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(This was an early posting on dating from January 2002.)

Mr Ben Gill and certain government ministers (and Professor King ) are very apt to make misleading statements about what happened in Holland.

They point to the fact that "more animals were killed per Infected Premises in Holland than in the UK" - suggesting that this proves that vaccination is an inferior method of control.

The truth is very different -

as we can see from the account here of the Brussels conference " The Dutch authorities were not obliged to slaughter all their vaccinated animals. Acting against the wishes of the farmers they did so. On the 23 March they were granted suppressive vaccination (where slaughter would follow) in a 2 km area round confirmed outbreaks. In addition, on 3 April they obtained permission for protective vaccination, (vaccinated animals could live but would be prohibited from movement for at least one year).

The farmers, many of them dairy farmers, were led to believe their animals would be allowed to live and thus agreed to the protective vaccination area being much wider than was truly necessary for control of the disease.

After vaccination was completed, their Government changed its mind and insisted on slaughtering the animals in a bid to qualify for normal trading after three months. That was the main reason why their vaccination strategy created such a high number of animal deaths - not that vaccinating proportionately caused more slaughter - a myth now being freely peddled in this country, as witnessed by Ben Gill on the radio recently and whenever vaccination in the Netherlands is mentioned. Many Dutch farmers attempted to fight the slaughter in the courts and there was further public outcry".


In fact Dr Frits Pluimers CVO of the Netherlands made an impassioned speech at the conference, stating that he could not in the future ignore the will of the Dutch people and that vaccination would certainly be used should they be unfortunate enough to have another outbreak. However, they would never again follow a policy that slaughtered vaccinated animals, proved by tests to be uninfected. They would press for such tests, which, he insisted, do already exist, to be internationally validated, and trading rules brought up to date with the science.