage today in the opening round of a two-year battle to determine whether the European Union will become a "United States of Europe"

Dec 14 ~ Terror Bill passed after climbdown

Dec 13 ~ As expected, the mad, bad and senselessly named Animal Health amendment Bill has got through its Third Reading with no amendments being passed.

Dec 13 ~Brussels Conference: Holland's Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr F.H. Pluimers, in his paper The use of emergency vaccination and trade implcations has categorically stated that in any future outbreak they would choose the "socially more acceptable solution" of keeping vaccinated animals alive.

Dec 13 ~ Kris de Clercq 's paper Technical review of Diagnostics and Vaccines as a tool for preventing FMD at the Brussels conference makes reference to the papers written by Professor Fred Brown, Dr Simon Barteling,Dr Paul Sutmoller and Dr Paul Kitching

Dec 13 ~ Pausing in our dismay at the antics of those "in power" we give three hearty cheers to Prince Charles - yet again.

Dec 13 ~ The loathsome Animal Health amendment Bill goes to the Report and Third Reading stage in the House of Commons today. Argument and debate will not be extensive, it appears.

Dec 13 ~ Mrs Beckett in Brussels, unwilling to look as though she is facing a u-turn, has been trying not to sound too much in favour of vaccination. Like David Byrne however, she is unable to find any new arguments against vaccination.

Dec 13 ~ Magnus Linklater in The Times has today taken up the cudgels on behalf of Professor Alan Ebringer, his ground-breaking work on BSE, and the cause of independent science.

Dec 13 ~ David BYRNE European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection "...My objective is clear. I want to reach agreement, by mid 2003 at the latest, on a new approach towards FMD.

Dec 12 ~ From Farmers' Weekly: "Addressing an audience which included officials from many world embassies, Lord Haskins said agriculture was dominated by politics.

Dec 12 ~ Not for the first time, we find ourselves baffled by the BBC's reporting of the foot and mouth crisis in Britain.

Dec 12 ~ Yesterday's note about the farm in Carlisle with cull lorries outside and new disinfectant very apparent has prompted this worrying email:

Dec 11 ~ ROMANO PRODI, the president of the European Commission, wants Brussels to take far-reaching new powers over government spending, foreign policy, defence and police

Dec 11 ~" ..the slaughter being extended to all animals on premises designated by a computer, because they are deemed "contiguous", gives considerable problems to veterinary surgeons,

Dec 11~"This is, in short, a nasty, autocratic and pointless piece of legislation. We hope the House of Lords will treat it as such"... At last a leading broadsheet newspaper has made the Animal Health amendment bill the subject of a leading article. The Telegraph today, under the title "This BEASTLY BILL" writes,

Dec 11 ~ A courageous vet who still puts humanity and integrity before the more usual self-interest masquerading as realism writes to us:

Dec 11 ~ The new EU Commission policy on pharmaceuticals will result in a prescription only monopoly in the supply of animal medicines to farmers and horse owners.

Dec 11 ~ Although there has not officially been a new case of foot and mouth in Britain since September 30th, one does rather wonder when reading emails such as this one from Carlisle.

Dec 10 ~ Mr Blunkett is in deep trouble with senior Labour party members for having the "insensitivity" to suggest that ethnic minorities should do more to ensure future generations grow up "feeling British".

Dec 10 ~ We are still wondering whether some of those Labour MPs on the Standing Committee for the Animal Health Bill had any real idea of its implications

Dec 9 ~ On the subject of SECURITY...We must be grateful for the vigilance of security guards at the St Stephen's entrance to the House of Commons

Dec 9 ~ The Dutch website Ent.Europa. NL reports that they cannot, as planned, deliver their petition at the beginning of the FMD conference;

Dec 8 ~ The BBC today reports a "new test that could cut the diagnosis time for foot-and-mouth disease from days to hours has been developed by British scientists"

Dec 8 ~ " What happened round Thirsk happened in secret." Warmwell has received the following email: "Re animals of farmers who held out subsequently becoming infected: this did happen in the Dales.

Dec 8 ~ From the Standing Committee, Dec 4th: Mr Richard Bacon: 'Mr. Thomas-Everard's statement goes on: ''I have experienced many problems as a result of MAFF's handling of the FMD crisis and like many other farmers want to see a public inquiry so that someone is accountable for the bad handling.

Dec 7 ~ A word about Mrs Beckett and Mr Morley and their great accuracy.

Dec 7 ~ An important link to the International Conference on Prevention and Control of Foot and Mouth Disease in Brussels 12-13 December

Dec 7 ~ John Cryer, Labour MP for Hornchurch, has been attempting to allay fears felt by constituents about the Animal Health amendment Bill. He sounds quite a nice chap, concerned enough to say,"I can entirely sympathise with public concerns about the way in which the mass slaughter policy was carried out,

Dec 7 ~ Alayne Addy replies to a query concerning rather odd words from Eliot Morley during last Thursday's Standing Committee.

Dec 6 ~ From the December edition of "Dairy Farmer": "The level of arrogance, combined with a staggering ignorance of our industry seems to increase with seniority in this administration.And this proposal also confirms that the contiguous cull was not covered by the present Act."

Dec 5 ~ An extraordinary article has been written by Nick Green from Cumbria, showing the enormous amounts of money that have been made out of the misery inflicted on animals and farmers.

Dec 5 ~ In addition to the countless millions killed in the foot and mouth crisis, one and a half million animals have died so far under the government's "lets shut the stable door after the horse has bolted" movement restrictions known as the "Livestock Welfare (Disposal) Scheme"

Dec 4 ~ Clerks and technicians will do it all, with policemen and soldiers to help when things turn nasty. It is as if the Government recognises its past wrongdoing and seeks to legalise it retrospectively.

Dec 4 ~ The 4th session of the Standing Committee deliberations is published (29th Nov).

Dec 3 ~ 'Home Office sources said they would "have a word" with Mr Duncan Smith about why Tory peers opposed to the Bill were blocking, "a vital piece of anti-terrorist legislation which is in the interests of national security" See today's Independent.

Dec 3 ~ Also highly alarming are Mr Blunkett's further designs against other long revered and cherished British freedoms.

Dec 3 ~ Mrs Diana Organ, MP for the Forest of Dean, has been accusing the Forest of Dean Action Group of "spreading misinformation and causing unnecessary fear" about the Government's controversial new Animal Health Bill.

Dec 3 ~ Richard Bacon MP, (South Norfolk) in Thursday'a Standing Committee; "I understand that the first clause of any Bill contains the heart, the meat and substance of the Bill. However, clause 1 of this Bill makes no reference to imports.

Dec 2 ~ "Perhaps the real reason why the Bill is being rushed through before the FMD inquiries have reported: it is because the Bill was not originally [and in fact is still not] primarily directed at FMD."

Dec 1 ~ From Hansard (Mrs Ann Winterton) : 29th November: My hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton and Honiton mentioned the case of Bella and Pippa - wonderful names - in her constituency, and there is the famous case of Mrs. Rosemary Upton of Somerset,

Dec 1 ~ We note with great interest the appearance of "Cardboard Marge" at this week's Crops Conference near Cambridge.

Nov 30 ~ "There should be an inquiry into this costly disaster" proclaims the Independent today. It is not too early to set up an inquiry into the crisis and the Government's handling of it, it says.

Nov 30 ~ In yesterday's well attended meeting in the House of Commons to explore grave concerns about the Animal Health (amendment) Bill

Nov 30 ~ Within days of DEFRA being caught out in its extraordinary appeal to farmers to fake diaries in order to cover up the Department's incompetence, what seems to be a redoubled campaign to ensure that public sympathy for farmers is finally destroyed continues today

Nov 30 ~ Margaret Beckett has told the Financial Times that foot and mouth may not be over

Nov 30 ~ Even more chilling, some would say, are Mrs Beckett's words about her three-day trip to Washington next week and her apparent desire to be seen as the saviour of the Kyoto protocol.

Nov 29 ~ Today's Meeting at the House of Commons was considered a success by its participants.

Nov 28 ~ Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill has attracted far more alarmed comment than the Animal Health Amendment Bill

Nov 27 ~ Matthew Parris' always entertaining, funny and highly serious Parliamentary Sketch today notes that;"These days it often seems that the Commons discusses what has emerged in the media.

Nov 26 ~ The second report from the Royal Society Inquiry

Nov 26 ~ Alan Beat has been looking closely at already existing powers of extended slaughter.

Nov 26 ~ A new Badtrans virus is creating havoc with email.

Nov 25 ~ It is with sinking heart we read "MPs set to get four-day week with shorter hours"

Nov 25 ~ Janet writes: "I really should not get wound up after a good dinner and an excellent bottle of vino but the article in Science re the theoretical possibility of there being 20 sheep (out of 36 MILLION) being infected with BSE caused steam to issue forth.."

Nov 24 ~ Japan may carry out mass slaughter of cows

Nov 23 ~ Scientific research into BSE is in the news again. Professor Alan Ebringer's ground breaking work looks set to be scuppered.

Nov 23 ~ The European Commission is about to embark on millions of pounds worth of new measures to test for BSE and scrapie and to destroy animal feed

Nov 21 ~ Today's news includes the mounting panic in Japan that is following the discovery of a second cow with BSE. Discovery of the first in September led to a slump in beef consumption. The BSE paranoia seems now endemic ....

Nov 21 ~ Preparations go ahead for the Lobby of Parliament on Nov 29th

The Animal Health (amendment) bill will not have quite such an easy ride as the spinners would wish. At present, individuals still have the right to challenge incompetent decisions of the administration - and sometimes even win....The bill would put a stop to that, and we must put a stop to the bill.

Nov 20 ~ As we heard from Elliot Morley on You and Yours, Labour spin is instructing its underlings to recite , "The Bill provides powers to enable any new cases of Foot and Mouth Disease to be dealt with swiftly and effectively and accelerate the eradication of scrapie from the national sheep flock."

Nov 19 ~ Radio 4 midday Inquiry into Foot and Mouth provided a more lively You and Yours than usual.

Nov 19 ~ Farmers for Action leader speaks out

Nov 19 ~ A new "Domesday Book" of farmland, including full details of fields, livestock units, animals and humans, seems now to be in the meddling, muddled mind of the government, according to today's Guardian.

Nov 19 ~ The RSPCA spokesman who said: "If you are a dog breeder and you have two or three breeding bitches, you need a licence. If you have 300 breeding sows or ewes, you do not" might do well to remember similar anomalies

Nov 18 ~ Lawrence Alderson of Rare Breeds International: "We are no longer talking about slaughtering infected animals, or animals on contiguous premises, or supposedly dangerous contacts. We now are talking about slaughtering whatever the government decrees should be slaughtered.

Nov 18 ~ To hell and back again - Cumbria

Nov 18 ~ " The Bill's sweeping new powers can be justified only by the findings of an independent public inquiry, which the government has refused to hold.

Nov 17 ~ Why do all "Animal Health" policies appear to be aimed at slaughtering British livestock? BSE testing is in the news again today. Professor Alan Ebinger's test - for which funding has been suspended - allows for live testing and would lift the threat of a national sheep cull.

Nov 17 ~ Why has the Animal Health Amendment bill been rushed through Parliament, giving widespread powers, never before dreamed of, to allow for the slaughter of healthy animals with no legal representation allowed by their owners?

Nov 17 ~ ' It would have been much easier for me to say that I was a gay vet than to say that I was a vet who wanted to vaccinate.

Nov 17 ~ A letter notable for its tone of petulant irritation was published yesterday in the Western Morning News. It was from Elliot Morley

Nov 16 ~ Mr Blunkett's Review of Terrorism Act has much in common with the Animal Health amendment Bill.

Nov 16 ~ Even those who do not share our alarm about the powers this government is creating for itself are beginnning to notice the loss of common sense and the increase in official bullying throughout Britain.

Nov 15 ~So the requirement for the Minister to act "reasonably" according to this statute appears to have been dropped. The implication is therefore that the Minister can act "unreasonably" -

Nov 15 ~"The National Farmers Union wanted the culling of animals. It wanted people to be prevented from going on our countryside. We should remember that it was not only the Government. It was, to say the least, an extraordinarily steep learning curve, and great mistakes were made. That had a serious effect on the industry."

Nov 14 ~ "it would be nice to see some evidence...." Dr Paul Kitching, a world renowned expert on the disease, who, unlike government advisers and ministers does know a little about the FMD virus and testing, has read Mr Elliot Morley's letter in yesterday's Times.

Nov 13 ~ In his Times article yesterday about reform in the Lords, Anthony Howard wrote: "There has recently grown up a tendency even among MPs to bemoan the way the Commons has increasingly been 'marginalised' since 1997. It has, the word goes forth from Westminster itself, become a rubber-stamp assembly ".

Nov 13 ~ The following honourable members of Parliament voted against the 2nd reading of the so-called Animal Health (amendment) Bill. Out thanks to them, particularly Peter Ainsworth, the MP for East Surrey whose speeches were eloquent, well informed and clear:

Nov 13 ~ One wonders whether even Margaret Beckett has read the small print of the Animal Health Amendment bill

Nov 13 ~ a letter from Elliot Morley in The Times makes this extraordinary statement:

Nov 13~ While demands for a public inquiry into the cause and handling of the foot-and-mouth epidemic won the unanimous support of Northumberland county councillors this week...

Nov 12 ~ If the Government thought the Animal Health Amendment bill would simply go through on the nod, it had reckoned without Tony Banks and William Hague

Nov 12 ~Mrs Beckett challenged in the High Court. ' Grounds of Relief - following the issue of proceedings yesterday in the action The Queen (On the application of (1). Peter Alan Jackson and (2). Jeremy James Roe) -and- The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Nov 12 ~ As part of the agenda for business in the Commons today we read; ANIMAL HEALTH BILL: Second Reading. [Until 10.00 p.m.]

Nov 12 ~ The House of Commons today will be asked to nod through measures that will further erode what civil liberties remain in Britain. The Animal Health Amendment bill

Nov 11~ (Mr Morley) ........ At the present time, we do not have powers for a fire break cull. There was the three kilometre cull in Cumbria but that was a voluntary cull and people were invited to participate in that.

Nov 10 ~ Can this Animal Health Amendment bill refer to other animals? An email correspondent to the FMD forum writes, " I asked them exactly what was meant by "all animals" and "all diseases".

Nov 10 ~ From BBC 24 text North East "Sheep are culled as latest precaution.

Nov 10 ~ ANIMAL HEALTH BILL - SECOND READING We note that in the Select Committee, Elliot Morley was unable to provide adequate figures to justify his claim that resisting farmers had increased the spread of disease. In the face of massive evidence that nearly all contiguous premises in fact remained disease free, he said he would provide "further information" later.

Nov 9 ~ Not content with trying to eradicate the safety net of the Lords, the government is now, it seems, preparing to take swift and sorry action - partly perhaps to protect itself from likely enormous compensation claims around the corner over foot and mouth - by pretending that its motive is " political and civil democracy"


Nov 9 ~ The Qatar conference begins today. We note that Baroness Symons, minister for international trade and investment, has been trotting out the usual honeyed words about how globalisation will help the poorer nations

Nov 8 ~ Although there seems to be something of a tight-lipped media silence on the subject, British farmers WILL get their public inquiry - at least at Strasburg.

Nov 8 ~ The evidence given by Professors King and Anderson before the Select Committee on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is not to be posted in the usual way on the Parliament/Hansard internet site.

Nov 8 ~ A joint submission has been sent by the groups "Vets for Vaccination" and "The National Foot and Mouth Group" to The Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the House of Commons

Nov 8 ~ As many of us look with increasing dismay at what remains of democracy, our last hope for sanity over the Animal Health Amendment bill resting with the House of Lords, the Electoral Reform Society has condemned Mr Blair's plans for the Upper House as "totally inadequate".

Nov 8 ~ Professor Roy Anderson told the Select Committee that the contiguous cull had saved animals' lives...Professor David King said that much more needed to be spent on scientific research in the future. Professor Woolhouse said " If the epidemic broke out again, the controversial policy of culling on nearby farms which were not showing any signs of infection should be extended rather than the reverse."

Nov 7 ~ Amvac Chemical UK Ltd, a company which makes Dichlorvos, prevented Margaret Beckett and Stephen Byers, by means of a legal challenge, from suspending the use of this organophosphate - or even from publicly announcing that they wanted to do so.

Nov 7 ~ Elliot Morley admitted yesterday in front of the Select Committee that only eight of the 103 farms that took legal action to save their animals from slaughter went on to develop foot and mouth

Nov 7 ~ Simon Jenkins at his best today

See Best of the Press

Nov 6 ~ "...the notion that Morley's thoughts on FMD can be allowed to stand as the last word on the world's worst outbreak is simply absurd."

Nov 6 ~ Farming Today included an interview with David Curry, the chairman of the all party select committee, which meets today.

Nov 6 ~ Will the Royal Society Inquiry be inviting the vaccination experts - or not?

Nov 6 ~ See the letter posted late yesterday from a leading barrister about the implications of this proposed bill, particularly in view of the The Human Rights Act 1998

Nov 5 ~ Anthony Gibson of the NFU (SW Regional Director) says "....We are furious!

Nov 5 ~ Extract from message sent urgently to members of the Welsh Assembly and passed to Warmwell: FMD crisis and Auction Marts: The most important debate concerning the future of the "Family Farm", hence the rural economy in Wales,

Nov 5 ~ Tony Blair enjoys powers which "would make Stalin blush", according to a Labour MP, Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North

Nov 5 ~ Fondly remembering Guy Fawkes today, we urgently ask everyone to print the parliamentary petition and get everyone who cares about democracy to sign it.

Nov 5 ~ The more we hear about the apparently foregone conclusions of the Royal Society's Inquiry the more alarmed we feel. In spite of the presence, in the 15 strong group of advisers, of Professor Fred Brown, Sir Brian Follett has already dismissed the prospect of protecting British livestock through vaccination,

Nov 4 ~ A half page advert by DEFRA which appeared in Farmers Weekly 19th October, page 50. It is headed "Transport of Livestock Carcases"

Nov 4 ~ "vindictive, repressive legislation, to put beyond challenge the power of the government to kill any animal,

Nov 4 ~ The Sunday Telegraph, in Christopher Booker's Notebook, points out that the " most startling aspect of the Animal Health Bill, which no one seems to have noticed, is that it confirms that the Government acted illegally during the foot and mouth crisis

Nov 4 ~ ''We can do better than this in treating a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak,''

Nov 3 ~ More on the extraordinary allegations made by Elliot Morley against farmers who resisted the cull ( He said that it was "established fact" and "a matter of record" that farmers had caused increased spread of disease, prolonging the epidemic and increasing the overall slaughter total. There was "proof" and "evidence" of this, there was "no argument about it" etc etc.)

Nov 3 ~ Further to the above....a farmer correspondent, living under a form A notice, is trying to understand remarks sent last week by Fred Landeg, Head of DEFRA's Veterinary Exotic Diseases Team.

Nov 2 ~ Elliot Morley, who is asserting that farmers who resisted the cull and protected their healthy animals "spread the disease", would do well to read, among other things, the following statement from Allayne Addy (Devon solicitor), quoted in the Beats' letter last night:

Nov 2 ~ Is there a new case of FMD about to be confirmed in County Durham?

Nov 2 ~ "... the Prime Minister has tried to bypass Parliament. Over foot and mouth, Mr Brown insisted it was a waste of time to come to Westminster to tell MPs how the battle was going. Mr Blair still doesn't trust his MPs to have a proper debate or vote on the war,"

Nov 2 ~ Not for the first time, we are baffled by part of a story reported by the BBC. "There are still concerns over whether BSE is in sheep "

Nov 1 ~ Dodging questions from fellow peers about the need for an independent public inquiry, Lord Whitty was heard to declare yesterday, " Everything was done on the basis of firm and clear veterinary and scientific advice with the aim of eradicating the disease."

Nov 1 ~ Peter and Gillian Cave: "This smacks of Nazi law, malicious and spiteful - you bloody well behave or we'll get you."

Nov 1~ In a letter to the Telegraph yesterday, Christopher Booker writes, ' Professor Mercer calls for a "national contingency plan" to ensure that such mistakes are never repeated. He should know that precisely such a detailed contingency plan already exists.


Oct 31 ~ What on earth does Ian Gardiner, deputy Director general of the NFU, think he is up to? He has been spouting nonsense - and very dangerous nonsense - on the BBC again. Does he think all farmers and all members of the general public are deaf, blind and totally dumbed down?

Oct 31 ~ Animal Health (Amendment) bill introduced October 30th. Many MPs seem completely unaware of the proposed new powers. Here are just some of them. All animal owners - including those of dogs and cats - beware. The government is in deadly earnest.

Oct 31 ~ Tucked away at the end of the notes, we read the following:

Oct 31 ~ Our government continues to undermine serious debate on vaccination, congratulates itself publicly on its catastrophic slaughter policy having been, as Mrs Beckett said, a "howling success"and prepares a bill to enable it to take further powers of random slaughter Meanwhile, the United States now has the ability to create 100,000 doses of FMD vaccine within days of any outbreak and millions of doses within weeks,

Oct 30 ~ Defra's responses late for the Devon Inquiry. Peter Doyle, Head of Media and PR at Devon County Council told warmwell :

Oct 30 ~ Miriam O'Reilly: And what about Devon County Council sending the government a list of questions

Oct 30 ~ If any member of the public is optimistic enough to write to the government urging vaccination, they are now sent - if they are prepared to wait patiently for the privilege - their very own personal copy of Prof King's DEFRA article along with the bland assurances of Ms Chapman.

Oct 30 ~ Anglesey catttle may have to be exhumed because their burial breached strict government regulations.

Oct 30 ~ The Imperial College modellers, perhaps scenting the inevitable approach of a public inquiry in the wake of Professor Mercer's fearless work in Devon, once again appear very anxious to absolve themselves by blaming the Government.

Oct 29~ From Margaret Beckett's speech on Oct 22 para 14.re the so-called National Scrapie Plan

Oct 29 ~ "Reports of insensitive and even belligerent operatives and bungled culls do little to enhance the professional reputation of those involved, from ministers downwards" The preliminary report of the Devon public inquiry has said that the handling of the crisis was "lamentable".

Oct 28 ~THE Government is to be taken to court under the Human Rights Act over its handling of foot and mouth.

Oct 27 ~ Listen again to the summary on today's Farming Today

Oct 27 ~ Today's march in Gloucester may not be a mass demonstration

Oct 26 ~ "If ever there was a national disaster which cried out to be investigated by a genuinely independent and comprehensive public inquiry..."

Oct 26 ~ once again, in today's Telegraph, we find reputable journalists implying that there is a proven link between BSE and CJD.


Oct 26 ~ Only Wales was able to see last week's Week In Week Out programme on foot and mouth but we are working on a transcript:


Oct 25 ~ Months rather than weeks to test sheep for BSE

Oct 25 ~The imposing of dire "solutions" to problems that never existed in the first place continues unabated. ...Mrs Beckett said the government would take steps for compulsory slaughter for sheep not tested resistant to scrapie, a BSE-like disease, because it could not afford to wait 15 years for a voluntary scheme to work (Tuesday's Guardian)


Oct 24 ~Simon Hoggart writes, "Why do we need Osama Bin Laden when our own Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can cause such havoc and horror on its own?

Oct 24 ~ Tests on the 300+ cattle at the Kirkbride farm have, as expected, come back "negative"

Oct 23 ~ Continuing puzzlement is expressed to us about the activities of the FSA and Sir John Krebs with regard to British sheep.

Oct 23 ~ "HOW would farmers and anyone else go about calling Government to account over the foot and mouth crisis?"

Oct 23 ~ From the comment column of today's Guardian "... The horror of the twin towers supplanted images of burning cattle but we should not forget them.

Oct 22 ~ A curious extract from a Sunday Times article by Jonathan Leake makes some extraordinary claims:

Oct 22 ~ The Strange 'Case' of Kirkbride

Oct 22 ~ The Yorkshire Post's Brian Dooks concludes his latest article:" It brought the number of infected animals slaughtered since foot and mouth disease was confirmed at Cheale Meats in Essex on February 20 to 3,916,000."

Oct 21 ~ The lunacy and dishonesty of government funded science (see Alan Beat's very serious newsletter) is matched by the callous bungling of the political decision makers. And where, we ask in despair, is any form of honourable Opposition?

Rural businesses at their last gasp have been offered illusory funds: " it may not be surprising to note how that £24 million, announced in a week when it was reported that damage cause by foot and mouth to rural tourism has amounted to £2 billion, is not new money at all. Most of it has been reallocated from spending under the EU-sponsored Rural Development Fund, of which Britain has applied for by far the smallest percentage of any country in the EU (Irish farmers are proportionately receiving eight times as much)" Christopher Booker goes on to explain "Any money handed out in foot and mouth compensation will therefore simply be taken away from other farmers. At the same time, Mrs Beckett's ministry sneaked out an announcement that, because of the costs of "terrorism", it will not be applying to Brussels, as promised, for £57 million due to compensate British farmers for the collapse of the euro (because subsidies are calculated in euros)"

Oct 20 ~ Lord Haskins recommended a minimum of £40 million; Margaret Beckett cuts it to £24 million ; it now emerges that only £14 million of that sum would be new Government money.

Oct 19 ~ Hardly able to believe our eyes, we read the BBC headline "Call for more BSE research" and, hearts sinking like lead, we realise that Krebs and Co. are not to be put off by mere public ridicule from their ultmate purpose. They have access to all the wheels of super spin.

Oct 19 ~ "A fairly disastrous error....." (Peter Smith)

Oct 18 ~ Demands for a public inquiry escalate as questions are asked in Wales about 'overkill'

Oct 18 ~ Two animals only out of 77,000 (seventy seven thousand) slaughtered by July 22 in Wales on D notice premises tested positive for foot and mouth

Oct 18 ~ In view of its continuing refusal to hold a full public inquiry, the Western Mail is taking legal action

Oct 18 ~ "We are just fed up with it, all the red tape and the filling in of forms," said Phoenix's owners, who are going to give up farming.

Oct 17 ~ The anthrax hype continues. The foot and mouth tragedy - which is real and continuing to cause widespread misery for farmers and stranded animals - falls out of the news almost completely.

Oct 16 ~In the worst-hit parts of Devon one in three affected farmers are likely to stop farming, given the grim economic forecasts for small, family-run farms.

Oct 16 ~ The Science Inquiry "into infectious diseases in livestock" has some very specific questions

Oct 15 ~ In all the hyped panic about anthrax we now note that Sir William Stewart's newly developed vaccine against it is to be supplied to the Ministry of Defence

Oct 15 ~ "Hopes" in the Times headline; "Fears" in the Guardian headline. But, in an article resonant with common sense, a Devon farmer today deplores the dead hand of centralisation and offers an alternative

Oct 14 ~ Dr Paul Kitching, world expert in the field for FMD, has sent us the following comments after reading Ray Anderson's words below (Oct 13)

Oct 14 ~ Still reeling from Mr Richardson's comment There was not a spare thermometer in the office, yet dozens of computers were being unloaded from a lorry we find now that a problem caused by the DEFRA computer system has caused a massive backlog of the vital Movement Licences in the West.

Oct 13 ~ "The person in London will just see the numbers and say they have to be taken out."

Oct 13 ~ If we have correctly understood the words of Defra's Ray Anderson, according to an admiring Westmorland Gazette, "THE man leading the fight against foot-and-mouth in Cumbria", DEFRA feels it was right to kill the uninfected sheep at Barbon - and by implication, any uninfected sheep anywhere.

Oct 12 ~ Autumn Movement Controls, put in place supposedly to stop the spread of foot and mouth, cut farmers off from their incomes and spread more despair than was seen even at the height of the outbreak.

Oct 12 ~ "Let farmers farm," delegates at a Scottish Landowners' Federation conference in Perth were told yesterday.

Oct 12 ~ 350 abattoirs in Britain: 7000 in Austria.

Oct 12 ~ Common Sense is not to be hoped for from the EU Commission when they plan such restrictions as limiting farmers to three hours a day on a tractor

Oct 11 ~ We are in urgent, desperate need of Common Sense: 'Communication' not more and ever faster communications.

Oct 11 ~ "Whitehall wanted these animals dead"...Last night's BBC Wales "Week in Week out" on the foot and mouth policy concluded that the treatment for the disease was deadlier than the disease itself

Oct 10 ~ David Byrne blames the" farming community"for UK resistance to vaccination. Would anyone care to put him right?

Oct 10 ~ Print out and read the Richardson Report by Alan Richardson B.Vet.Med., Ph.D., M.R.C.V.S.

Oct 10 ~ Anyone in Wales should tune in to "Week in Week out" on BBC Wales at 10.35 tonight

Oct 10 ~ The report that 1,700 sheep have been killed on the basis of one positive blood test and 25 inconclusive results, at Parracombe in Devon is not quite so straightforward as it seemed this morning

Oct 10 ~ Royal Dutch Veterinary Association: Peter Poll's proposal dropped

Oct 9 ~ Defra website figures: Julian points out the curiously elastic nature of the statistics

Later : Julian notes that, " I see there is now a note on the DEFRA site about these other animals -

Oct 8 ~ Was everyone aware, and we admit we were not, of SEAC's advice on the potential slaughter of animals at research centres as a result of the FMD epidemic?

The current "scare" conjured up about "BSE in sheep" is also the combined work of SEAC and the Food Standards Agency (Chair: J Krebs).

Oct 8 ~ Another negative result. Somewhat late for the sheep involved to be comforted by the news.

Oct 8 ~ No one is rushing to publicise the news that the sheep & cattle on land adjacent to Defra's base in Gisburn are being slaughtered today

Oct 8 ~ The Devon Inquiry gets underway today

Oct 7 ~ "Small farmers to be given millions in aid " proclaims the Sunday Times

Oct 6 ~ The complete transcript of the excellent BBC programme "Close-up"

Oct 6 ~ The Telegraph today reports that this has been a "clear week" in the foot and mouth battle.

Oct 6 ~ Our Animal Health Minister Elliot Morley says...wait for it...." the Government has still not ruled out the possibility of using vaccination...."

Oct 6 ~ Anthony Gibson, NFU, says "We were wrong to oppose vaccines"

Oct 5 ~ Audit Office wants views on virus

Oct 5 ~ Powys County Council has called DEFRA's sudden U-turn on autumn movement regulations a "shambles"

Oct 5 ~ Acting director of the Dales Recovery Appeal, Dr Brian Fisher, has referred to "this terrible trap"

Oct 5 ~ A Florida man is gravely ill with a lethal form of anthrax

Oct 5 ~ A special award has gone to NFU director Anthony Gibson

Oct 5 ~ A reaction to the Close-Up programme on BBC2 in the West Country:

Oct 4 ~ Close-Up BBC 2 at 7.30 (West Country only) "The programme considers whether a programme of vaccination,

Oct 4 ~ The BBC reports that Professor Neil Ferguson team from Imperial College has undertaken a new mathematical analysis of disease, culling and census data from all the livestock farms in Great Britain.

Oct 3 ~ The Guardian reports that ministers are increasingly irritated by complaints from farmers that the government is selling the industry short....that lax farming standards had clearly not helped matters - particularly during the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Oct 3 ~ We read today about the energy shown by the NFU in urging ministers to make one single authority responsible for the control of illegal imports. Fine. ..."They are winning support from leading vets,"

Oct 3 ~ More Orwellian language from the Minister

Oct 3 ~ The Telegraph reports in its News in Brief section that racing resumes at Hexham and that no case of foot-and-mouth was confirmed yesterday.

Oct 2 ~ "Farmers must become more market-oriented and consumer-focused," said Mrs Beckett in Brighton today

Oct 2 ~ People have no idea of what is happening to the British rare breeds as a consequence of this disgraceful scandal of FMD

Oct 2 ~ We read in the Farmers Weekly that Donald Curry, Food and Farming Policy Commission chairman, said last week: "We want everyone with an interest in the future of farming and food in this country to send us their views.

Oct 1~ U.S. Government Issues "Declaration of Emergency" for Disease Similar to Mad Cow

Oct 1 ~ The Defra site has been updated and now features a slightly edited version of the Telegraph article by the Chief Scientist, matily referred to on their website as Prof Dave King, that appeared on Friday 21 September

Oct 1 ~ Here we are in October, seven months down the line and no end in sight;another outbreak near Hexham brings the total to 2030.

Sept 30 ~ The DEFRA website is being strangely silent about recent outbreaks

Sept 30 ~ A total of 86,732 animals have now been slaughtered in the Allendale Blue Box zone

Sept 30 ~ BSE and vCJD scare stories are in the news - panic is being pre-packed.

Sept 29 ~ The NFU, with apparent concern for the country's 23,000 tenant farmers, has asked landowners not to raise rents at Michaelmas

Sept 28 ~ Headlines today are likely to reinforce the erroneous idea, already planted in the imagination of the public, that British sheep get BSE

Sept 28 ~ The initial tests on the 170 sheep killed at Ross-on-Wye have come back negative

Sept 27 ~ Carnforth in Lancashire is briefly reported as a "confirmed case" but is not mentioned on the DEFRA site - not apparently updated since Sept 24/25.

Sept 26 ~ Late Infected Premises case today - way outside the Penrith Spur, just north of Kirkby Lonsdale. Low Bank House, Barbon, writes Elaine

Sept 26 ~ No end in sight. 170 sheep from Wales were killed today in Ross -on-Wye

Sept 26 ~ "If the tests prove negative, we have to prove it is not foot-and-mouth, which could take up to five to six days."

Sept 26 ~ Will Cockbain who accompanied Prince Charles on his day in Cumbria yesterday said, "The prince showed a remarkable grasp of the problems that we have encountered.

Sept 25 ~ 1040 cattle and sheep have been slaughtered on suspicion in Ribblesdale.

Sept 25 ~ The 31st case of foot-and-mouth disease was confirmed in the Allendale Blue Box yesterday. 1310 animals doomed - the majority are healthy.

Sept 25 ~ Last year 22% of the beef consumed in the United Kingdom was imported while in the current year that could increase to nearer one third.

Sept 25 ~ Ian Gardener, deputy director of the NFU, said yesterday: "Foot and mouth was an almighty problem, far worse than anyone could have realised, and mistakes were made but we could not let it rip through Britain, it had to be stopped, not least for animal welfare reasons.

Sept 25 ~ The Department of Environment said: "The Rural Task Force has put £300m into the rural economy to try and help business and promote tourism.

Sept 24 ~ How many others, we wonder, will now follow the lead of the whistle -blower who defied the Official Secrets Act in order to tell the truth?

Sept 24 ~ The CPRE has said on the Today Programme this morning that the government's response to the foot and mouth crisis has made the situation worse.

Sept 23 ~ See Christopher Booker's Notebook in the Sunday Telegraph ...and Lawrence adds this morning: "I have found out more since.

Sept 22 ~ Farmers are threatening to move livestock "illegally" unless foot-and-mouth restrictions are lifted in the Furness peninsula region of Cumbria

Sept 22 ~ ASH TIPPING CONTINUES.... Contaminated pyre waste from Teeside/Cumbria is being brought into a foot-and-mouth-free area

Sept 22 ~ In response to a new outbreak of foot and mouth east of Tebay in Cumbria, Defra have closed some minor roads

Sept 22 ~ We read with some weariness in the Telegraph that "Britain is well prepared to deal with bio-terrorism"

Sept 21 ~ Yesterday's new case in Northumberland is just to the north of Hadrians Wall

Sept 21 ~ We are deeply concerned to see in the Telegraph that David King has again pronounced that 'Vaccination is not the answer' Of course, it rather depends on what question you're asking.

Sept 20 ~ We hear that tests on the Dursley sheep, killed "on suspicion", have been shown to be free of foot and mouth disease. They have returned negative.

Sept 20 ~ Farmers in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria have had enough and are ready to defy the government.

Sept 20 ~ The news, quietly reported in the Times and Telegraph, that 119 ewes at Dursley in Gloucestershire have been slaughtered on suspicion of FMD, is deeply worrying

Sept 20 ~ We note that David Currie MP has told farmers to use compensation money to get out of farming

Sept 19 ~ Jean Dixon, tireless campaigner from Skipton

Sept 19 ~ While we hope that British beef would be people's first choice we are puzzled by fears spread by Professors Roy Anderson and Harriet Kimbell about European (and especially French) beef at yesterday's meeting of SEAC.

Sept 19 ~ The scientific advice listened to by the government for dealing with agricultural disasters does not inspire confidence

Sept 18 ~ After the latest case at Black Hall, Steel, near Hexham yesterday, 103 cattle, 333 ewes and 458 lambs have been killed.

Sept 18 ~ This week's statistics continue to tell a dreadful story.

Sept 18 ~ ".... I am glad our campaign against foot-and-mouth is continuing to bring relief to Britain's farming industry" says Lord Whitty (without falling dead on the spot)

Sept 18 ~ We are more alarmed than ever. Fighting a mad policy is one thing, fighting spin on such a Stalinist scale - in Britain - is quite another,

Sept 17 ~ Two more cases of foot-and-mouth have been confirmed

Sept 17 ~ The meeting in Penrith Cumbria has been reported on by several sources and we await news from the local press there who also attended the meeting

Sept 17 ~ After 1 new case at Kirby Stephen in Cumbria, minor roads there are now being closed

Sept 17 ~ More restrictive rules forbidding the movement of animals come into force in many parts of the country today. They will cause frustration, hardship and anger

Sept 16 ~ What has happened to the basic rights of farmers?

Sept 16 ~ Between 150 - 200 people met at the CIWF sponsored vets' forum at Bristol University yesterday to listen to the best informed scientists in the field of FMD:

Sept 15 ~ "We can categorically state that there is no risk from deer." Defra is either missing the physical evidence or is "mistaken" in the Parliamentary sense of the word...."

Sept 15 ~ Anthony Gibson, the very sound NFU regional director for the South West, says of the draconian restrictions Defra and the government have imposed: "The treatment is rapidly becoming more deadly than the disease"

Sept 14 ~ A Press Conference was held at the Central Hall Westminster at 11 am this morning. Prof. Fred Brown FRS was interviewed about tomorrow's conference for vets at Bristol University tomorrow.

Sept 14 ~ The Chief scientist, David King, has said he would kill all the hefted sheep in Cumbria

Sept 14 ~ We read with disbelief in today's Times that the government has ruled out vaccination in this outbreak.

Sept 14 ~ No Defra statistics were reported yesterday.

Sept 13 ~ The severe animal welfare problems caused when the thousands of animals trapped in upland areas and on over-crowded farms face starvation

Sept 12 ~ "....an insupportable threat to the genetic diversity of our domesticated and feral species susceptible to FMD. .... a threat to the continued existence of low intensity farming methods and the rich wild life habitat they support"

Sept 12 ~ It is Big Business that's pulling the non-vaccination strings.

Sept 12 ~ We read today in the Telegraph that Ministers are still maintaining that the movement restrictions and subsequent blood-testing of sheep "would cause problems but were the best way of preventing the spread of the disease"

Sept 7 ~ The Financial Times this morning quotes David King as saying, "I think the contiguous farm cull policy is going very well in Northumbria [north-east England],"

Sept 6 ~ There is a lot of shuffling going on behind the scenes and our informed sources tell us that this is to pave the way for the U-turn on vaccination.

Sept 6 ~ We hear on Farming Today that one option being considered

Sept 6 ~ The Institute of Directors has been unequivocal in its condemnation of the government's handling of the crisis

Sept 6 ~ Any extra testing of sheep which seems necessary must not be allowed to hold up the traditional autumn movement of cattle from the hills, said an NFU spokesman for the South West yesterday

Sept 5 ~In what is looking like a more and more desperate and frenzied bid to control the virus without using vaccination, the government has set up a "red-box" covering 6,100 square miles in the North East

Sept 5 ~ "... they're prepared to see the total destruction of the native hill breeds of the North of England"

Sept 5 ~ Professor Malcolm Ferguson-Smith, warns that the secrecy and refusal to allow dissenting expert opinion in the present crisis shows that the BSE lessons have not been learned.

Sept 4 ~ Another mortal blow for the Penrith Spur (Cumbria)

There are currently around 2,000 hefted sheep on the common, owned by 10 farmers in the Crosby Ravensworth Parish. ......"The village of Crosby Ravensworth was wiped out in the blink of an eye. There were six farms in three days which lost all their stock. Now it looks as though the fell will be lost as well." ( Newcastle Journal ) If you have not yet read Nick Green's "Silent Spring, Silent Summer, Silent Autumn?" click here.

Sept 4 ~ 2000 farms affected? It all depends on definitions. By 20 July a total of 8,811 premises had been culled, (and only 1,873 were classified IP), now it is more than 9,300 premises.

Sept 3 ~ From Lawrence Alderson's paper Foot-and-Mouth Disease in the United Kingdom 2001; its cause, course, control and consequences ..."by 31 May (100 days after confirmation of the first case) the official figures showed that 3,168 thousand animals had been slaughtered, but the true total was considerably higher at more than 8 million (Figure 1 - which takes a few moments to load, but is very important in showing the graph with its ever upward curve).

Sept 3 ~ Also from Mr Alderson's paper - " WTO prevents trade barriers against imports of lower quality and the UK Prime Minister admitted that if the UK did not buy sub-standard meat from overseas, exports would be jeopardised by possible retaliatory international trade sanctions.

Sept 3 ~ THE so-called "exclusion zone" set up in Northumberland intended to contain the latest outbreak was expected to be extended today

Sept 2 ~ As more troops are drafted into Northumberland, the BBC quotes Defra regional operations director John Bradbury as saying their arrival is a "prudent measure".

Sept 2 ~ The Government's top advisers on foot and mouth have been drawing up secret plans to vaccinate

Sept 1 ~ The suggestion that vaccination could be considered after six weeks leaves us staggering...

Sept 1 ~ 41,000 sheep have been blood tested in N. Yorks (Thirsk area) - all are clear of evidence of the disease.

Sept 1 ~ David Mclean, Penrith & Borders MP, is furious that the army has been reintroduced to help in Northumberland and not in Cumbria despite his request, some 3 weeks ago for Army help in the County. He was speaking on radio Cumbria today.

Cumbria had 2 i/p`s so far today, both in Brough Sowerby nr. Kirkby Stephen, bringing the total in theb county to 872.

Sept 1 ~ DUTCH farmers have written to National Farmers' Union president Ben Gill

Aug 31 ~ Army called in as new foot-and-mouth outbreak spreads

Aug 31 ~ Cheering moment on Farming Today

Aug 31 ~ A senior Whitehall insider has said that if the government failed to stamp out the disease in the autumn, "we have to consider vaccination again very actively"

Aug 31 ~ The Government goes on imposing rules without any understanding of the implications

Aug 30 ~ According to the Whitehaven News (Cumbria) there are no checks being made on FMD effluent in the Solway -

Aug 30 ~ The first day since Friday without a new case in Northumberland also saw vaccination against the virus back on the agenda amid fears that the public would not stomach another mass slaughter of animals, says the Newcastle Journal

Aug 30 ~ The Welsh Assembly has extended the livestock welfare disposal scheme to cover lambs that cannot be marketed and would otherwise " face severe welfare problems" this autumn.

Aug 30 ~ Ewan Cameron's "limited ring vaccination" plan would be followed by the slaughter of animals. Both David King and the NFU continue to discount any ideas of vaccination.

Aug 29 ~ the leader of Southwark Council will be joining those handing in the next petition to Downing Street.

Aug 29 ~ The Telegraph this morning, at its most outspoken yet, says " Mr Blair has done nothing over the summer to prepare for another onslaught of the disease. Instead, his policy has been focused on getting rid of as many small farmers as possible, first undermining them in the eyes of the public, then trying to pay them off..."

Aug 29 ~ Lord Whitty makes a statement

Aug 29 ~ Yesterday the National Union of Farmers broke ranks with the Government over its handling of the epidemic and for the first time backed calls for a fully-fledged public inquiry.

Aug 28 ~"an initial 4,000 cattle and 6,000 sheep" killed in the Allendale valley

Aug 27 ~ Number of cases jumps to 11

Aug 27 ~ It has just been confirmed on the radio that there is a seventh case in Northumberland

Aug 27 ~ The "draconian measures" in response to the outbreak in Northumberland include the killing of 8,000 animals.

Aug 26 ~ The callousness is beyond belief...Here is an extract from today's Sunday Sun

Aug 26 ~ There was a third case in Northumberland yesterday

Aug 26 ~ The Sunday Times magazine has a long and thoughtful article about the future of farming

Aug 25 ~ The heartbreak continues in Northumberland with a second case five miles from Taylor Burn Farm

Aug 25 ~ More moorland sheep likely to be killed by DEFRA following the outbreak at Hexham

Aug 25 ~ Another farmer dies

Aug 24 ~ yet another case in Cumbria

Aug 24 ~ 5 contiguous farms to the case in Hexham are to be "culled out"

Aug 24 ~ After nearly 12 weeks without the disease, Northumberland has a new case of foot and mouth confirmed among cattle

Aug 24 ~ Val has sent her latest slaughter figures: "...as ever far too many 'new' places -

Aug 23 ~Professor Ian Mercer has been named as the Devon County Council foot and mouth inquiry chairman.

Aug 23 ~ Nick has learned from an inside source at DEFRA that "17% only of the money spent on FMD is related to stock compensation & cleaning & disinfection.

Aug 22~ David writes to the FMD forum group: "Just thought you would like to know you were probably video taped by MI5 or the EU police intelligence (Europol)

Aug 22 ~ More petitions to Downing Street today

Aug 21 ~ Janet Hughes has been refused her application to bring a judicial review in the Brecon Beacons cull


Aug 21 ~ Sandie in New Zealand writes: " For what it's worth, you are all on our National lunchtime TV news down here in NZ,

Aug 21 ~ Virtual Reality? " Lord Whitty denied rumours that the Labour administration wanted to use the foot-and-mouth outbreak as a pretext for closing large parts of the farming sector. "

Aug 20 ~ Ananova's report on the London March, filed at two p.m. today

Aug 20 ~ A peaceful March from Speakers Corner to Downing Street will take place at 1 p.m. today.

Aug 19 ~ A new press release from the national foot and mouth group

Aug 19 ~ The move to ban child workers from farms is the latest example

Aug 19 ~ The English Tourism Council has run out of money to promote tourism and is not being given any more by government

Aug 18 ~ There is a strange discrepancy between news coming from Devon and from Brecon

Aug 17 ~ There have been no reports of active virus having been found in the Brecon Beacons. Antibodies have been found in some sheep, showing that they have developed effective immunity against the virus (but not against Defra, alas)

Aug 16 ~ We read on the Ananova site that: " Farmers are protesting at Brazil's plans to promote its beef for sale in Britain -

Aug 16 ~ Lord Haskins has told the Daily Express that his family's 900-acre East Yorkshire farm gets £60,000 a year in subsidy.

Aug 16 ~ Unfortunately, Mr Carwyn Jones did not see fit to come to the Emergency foot and mouth talks scheduled for today (see below) as arranged with graziers at the Brecon Beacon Barracks. Farmers' representatives and Welsh Assembly officials rejected calls for emergency vaccination to be introduced in the Brecon Beacons.

Aug 16 ~ Janet Bayley asks that all those concerned at Brecon Beacons Culling - that now has resulted in the slaughter of 20,000 sheep

Aug 16 ~ This outbreak is not and never has been "under control" -

Aug 16 ~ Cumbria Wildlife Trust hopes to create more than 7,500 acres of new upland woodlands over the next 20 years,

Aug 15 ~ Carwen Jones is meeting graziers at Brecon Barracks today, August 16th, at about 1pm.

Aug 15 ~ The killing of animals continues unabated as it has from the beginning - yet we still read in the World Press that the UK government has the disease "under control"

Aug 15~ To the despair of local people at Grassington, grouse shooting went ahead while gunmen avoided driving through disinfectant.

Aug 14 ~ We read with amusement but not much surprise from the NPA site Are these solicitors (and others) friends or foe?

Aug 14 ~ It is without any amusement whatsoever that we read of yet another 6000 sheep doomed in Brecon..

Aug 13 ~ We are beginning to wonder seriously about what experiments have been carried out into edible (GM modified) FMD vaccines

Aug 13 ~ While the hurried killing of hill flocks (without blood testing of any kind) continues in Brecon, and Cumbria and Yorkshire continue to suffer in the same way,

Aug 12 ~ Today the BBC asks Foot-and-mouth: Do you want a public inquiry?

Aug 12 ~ Mr Ben Gill, talking on BBC Breakfast with Frost, said "What we need to do is have sensitivity

Aug 12 ~ A leading article in the Independent on Sunday: ".. evidence to the foot and mouth inquiry will be given largely behind closed doors

Aug 11~ The most heartening news today comes in this email:

Aug 11~ the most disheartening and least reported is that Carwyn Jones is now ordering contiguous culls of the hefted flocks in Brecon without any blood testing of any kind

Aug 10 ~ DEFRA's extraordinary behaviour towards Paul Langan, chief reporter on the Ilkley Gazette has made more than local news.

Aug 10 ~ one photographic record has nevertheless caused Defra itself some humiliation

Aug 10 ~ There is believed to be a new policy on the Brecon Beacons

Aug 10 ~ The morning papers have been full of stories about the government's refusal to hold a proper independent public inquiry

Aug 9 ~ We hear from Ananova today that...."Three inquiries into the lessons to be learnt from the foot-and-mouth epidemic have been announced by the Government....

Aug 9 ~ Curious and Worrying. There were 5 cases in Cumbria again yesterday -

Aug 8 ~ Officials do not know how foot-and-mouth reached the Thirsk area

Aug 8 ~ Anthony Gibson, National Farmers' Union regional director for south-west England, called for a "full public and independent inquiry" into the crisis.

Aug 8 ~ Although rarely mentioned in the media, the thousands of animals still being killed daily, often by methods that would cause the public to retch in horror

Aug 8 ~ 3 new cases within the so-called "bio-secure" area are at Thirsk and Whitby.

Aug 7 ~ The news that a Press Conference was held at Downing Street at 3pm last Friday 3rd August

Aug 7 ~" Vaccination would have to be considered very seriously now," said Lord Haskins.

Aug 6 ~ a radio broadcast in Newcastle shows the small farmer what he is up against

Aug 5 ~ From the Booker Notebook

on the local community, has nothing whatever to do with disease control. It is simply the result of yet another murky little political fix, designed to recover a trading status which could have been achieved far more quickly, cheaply and humanely by accepting a policy of vaccination. But men like Mr Morley and Mr Gill are now so entrenched in their total misunderstanding of this crisis that we can no longer be surprised when they appear on the media peddling pure fairy tales." A letter from Dr Susan Haywood, senior veterinary pathologist (Liverpool University), to the Yorkshire Post is very relevant here.

Aug 4 ~ Buying the silence of the Brecon graziers.

Aug 4 ~ This Open Letter to the most dangerous man in Britain

Aug 4 ~ For news stories, particularly from the Farmers Guardian, and scanned images visit http://www.bbfb.freeserve.co.uk/

Aug 4 ~ Brief note from Yorkshire:

"I refer to my posting of July 16th 2001 THE DYING VALLEY AROUND SHAP/ROSGILL! I was wrong...in fact everything has gone from bolton to shap and down to Orton. Everything! TERRIBLY SORRY! The mass post election cull denied by Blair has happened and is happening.

Aug 4 ~ It is understood that the RSPCA were questioning DEFRA yesterday

following alleged cruelty during the gather and subsequent slaughter of one thousand seven hundred ewes and their lambs on Orton Scar in Cumbria

Aug 4 ~ There have been a number of reports that unnecessary and irreversible damage is being done to historic agricultural buildings

(listed, unlisted and curtilage) and farmsteads by the measures being taken to disinfect them from Foot and Mouth Disease. See website of the Council for British Archeology

Aug 4 ~ Important commentary by David on the Defra release

: Sheep farming after Foot and Mouth: challenge and change

Aug 3 ~ A BSE/vCJD connection appears in the papers today.

Sir John Krebs, the leading light of the controversial badger cull, unlikely head of the Food Standards Agency and, along with Professor Roy Anderson, a protegé of Sir Robert May (President of the Royal Society and previous Govt Chief Scientist), said that if BSE was ever shown to be present in sheep, then "stronger measures would have to be taken to protect human health". With the frenzied and secret massacre of sheep taking place in Yorkshire, Brecon and Cumbria one cannot help wondering if this news has been released to counter the outcry gaining volume against the sickening killing - or whether there is something this inner circle is not telling the public.

August 3 ~ Very important extract from a veterinary scientist in Alan Beat's update last night (Aug 2) .." I do not believe that DEFRA's interpretation of ELISA test results

with regard to current active infection has any validity. But IF DEFRA believes it is necessary to kill any epidemiological group of animals that has seropositive animals - presumably to satisfy trading partners that UK is FMD-free - then their abuse of science is probably 'irrelevant' - at least from their standpoint. I just wish they'd be honest about what they are doing and why - rather than hide behind pseudo-science. Their current ELISA testing approach in the Brecon flocks just does NOT tell them what they claim it does with regard to current active infection status."

August 3 ~ Front Page of Yorkshire Post today

Moor re-opens... then the paths are closed. Footpaths on the edge of Ilkley Moor were closed within hours of the moor reopening after a new case of foot and mouth disease was confirmed in the area yesterday. One email said sadly, "FMD near Bolton Abbey is with 3 km of us. I can see the Cow and Calf Rocks (at least nobody can cull those) from my kitchen."

August 2 ~ A Press release from The Soil Association today

'We have been advocating a policy of voluntary vaccination since March and are still hopeful that reason will prevail. The Government and farming organisations must recognise vaccination could have a key role to play if we are to have a chance of controlling the disease before winter makes the task even more difficult. '

August 2 ~" We're not going to be in the same situation in July

- let me be uncharacteristically dogmatic about that." David King, Chief Government Scientist, speaking in April. See what he asserted then about the efficacy of vaccine.

August 2 ~ "There is much circumstantial evidence that the EU Commission would support ANY disease control option requested by the UK.

GB is an island surrounded by a substantial 'moat' so that disease control options/strategies/tactics that might not win EU Commission approval in a Member State with common land borders with another Member State would probably be approved here because of GB's very special geographical circumstances. Permission is granted by the Commission not the SVC. The Commission would in normal circumstances act on the recommendation of the SVC but as far as I know could act on its own." email received today.

August 2 ~ just received: "animals at Orton Scar, Kirby Stephen & Newby were culled today.

Seven IP's today a total of 14 this week (only 12 last week).
He saw ewes and lambs being killed, many of them not 'cleanly'. The lad that had lambed them earlier this year stood in tears beside him.

Reports that DEFRA Vets on monitor duty to farms, did not wear masks.

"If the DEFRA Vets can't be trusted to observe strict bio-security, while the Government blames the farmers for spreading disease and slaughtermen are rumoured to be spreading the virus in various underhand ways. Why on earth don't we vaccinate the animals and remove the risk? I believe I read that the DEFRA Biosecurity video cost £750,000 to make and distribute. Shame really, as at 50p a shot they could have vaccinated 1.5 million animals instead. Strikes me, it would have been better value for the money..."

August 2 ~ Confusion about vaccination adds to frustration today

as The Times reports DEFRA is prepared to vaccinate pigs around Thirsk but - Ananova says DEFRA has denied it. Meanwhile in Cumbria, as holiday makers are encouraged to tramp the newly opened 1000 miles of Lake District footpaths, stories continue to emerge of thousands of animals killed barbarically and secretly, the numbers never accurately reported. No one any longer tries to make any sense of the Defra figures since, like the government's policy of ever more frenzied killing while allowing everybody free access to farmland except other farmers, they are senseless.

August 1 ~ A press release from the Cambridgeshire veterinary website pighealth.com

Why aren't we using strategic vaccination in Yorkshire?

August 1 ~ The policy is clearly beyond all concern for cost or sanity. It is like a hopeless military campaign, sustained only by esprit de corps at staff headquarters

Simon Jenkins in one of the best articles on Foot and Mouth we have yet read.

August 1 ~ Leader in the Telegraph

"makes the Government look only as if it has a lot to hide, and that this, in turn, can only further undermine confidence in its efforts to fight the disease. Nor will casting the farmers as scapegoats for everything that goes wrong help get the epidemic under control. "

August 1 ~ Tony Blair in South America while Cumbria, Brecon, and Yorkshire lie bleeding -

"For far too long, the European Union's financing and budgetary requirements have been driven by an agricultural policy that is well out of date," Blair said, adding that protecting European farmers "prevents countries like Brazil ... from gaining the access to our own markets that they deserve.".......well no one could accuse Mr Blair of being the Protector of British Agriculture. And while in South America, is he asking to have vaccination explained to him we wonder?

August 1 ~ The continuing refusal to vaccinate is thrown into sharp relief by the revelations by Christopher Booker

Sunday Telegraph July 29...Dr Barteling's views are particularly relevant since he is not only an international authority, who has taken charge of 23 foot-and-mouth outbreaks round the world, but played a key part in co-ordinating the dramatic switch in Brussels policy in 1990 which banned vaccination in the European Community except in emergency circumstances. Dr Barteling emphasises, ...where an outbreak gets out of control "it is the only way to stop it". "The culling policy only spreads the disease" as he puts it, "it does more harm than it does good". Even if it been necessary to vaccinate 40 million animals, at £5 a time, this would still have cost only £200 million.
So the financial equation is clear. On one hand, a loss to Britain's economy of £20 billion, including lost tax revenue of £5-8 billion, plus a direct cost to the taxpayers which, as the disease runs on into next year, could easily top £3 billion. On the other hand, £200 million for a vaccination strategy which could have halted the disease within weeks and saved untold suffering into the bargain. See the full article.

August 1~ At the special meeting at the Welsh National Assembly yesterday

at which members of the "National Foot and Mouth Group" (lobbying to stop the slaughter and bring in vaccination of susceptible animals) were not allowed to speak, vaccination was again hardly given a mention. However, Dr Ruth Watkins and two others presented a report to Carwyn Jones in front of camers and are understood to have had a short private meeting with him. Support for vaccination was evident in the cheering from Cardiff local onlookers and "the police could not have been more sympathetic, the security staff were grinning at what they thought would be trouble and confronted in the main with a polite bunch of ladies of a certain age. "

August 1~ email received -" 4000 killed last Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 3,500 off the Sugarloaf last week, 2000 announced by the Welsh Assembly today

testing going on all over the Beacons, a lot more coming back seropositive, from Chief Veterinary Officer, Welsh Assembly, today, Compensation in abeyance, cleaning and disinfecting stopped, cull continuing Impossible situation, The disease has been in the hefted herds on the Beacons for at least 3-4 weeks minimum. Tourists got to be let back to clamber over Pen-y-Fan. Sheep got to go to enable this, Flis"

August 1~ It may seem a far cry from the desperate situation in the countryside

but we at warmwell.com are very cheered by the news that Ken Livingstone has won the second round of his High Court battle with ministers over the future of the London Underground. Mr Justice Sullivan said that the contested report was of _critical importance_ to the public. Perhaps this secretive government, which "cannot bear a breath of criticism" does not win every round in trying to keep its questionable policies hidden from the electorate. The coming public inquiry into FMD may be astonished at what it finds.

July 31 ~ From farmtalking.com "I've just received a distressing phone call

from Nick Green He is in the Shap area with Elaine and other friends. He described to me fields full of Suffolk sheep and their lambs lying covered in blood. "They've not been killed 'cleanly'" he told me. Charolais beef cattle have been shot with rifles at ramdom in the fields. "They are shooting dairy cattle now he said" and I could hear the shots over the phone. There will be nothing left alive for 30 miles, he told me. He asked a DEFRA field officer what he thought of what was going on and all he replied was " Write to your M.P."

They met a family from the south of England walking with their children and dogs. They had come to spend a holiday here and walked into a killing field.

Nick told me the dead animals were being loaded at the side of the road and as he talked to me he said a beautiful charolais beast was tipped into the lorry, blood still oozing from its head wound. Nick said, " A de-tox wagon was parked up, but no de-tox was going on". He also photographed white boiler suits lying at the side of the road.

This madness has got simply got to stop!

I have just now, received a call from Olive who has found a black bin bag at the side of the road with DEFRA suits inside it. So much for DEFRA's biosecurity!

Jane Barribal - Farmtalking.com -- LATER -- Nick has just called me again from Midtown Farm near Shap. The beef cattle there have just been slaughtered. The farmer told him that he was on a 'D' notice and his animals inspected every 48 hours by DEFRA. The Vet Inspectors didn't wear masks. His animals became infected. His family has been farming for 100 years and now it's over.The neighbour's cattle stood in the field this evening, yellow tape across the gateway. They will be slaughtered in the morning as it's too dark now.
(warmwell comments: today one is left wondering whether this slaughter policy will be pursued until there is not one animal left standing in our most beautiful areas. The government, and all its powerful supporters who have helped to stifle dissent, will then be able triumphantly to announce the regaining of "FMD free status without vaccination" - and how much will be left to export, how many traditional farms, how many hills still cropped close by roaming sheep, how much heart left in the countryside and what desolation at what has been allowed to happen in Britain in 2001? )

July 31 ~ Animal carcases continue to be burnt today

on an MOD site at the Garrison, near Richmond. Also continung is the spreading of blood and therefore possibly infection on the roads.

July 31~ An email from Elliot Morley is indicative of some confusion surrounding tests on the Brecon flocks. (see also the confusion in DEFRA Information Sheet 14)

Mr Morley writes,"The key issue with the sheep on the Brecons is whether a high proportion of the flock have antibodies which would suggest the virus is not active. I'm afraid not only was that not the case which suggested active virus was cycling, but indeed active virus has been confirmed in the blood tests. While I have an open mind on disease control; methods In this case the culling is entirely justified. (sic) " However, an experienced vet writes," one cannot say anything about whether acute infection is present or not from a single round of ELISA testing." a relevant email

July 31 ~ email just received about statistics

"..In the past 10 weeks (weeks 14 to 23 of the outbreak) there have been 284 confirmed cases plus more than 1150 other premises culled out. These have occurred in 47 different areas of the country, 18 of which were places where previous infected premises had been discovered and 29 outbreaks in places which were effectively completely NEW outbreaks. 18 of these outbreaks were COMPLETELY NEW and 11 were in places where there had been a previous case but several months previously and well outside the infectivity period for ANY SPECIES. 86 cases of the 284 to date in this period were in these NEW outbreaks - 30% of cases in the period. These figures have been extracted from the MAFF/DEFRA database.

The ONLY method of 'getting ahead' of the disease is to vaccinate actual cases IMMEDIATELY to stop the spread of virus as quickly as possible - and to ring vaccinate around them. This effectively stops the disease in its tracks. The method has been used very successfully in the last 2 years in the Netherlands, South Africa , Uruguay, Argentina, and Turkey. We import vaccinated meat from all these countries and it is sold in our supermarkets..."

July 30 ~ All roaming sheep to die?

in the light of Dr North's thoughts about the significance of Margaret Beckett's trip to Bonn, the timing of the RSPB's call for 400,000 acres of farmland to be 'returned to nature', combined with the fact that if the hills were stripped of livestock and trees were planted in their stead, the government would be able easily to meet its Kyoto obligations, there is now even more fear for roaming sheep, including those in the North York Moors. A huge number of animals - millions now - have been exterminated already as part of the slaughter policy against FMD.

July 29 ~ The most noteworthy fact so far today is the silence of most British newspapers on the vitally important debate about vaccination.

However, an article sourced from Reuters shows the extraordinary lack of knowledge shown by Elliot Morley when he defended the killing of the 4000 Brecon sheep, a handful of whom were shown to have tested positive for antibodies. Dr Ruth Watkins, quoting Professor Fred Brown O.B.E, and herself a noted virologist, says:" Prof Brown explained to me that virus shed by "carriers" .... is not infectious and cannot infect cells Thus carrier animals who are only shedding virus from the mouth and respiratory tract (it is cleared from the rest of their body after the acute phase of infection)are shedding neutralised (non-infectious) virus and cannot be shown to be infectious.

Carriers are not a significant problem."

July 29 ~ Carwyn Jones has gone on holiday

We hear that Carwyn Jones, having shown himself to be unrepentant about the killing of thousands of Welsh sheep and pronounced publicly that sheep can't be vaccinated (sic) - has gone on holiday.

July 28 ~ News today that one third of landowners interviewed revealed they had tenants who were quitting,

will be music to the ears of those, such as Lord Haskins, whose comments suggest they would be happy to see agri-business take over from traditional farming practices in Britain. EU planners who want to see livestock radically reduced in the UK will also be watching events in Brecon, Cumbria and Yorkshire with satisfaction, presumably more so now that the Government is lso set to slaughter 1.3 million mountain lambs, mainly from Wales, Cumbria and Devon for "welfare reasons" See The Times

July 28 ~ Margaret Beckett has gone on holiday. She returns in September.

July 27 ~ Pirbright were less than helpful today when telephoned about the difference between antibodies and infectious FMD.

The caller was told to ask DEFRA. However, Defra in Cardiff were "too busy"

July 27~ Mr Blair was jeered in Cumbria yesterday

He drew howls of incredulity from some by suggesting that rural England was returning to normal - on the day that three more cases of foot and mouth were confirmed in the county, bringing the Cumbria total to 813 and the national count to 1,895. (see papers)

July 26 ~ Farmers' Union of Wales deputy president Glyn Powell said he fears the cull could be expanded to a larger swathe of the area, ending in the slaughter of at least 40,000 sheep

"The question is how deep into the Beacons has the infection spread and if it's there is it not on every other hill - Wales-wide and potentially Britain-wide." Mr Powell does not believe the aid package to be announced by the Welsh Assembly will be enough to keep farmers afloat through the crisis

Ray Anderson and Andrew Haywood (Defra), who had agreed to attend the Penrith Meeting on friday (See Priority) are now no longer able to attend the meeting (as they had originally agreed) They had "other important meetings to attend".

July 25 ~ Culling at Shap

See below

July 25 ~ The Prince of Wales held a press conference at St James' yesterday

in which he expressed personal anguish at the destruction of the traditional British countryside and its way of life. Although he cannot openly criticise the government, the message was clear:"The anguish in the countryside goes on and not just where foot and mouth is still spreading. And believe me, it has not gone away even if it has come off the front pages of the newspapers,"

July 25 ~ Brecon Beacons tests show "significant number of positive results"

says the Welsh Assemby press release and 4000 sheep are to be slaughtered. Tests for what? Antibodies? If so, this projected cull flies in the face of serological research. Once lost, the hefted sheep cannot be replaced. Graziers may agree to the cull becasue no one is telling them that antibody positive sheep do NOT spread the disease.
The Chief Vet for Wales, Tony Edwards, has "gone on holiday".
Case 1891 added this evening on DEFRA site 3000 sheep at Brecon owned by 5 different sets of farmers As an emailer has just written: "the nightmare is arriving. A grazier has just said that the sheep are being penned NOW and the cull is as a result of ANTIBODIES being found. This is heartbreaking, political chicanery if we are to believe what the virologists tell us about the neglible risk from sheep with antibodies.

July 24~ "a central part of what we are doing" Doublespeak from Defra? Or volte face?

A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs said:"We are not suspending cleaning and disinfection, because it is a central part of what we are doing. But we are seeking good value for money to make it cost-effective and ensure that contractors are working in a cost-effective way." (from icNewcastle July 24) relevant emails received

July 23 ~ The Black Mountain and Brecon Beacon National Park livestock is in grave danger.

( email received) "The Black Mountain (Carmarthenshire) hefted flocks are already decimated, from the Sugarloaf mountain area cull, despite assurances from Defra that hefted flocks would be protected. The Eastern low lying Golden Valley, Herefordshire is also vulnerable. Army troops have been mobilised to South/Mid Wales for 3 weeks now. The area is so rural, that Defra/MOD can close of villages without anyone noticing, they did that in the Forest of Dean, but they learnt a few lessons, no bonfires (now), people tend to notice, they must be burying the animals somewhere. The Royal Forest of Dean was the first area with hefted flocks to be culled out completely, the Black Mountains (Powys) could well be the second"

Jul 22/3 ~ Penrith Police have received a number of complaints about DEFRA taking out cattle in the Shap area with pot shots from rifles. (again) Report

In an article in The Times (July 23) the Prince of Wales says:"... much talk during the foot-and-mouth outbreak of the long-term consequences of slaughtering so-called "hefted" flocks of sheep. These are sheep which, through generations of breeding, have come to know their territory intimately and have adapted to the particular conditions of their habitat."

July 22~ In the Brecon Beacons thousands of sheep are to be tested for antibodies.

The latest research from virologists suggests that the risk of infection from animals with antibodies is negligible. Alan Beat was relieved on July 8th (see note for July 8th) to report that Tony Edwards, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales reported to a meeting at Brecon that tests on the hefted sheep had revealed antibodies but no virus - so the situation was all right.
If sheep - and there are thousands of them -in the Brecon Beacons are culled as a result of merely having antibodies it would be in the face of the latest work by virologists. The situation would be judged by many observers as having been exploited for the purely political reason of New Labour/EU " Rural Development".
Culling sero-positive sheep would start to look like a smokescreen to hide ignorance about the virus and how it attacks cattle. Tony Edwards will presumably be following the situation closely.
Important, relevant email
received 22 July See also very relevant posting from Nick Green July 21~ Rosgill Head and Hardindale (Cumbria) " Only the sheep on Hardendale Fell left now in this area. No doubt there will be more DCs tomorrow - the killing never stops."

July 20th

Killing on a Skipton Housing Estate

Defra carried out a cull "on suspicion only" at Burnside Estate in Skipton at 11.30 am. 16 sheep, 26 cattle, one new-born calf and a two-day old calf were all killed in spite of appalled resistance from the local community. It must be stressed that this was not a "dangerous contact" (DEFRA had this case down as Dangerous Contact as the animals were owned by the same farmer but this farmer paid someone else to tend to the sheep and cattle at Burnside and had been careful NOT to visit both the IP at Silsden and the animals at Burnside) let alone one where the disease had been confirmed. We are told that the barrister was one hour away from getting an injunction to stop the slaughter. The slaughter went ahead in full view of the residents of the adjoining housing estate, despite their vigil overnight and through the morning. See Yorkshire Post July 21. Local people have been demonstrating today and say that there will be a further demonstration in Skipton tomorrow against what they call "madness"

July 18 The first outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Greater Manchester has been confirmed. This is an area that has been free of the disease up to now. Almost 50 cattle at Chadwicks Farm in Wigan have been slaughtered and Government vets have imposed control measures on surrounding farms.

July 17 Situation in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Wales

Farmers need to know their rights (advice) Many vets, including the speaker at Builth Wells (a DEFRA vet) are unhappy at the policy and want a programme of vaccination brought in immediately. Letter to Carwyn Jones July 15th

July 17 The Crickhowell cases will take 16 "contiguous" premises down as Defra continues to combat the disease in the same way as before. Despite assurances on a proportionate response to anti-body positive sheep and flocks, 3000 sheep are to be culled off the Sugarloaf mountain near Crickhowell. It is stated "they may have been the cause of the Crickhowell outbreak and spread the disease when they were brought down for shearing". It will be remembered that Tony Edwards, chief DEFRA vet in Wales, promised at the Builth meeting on 18th June : "We are very aware of the value of hefted flocks and we will not be culling any sheep on the open hill without extensive testing"

July 16th Another case in Crickhowell brings the total new cases there to 4 - and there seems to be another in Anglesea

"MAFF WEBSITE TODAY - 36 cattle culled in Rosgill, Cumbria
ACTUALLY THOUSANDS HAVE GONE! counted 26 lorries tonight (July 15) ..to remove 36 cattle? They are back tomorrow and all week.." from Nick Green on the spot (see Today)

July 15th ~ just received:"... the Baildon cull, near Bingley (see below): "Just been told by my neighbour that DEFRA have said this was

"just a precaution."

Farmers near Silsden at Kildwick have been advised not to bother silaging or hay making as they won't need the feed next winter.

DEFRA plan to take out the whole of the Aire valley from Skipton throught to Bradford/ Leeds "as a precaution". DEFRA are back at the Skipton Hotel, (Hanover)and Snowie (transport lorries) ready up at Hellefield.
Farmers in Silsden have been told their FMD infection was carried on dust from the tyres of vehicles that had travelled from infected areas. (Mr Elliott Morley would question this I feel having stated publicly that tyres do not carry the virus) If you farm in the Aire valley, DEFRA are telling people, you will probably lose your animals very soon "as a precaution"
the email concludes...

"well, has anyone got anything to say about this? "

July 14 1000 sheep killed on Saturday very early in the morning on Baildon Moor by teams of slaughters. No tests have been carried out.

Pits are being dug at the old aerodromes of Lissett and Carnaby in East Yorkshire, ready to receive the carcasses of pigs from the pig units...Foot and Mouth is expected in the big pig units by August. It has been said that there are unusual characteristics of this strain of virus - it doesn't show in sheep, affects cattle and is rarely caught by pigs. The live virus has not been seen by any other laboratory that Pirbright. There is a major problem caused by the unwanted surplus of cull sows and sheep in Britain at present.

It is now understood that DEFRA will cull all animals in the "firebreak" area, right through Bridlington, York and onwards.

warmwell.com is an independent site with no political or commercial affiliations of any kind.
We deplore the discredited contiguous cull
and advocate proper risk assessment, testing and the inoculation of susceptible animals

Silence ... surrounds the issue of sheep found to be carrying antibodies.

"So intent is the department (Defra) on demonstrating to Europe that the British flock will eventually be FMD-free that those animals found to have had the disease and recovered will also be slaughtered. The latest research from virologists, however, suggests that the risk of infection from these animals is negligible."Magnus Linklater in The Times

"The contiguous cull has been exposed for what it was: one of the most bloody, tragic and disgraceful misjudgements made in the name of science." Anthony Gibson, NFU regional director in the South West

from Telegraph Leader June 16th

~....Yet here is a disease that has led farmers to suicide and has wiped out two entire industries in some parts of the country. And here is Mrs Beckett saying that the issue of an inquiry is "under discussion". Only a week after its re-election, the Government is behaving as if it thinks that its mandate from 25 per cent of the electorate is a licence to get away with anything.

Magnus Linklater in the Times...Killing all animals, infected or not, is like using the trench strategy of the First World War. It may finally eliminate the disease, but the cost will be astronomical.

."The Government's emergency committee, known as Cobra, this week heard, and rejected, a proposal from Gareth Davies, the former veterinary epidemiologist at the European Commission, that vaccination should be used. The usual arguments prevailed : that the farmers did not want it, there were no staff to administer the vaccines and, more shockingly, that there were no vaccines available because the batch had expired. These excuses are not only threadbare, they are scandalous. As Mr Davies told The Times: "I asked what would happen if we didn't vaccinate and what were the chances of this cluster blowing up really big. There was a deathly silence."

Link to Cullmaff website EU law concerning measures for the control of foot- and-mouth disease Official Journal L 315 , 26/11/1985 p. 0011 - 0018

Owen Paterson MP(Con) for North Shropshire, who has worked hard to put some sanity into the present situation, was asked

" Once this foot and mouth situation is successfully finalised what is your party going to do next. Do you 1 - Do nothing and leave animal keeper biting their nails awaiting the next time it comes to the UK? or 2 - Invest in a programme of research into total eradication of this plague so that there is no chance that an outbreak can ever occur in our land again. Namely implementation of a reliable vaccine?

His answer, " My answer to your question is that the first thing we must do after the outbreak is over is to hold a full public inquiry under a judge. I believe that this inquiry will inevitably recommend more modern methods of prevention and control - vaccination and the use of the device being developed by scientists led by prof. Fred Brown at Plum Island, US, which was offered and turned down by MAFF early in March and which can detect signs of the disease before it is visible. Regular testing could catch the disease far earlier.

He was also asked about an enquiry we made some time ago to Nick Brown re Rare breeds. He answered," My secretary has chased MAFF several times and will continue to do so right up to dissolution. I am deeply frustrated by Agriculture Ministers' failure to give any guidance on rare breeds and I fear that they hope to duck it until the election campaign starts and then they will not be pestered by MPs like me."

May 12 I understand that a question for a written answer has been tabled by Baroness Mallelieu in the Lords.

follows a letter from Colin G Fink B.Sc.,MB.,Ph.D.,FRCPath. Virological Scientist

(See todays National News to the left)

Extract from Magnus Linklater in The Times MAY 10th

Times May10 Magnus Linklater

Breaking News... '30% of confirmed foot-and-mouth cases proved unfounded' ....the figures, revealed to Channel Four News by senior vets, will fuel anger among farmers who feel their healthy animals were slaughtered for no reason. If the farms were misdiagnosed, the mistakes will also have cost the taxpayer millions of pounds in compensation.

See today's press here

News coming in all the time ..See INBOX

Good News at 12.50 on May 10th

Maff have lifted the slaughter notice on the Thomas Everard's 980 cattle!!

Taunton MP backs Thomas Everards

From Jackie Ballard MP for the Thomas Everards received May 9th


I have spoken to the Thomas -Everards and now knowing all the facts I support their case. It seems that MAFF have now backed down, thank goodness.

Jackie Ballard

Sanctuary Desperate - Click

May 10th URGENT request for human chain.Details and address.

Impossible to get test results from Maff...see

Inbox of 22 cases in Powys we now know that l4 were tested negative 4 had not yet received results, l no samples taken, 2 unknown, and one" b----- off it's none of your business"

EU lifts ban on Uruguay FMD vaccinated meat

Spin says no more cases in Scotland.Glasgow Herald

But Mossburn Animal Sanctuary is under extreme threat in Dumfries. Please see here

May 8 Message from Dr Richard North

Maff Vet blows the whistle

Roger Windsor. MBE. MA (Cantab), BSc (Edin)BVM&S, MRCVS. a Veterinary Surgeon, has called the situation a "total shambles". I spoke to him the afternoon (May 7th Monday). Mr Windsor said, "The scientist behind all this, the "Professor of Extermination", Professor Roy Anderson at Imperial College, is avid for government grants for projects, and must therefore at all costs show that this policy can succeed. I admit I'm in favour of a limited culling policy if it is necessary - but not for this policy of annihilation. What is happening is illegal." see more a report written on May 6 (Sunday). It has been sent to the media and press.

Magnus Linklater in Scotland on Sunday May 6th

...the way in which new outbreaks of foot and mouth are reported has been quietly altered. The danger is that the real progress of the disease is being masked. The tragedy is that thousands of healthy animals are being killed unnecessarily in a desperate bid to keep the figures down.

The Independent

observed on March 4, "foot and mouth does not even kill animals. As the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) itself admits, the sheep, pigs and cows being slaughtered and burned would shake it off in two or three weeks if they were allowed to live.

Vets say it is no more serious for animals than a bad cold for humans. Instead, it is an economic disease."

"When animals are sick, they produce less milk and put on less meat," said the Independent report titled:

"The Plague That Never Was: Foot and Mouth Should Not Be a Crisis; We Have All Been Misled by the Men From the Ministry."

Phone now! PLEASE>

URGENT - click here

Crisis for Tony at Paradise Pigs

Read about the night

Carolyn Hoffe's house was stormed

A Peasant Revolts - Sunday Times April 29 "..this has been one of the greatest cock-ups ever by the British state." See Letters to the Sunday Times following last week's excellent article

Letters MAY 6 here

Read Jonathan Porrit's Article from sheepdrove.com

open letter to vets from FVE Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (representing ALL European vets)


breaking news and comment from Inbox

Go straight to today's news

Newspapers today

Roger Windsor. MBE. MA (Cantab), BSc (Edin)BVM&S, MRCVS. a Veterinary Surgeon, based in Dumfries. Roger has told me that he is very concerned about the manner in which the culls on contiguous farms are being chosen and certificates issued for slaughter.

This is how it happens. The address/map reference of a farm where an outbreak of 'clinically diagnosed' FMD occurs, is fed into a computer and the computer shows the contiguous farms: the sheep and pigs will be culled without any discussion, although cattle are now only killed at the discretion of the local veterinary surgeon. The farms within the 3km area are also identified and these addresses are then passed to the Army who arrange the logistics. This often means that a farmer gets a phone call late at night informing him his animals will be killed in the morning.

A vet arrives with the Valuer and the Slaughter Team, which is often thirty or more people. The vet examines the animals. If he finds that they are free from Foot and Mouth Disease, he issues a 'Form A'. This is identical to the 'Form 'A' issued to farms having infected livestock. The only difference being that 'Cull Farm' is usually written in biro in the top right hand corner. The vet then signs the form. He has found the animals healthy andsigns that the 'Premises are Infected'

In truth the vet signs a lie, known in the profession as a False Certificate, which is an offence, for which they could be 'Struck Off the Veterinary Register.' They would then be unable to practise their profession.

Roger Windsor is so concerned about this that he has spoken to both ProfessorDavid E. Noakes, B.Vet. Med. PhD., DVRep., FRCVS., Chairman of the DisciplinaryCommittee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and to Roger Eddy, the President of the RCVS. both of whom have confirmed that any Veterinary Surgeon signing a false certificate could be 'Struck off the Register', and that the action of finding animals free from disease and yet still signing that the premises are infected could be such a 'false certificate'.

report by Jane Barribal at farmtalking.com

TOP Dear A*****, Re F& M matters

Thank you for telephoning me and for giving me the update on the events on the farm near Exmoor. It is a matter of some concern that MAAF have so little understanding of the regulations on which they rely. I can assure you that they have even less understanding of the virology which is so essential for any sensible policy applied to the present problem. I was quite surprised to hear from Mr Fred Landeg at Page Street that he clearly did not know the difference between a protein and nucleic acid. As he seems to be the power at MAAF at least coordinating if not making policy for people in the field his unfortunate failure to grasp the basics is not reassuring.

As you know I started to apply some three weeks ago to MAAF for some fixed ( non infectious) virus or some extracted nucleic acid ( RNA) from the F & M virus currently causing the infection, so that we might develop a rapid, specific and highly sensitive viral assay. This has been of concern for a number of reasons:

1 MAAF and the Vet agency at Pirbright are not routinely using this type of assay (probably not using it at all) to detect infection in the herds. They have not undertaken any survey of the culled animals and so we have no assessment of the extent of the infection nor any understanding of its natural history within an animal measured by this state-of-the-art assay to see viremia in the blood or oro-pharyngeal infection from mouth swabs. This is a catastrophic loss of opportunity to gain basic knowledge and is entirely consistent with their retained medieval approach to the whole problem. As my colleague Professor Fred Brown said "it is an unacceptable loss of animals without justification"

2 We have been approached by many individuals and also several major agencies in the UK who do not trust MAAF and its approach and wish to have access to independent testing of the herds. This is because of a fear of residual low level infection and also to have sound virological information available in case of a cull order.

3 The availability of the exquisitely sensitive assay in independent hands will enable us to undertake some of the field work that MAAF have failed to do and we will latterly be able to supply decent information for epidemiologists to use. Whilst we may be too late for the UK , in this outbreak, the establishment of a good assay will put the UK ahead (at least in the private sector) to offer this service for Europe as required. At the meeting held at the CLA on April 24th Lindsay Harris a MAAF policy spokesman agreed to arrange contacts for me to ensure a supply of fixed virus. No contact on his instigation has taken place. At the meting on the same day under the Chairmanship of the Countess of Mar at the House of Lords, Dr Paul Kitching Head of the Exotic disease Ref. Lab at Pirbright agreed to supply fixed material but indicated that clearance from Fred Landeg at Page Street was required. I have had contact with Fred Landeg who has raised objection under the Specified Animal Pathogen Order 1998. I have made it clear to him that this is not relevant to fixed (uninfectious) nucleic acid or fixed virus to develop our assay. His objection to potential infection of posted specimens also does not stand up because we would supply material to render any sample fixed and also supply safe carriage and packing as we do on a day to day basis for receipt of human pathogenic material.

I do hope that this gives you some useful information. You are most welcome to send this letter to any party. Best wishes, Yours,

Colin G Fink B.Sc.,MB.,Ph.D.,FRCPath Virological Scientist and Physician for the company

See alsoSilent Majority website

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

~~~~Ghandi ~~~~~


From Nature October 2001

We do not follow the rigmorole and challenge any politician fully to understand it either. What this paragraph seems to be saying is that if you kill infected animals early enough you reduce the number you have to kill later. This is entirely true. What this paragraph does not and cannot say is that this therefore justifies the killing of healthy animals quickly simply because of their location.