Dear Mary,

I don't know what has happened to the Osmans today but I thought you might be
interested in the following.

BBC Radio 4 did an item on FMD on the 'World at One'  today (12/6/01)  They
were reporting on the evidence emerging from the blood testing programme that
there is widespread evidence of antibodies in the sheep that have been tested.

They carried an interview with John Daw 'a Devon farmer' with two farms.  He
said that his neighbours flock had just been tested and had shown that a
quarter of the flock had tested positive.  He said he thought that we would
have to carry out 'complete clearance of the flock in Devon'.  John Daw is
the Deputy Chairman of the NFU in Devon.

I also thought you might be interested in this exchange of e-mails with MAFF
now DEFRA at Exeter.  I am not sure whether or not he intended to say "The
aim is to slaughter as rapidly as possible all susceptible stock."

Best Wishes,


Subj:   Depopulation scheme
Date:   11/06/01

Dear Mr Hewitt,

The BBC radio programme on Sunday morning included an interview with a farmer
from the Eden valley who said that the Ministry of Agriculture call the
culling policy 'the depopulation scheme'.  I should be grateful if you would
enlarge on this.

Yours sincerely,

Lawrence Wright
Middle Campscott Farm
Devon EX34 8LS
Tel 01271 864621


Mr L Wright
Middle Campscott Farm
Devon   EX34 8LS

12 June 2001

Dear Mr Wright

contiguous cull policy

Thank you for your emailed message to Ian Hewett in which you asked us to
enlarge on the comment that MAFF were calling the foot and mouth disease
culling policy the depopulation scheme.  I did not hear the interview that
you refer to, but note that the farmer interviewed was from the Eden Valley,
where a somewhat different policy has been pursued to the policy which has
applied here and elsewhere.  I am not actually aware of the policy being
known within the department as the depopulation scheme.

The general policy of slaughtering infected stock and other stock at high
risk of being exposed to infection is hardly new.  It has been in place for
many years, and is enshrined in EU legislation.  The aim is to slaughter as
rapidly as possible all susceptible stock.  We have clear scientific and
veterinary advice that susceptible animals on farms neighbouring a farm where
infection has been confirmed are at a very high risk of having been exposed
to the infection.  It is, therefore, Government policy to slaughter all
susceptible stock on all premises that are contiguous to a farm on which foot
and mouth disease is confirmed, in order to prevent onward spread of the
disease.  We believe that the evidence is that the contiguous culling policy
has served to bring the disease under control.

While there is a presumption that all susceptible stock on contiguous
premises will be slaughtered, specific local circumstances may be taken into
account.  Farmers are able to make representations against slaughter of their
cattle and, if a veterinary assessment indicates that the biosecurity is
adequate, we may take the decision to monitor rather than slaughter the

In part of Cumbria, where the strength of the foot and mouth disease
infection was stronger, the policy was to regard all animals within a 3 km
radius of an infected premises as being at risk, with the result that all
sheep within that area were slaughtered.  It may be that this is why the
expression "depopulation scheme" was used.

Yours sincerely

Neville Lane

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Clyst House, Winslade Park, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon, EX5 1DY  Telephone:
 01392 266392   Fax:01392 266000  Email:


Dear Mr Lane,

Thank you for your letter.  I note that you say that  "The aim is to
slaughter as rapidly as possible all susceptible stock." 

Is this all stock in Devon - or the whole of Britain?  Does it include deer
and hedgehogs too?

Yours sincerely,

Lawrence Wright
Middle Campscott Farm
Devon EX34 8LS
Tel 01271 864621