Notes from an emailer "Strain on the System"

Radio Four Wednesday 5th Feb 2003

Programme started with Herefordshire vet Peter Jinman  [BVA president]
looking over his patch....
Farmer A. Havard told his story,  lost all his cattle and sheep, has now
restocked with cattle.  It was 5 days before carcases went on the
pyre....  FMD was diagnosed in the sheep and they were very ill very
quickly.

Andrew King IAH  described FMD

The usual "6 million animals slaughtered at cost of #8 billion" quote

Royal Society ...Sir Brian Follett...science available dictates the
options...
Sue Broom asked what will be scientific changes:  1. basic science re
more knowledge about the virus, 2. diagnostics ie method to use on farm
would be very valuable!! 3. improved vaccines.
"Use of vaccine controversial"!!

Dr David Paton? exotic disease control....need 'marker vaccines' as only
have antibody tests now.
Development of these to distinguish between vaccine antibodies and FMD
antibodies is the key to future use.

RV College...Prof Joe Brownlee...testing marker vaccines on cattle at
the moment.  Not enough vets in large animal practice and misdiagnosis
of FMD.
Gov. need to fund Defra properly.  MAFF computer equipment was
N/U....need good data and proper conclusions.  Mandarins should go out
into the fields and learn.

Defra, Atkinson....'disease was present before being reported' therefore
contingency plan can't deal with that,.... plus movements of
animals..... said they have started on a programme now.

!Globalisation increases risk!  Pirbright - Paton ....difficult to keep
disease out....world wide disease control ideal...!better vaccines!
 what we have OK for emergencies but too short lasting for eradication.

Dr Andrew King...molecular science to the rescue....1. anti-viral drug
needed, 2. manipulation of the immune system, 3.how virus targets
particular cells- protein molecule [virus receptor] identified.
This way NO ANTIBODIES! to upset trade....

Sue Broom to Brian Follett 'are you critical?'....BF 'hindsight is a
wonderful thing'....problem with intensive agriculture....quote: "I
wouldn't want to be too critical".....on to 'this is the worst epidemic
the world has ever seen' claptrap.
Re other diseases...need overall contingency plan...he had to get the
word "terrorism" in re plans! mobilisation of groups....and
Research,  research and more research ........

and our comment...vets will end up running any farms as well as the
slaughterhouses, while we keep the scientific? researchers in a job for
life.