REPORT FROM THE FRONT--JOHN GOURIET 16th April Sitting here in the still peaceful setting of the Quantock Hills in Somerset with two telephones constantly ringing with horror stories from all over the country, I am powerfully reminded of military experiences in Borneo 35 years ago, and telephone battles at Staff College. Here are some examples.
Dumfriesshire. A few miles only from where Misty the goat was brutally snatched from her owners, with whom I was in discussion as the Police arrived, a distraught farmer was trying to swill away the blood of his 260 prize Holstein Friesian cattle and 170 calves this morning, 11th April. Yesterday morning at 0830 a posse of MAFF officials, a valuer and armed Police arrived, following a curt warning late the previous evening. None of them wore protective clothing or disinfected themselves and they refused to confirm whether they had been in contact with any infected animals during the previous 72 hours. A vet had earlier described the herd as being unusually healthy and in the pink of condition. The farmer had taken every reasonable precaution to protect them. He had been refused a judicial review in the Edinburgh Quarter Sessions the previous day. These cattle showed no sign of being infected, or any more exposed to the virus than the vast majority of healthy animals that have already been slaughtered, or are still alive. The MAFF vet refused to examine them before slaughter or take tests. Although their behaviour was clearly an abuse of their powers and responsibilities under the 1981 Animal Health Act, MAFF pressed ahead with the cull regardless. They had been told to clear the area of all stock by today in order to fill a local pit.
In another case a MAFF vet told the owner that he would declare his flock infected even if they were not, if he didn't allow their slaughter. Farmers are being threatened and intimidated into giving way. Misty's owners were threatened with a fire-bomb attack if they resisted! Local Police have been instructed to take farmers and their families, and anyone else into custody without a warrant if they attempt to resist or delay the cull. MAFF culling teams are now arriving with little or no notice, at most a telephone call late the previous evening, sometimes handing out their A' notice on arrival. A valuable herd of alpacas, naturally resistant to FMD, has been slaughtered at an agreed compensation cost of #1.3 million.
Cumbria. Boundary gates and locks were deliberately broken on a farm containing a valuable hefted flock. Some sheep were able to escape into an infected area. One exception has been made after much resistance. Four rare pedigree angora goats adjacent to the sea and miles from the nearest outbreak, have been given a reprieve. The owner reports however that she can no longer see Skiddaw 40 miles away, because much of Cumbria is now smouldering under a heavy pall of black smoke that stretches for miles, shrouding the beautiful landscape in which sheep will soon no longer graze.
Anglesey. MAFF have drawn a rough but arbitrary 50 square miles extermination zone on a map with a pencil. One small farmer on the pencil boundary, reports that thanks to a tough letter from his solicitors, setting out the law, and asking MAFF to justify the slaughter of his six sheep, they have withdrawn for the time being. He had earlier received a visit from a senior MAFF vet who was trailing a dead sheep around in his open trailer, and was not wearing protective clothing. The owner rightly refused to allow him near his stock.
Report from the Front (Cont) -2-
One Herefordshire farmer and his wife are grimly hanging onto their healthy sheep, having watched their 50 cattle being slaughtered in a barn with a high-powered rifle from the outside. They had earlier received a visit from a vet who did not know where he had been or whether he had been in contact with any infected animals
Gloucestershire. MAFF Eradication Officer' called owner of rare breed Cotswold ewes at 8 pm on 4th April to state that he was coming the following morning to cull her sheep and she had no right to resist or appeal. She did resist, as all her sheep had tested healthy and she too has been given a temporary reprieve. However open dumper trucks crammed with carcasses trundled past her gates all that day from a neighbouring farm. A MAFF official who did visit, unprotected had to get all her clothing out of its wrappers, including her boots. She did not know how to operate her disinfectant, yet she had been visiting farms over a wide area from 8am-4pm that day.
Meanwhile down in Berkeley, the worst hit area, farmer John Cullimore, the agent for immunity enhancing herbal Biolitan (Tel 01453 890 747), has received a vet's report stating that his cattle and sheep were glowing with such health that he had reduced them to low risk' in a high risk area.
In the Forest of Dean a commune of several farms and 100 people is resisting at Newnham despite a MAFF extermination edict to clear the Forest of Dean of all stock.
Wales. There are reports of MAFF advancing up the Welsh valleys exterminating all livestock. Also that the burial site on the Army training area of Sennybridge is in danger of contaminating several important rivers including the Towy, the Usk and possibly the Wye. It is said to have space for 1 million sheep, although 180,000 is the admitted figure so far. Meanwhile a disturbing report from the USA tells of livestock killed by a hurricane and interred in a mass grave have caused nitrogen levels to rise to such a level within the water-table, many square miles, that local people now bleed brown instead of red. This could have a significant impact on their blood composition and render them susceptible to leukaemia and cancers. Besides this, burning at relatively low temperatures could release BSE/CJD prions into the atmosphere.
The amateur video of the incompetent sheep slaughter at Gilwern (Channel 4 etc 13 Apr) is truly shocking and dangerous. All the Minister (N. Brown) could say "It's got to be as friendly to animal welfare as such a thing could be It didn't look right however I shall read the report and see what the circumstances were!" The man in a white coat was firing at various running sheep and lambs, endangering lives there was a road concealed behind a hedge into which he was firing and houses in the direct line of fire within range (one mile). There were also bystanders in the vicinity who had called the Police. He was missing or wounding sheep at 20-30yds with a rifle with what appeared to be a telescope, when he was supposed to be using a handgun, and he was claiming "That was a good shot", even when he patently appeared to miss!
Devon. Between 3 and 11 contiguous farms have been culled for every one infected.
News from the Front (Cont) -3-
MAFF, backed by Police, are in many cases disregarding the law and their own directives in pursuit of extermination. They are refusing to listen to any reason and appear to consider that they have unlimited licence to kill under Emergency Powers', yet no such powers have been passed by Parliament. They are careless in using protective clothing and disinfectant and move from farm to farm daily at considerable risk of spreading the virus.
Many farmers are now using Borax 30 and finding that it is an effective preventative. Biolitan improves immunity by 800% in pigs and 300% in cattle and sheep. Both should be widely used together with vaccination and a ban on all animal movement, except within farms for welfare reasons. This is especially important in clean areas. Tourism should certainly be discouraged in infected areas.
IMPORTANT. There are other ailments that could be mistaken for FMD. These include digital dermatitis blisters inside the cloven hoof, a bacterial infection caused by standing on old sodden bedding; treated with Stockholm Tar and clean straw; cold sore herpes treated with vitamin C and orf blisters in the nostrils. As most vets and many farmers had rarely if ever seen FMD symptoms until the present outbreak, it is quite possible that many reported cases of FMD could in fact have been these relatively minor diseases, and easily treated.
There is a definite spirit of resistance and rebellion in the air, especially in the Borders. Farmers and country folk have had enough of this disastrous cull that has destroyed 99% healthy animals for the sake of removing 1% that may have been infected probably less than 12000 out of 1.3 million so far.
In 1998, EU agriculture ministers secretly meeting in Brussels agreed on a long term strategy that included the removal of the British livestock industry so that Britain would become arable only and a giant theme park for the EU. The EU official who has leaked this information is in fear, and his identity cannot be revealed. Whether the present FMD outbreak was a natural disaster, fortuitous for proponents of this sinister strategy, or was politically inspired, is uncertain. However a MAFF official in an unguarded moment last weekend in a Cumbrian pub, apparently revealed that a phial of virus had gone missing from MAFF HQ. The plot thickens!
LEGAL ADVICE My view and advice coincides with that of four different barristers and five solicitors. There is however a view that to attempt injunctive relief and run the risk of failure could give MAFF even more excuse to run rampant across the livestock industry. I think in certain cases we have such a strong argument that even the most partisan judge would find difficulty in dismissing! My proposals for resistance on the ground is up to individuals. Personally I believe farmers have every justification in creating maximum delay and inconvenience to frustrate the culling of healthy animals despite, MAFF and Police threats of arrest and the alleged banning of cameras at the scene. We must all recognise that we are now living in a police state, and act accordingly to protect our rights and our possessions. The more the public see of scenes like Gilwern the sooner public opinion will turn against those who are responsible for this accelerating outrage and demand a halt.
INFORMATION. Please send in verified information to add to dossier as evidence against MAFF.
Also send to: Andynash@sheepdrove.com
13th April 2001
JOHN GOURIET White's Meadow Bicknoller Nr. TAUNTON Somerset TA4 4EG Tel/Fax: 01984 656256 Mobile: 07831 342 909 email@example.com
Dairy herd sacrificed to a wrong diagnosis
Western Daily Press April 10, 2001
MAFF came under renewed criticism last night after it was revealed a pedigree dairy herd was destroyed and another is facing late slaughter following an incorrect foot-and-mouth diagnosis.
Clive Davies watched his pedigree dairy herd slaughtered and years of hard work destroyed because he thought a neighbouring farm bad foot-and-mouth. Now he has found out the diagnosis was incorrect and his herd was slaughtered in vain.
Tim and Gail Bennett farm down the road in Rodley, Westbury - on - Severn, Gloucestershire. Their herd escaped by the fluke of a clerical error. MAFF confused them with another Bennett farm and thought their animals had already been killed. Now the Bennetts are fighting to keep their stock alive.
Gail Bennett, aged 45,who farms with husband Tim, 49, said: "We kept wondering why they hadn't come to cull our animals, but they were out for everyone to see, so we just presumed it must be because of the road in between the two farms. But it turned out they had just confused us with Graham Bennett, who had the first foot-and-mouth outbreak near Westbury-on-Severn."
MAFF realised its error and an official called at the Bennetts' Summer Villa farm on Sunday with a notice saying the animals would have to be slaughtered. But they decided to fight the order and pressured MAFF into releasing the results of the tests in David Hewlett's farm where the initial Rodley outbreak had been confirmed on March 27. Mr Hewlett, of Box Bush farm in Rodley, finally obtained the thorough diagnostic test results yesterday They were negative, as he, and others in the area had always suspected. He said: "The vet who examined my sheep was not convinced it was foot-and-mouth at all but before we knew the machinery had been set in motion and nothing could stop it."
Mr Hewlett, 40, accepted 530 would be culled and was even willing to accept the slaughter his 530 beef cattle if it would stop the spread of the disease. But he did not think his neighbours would also lose their stock.
Mr Hewlett accused MAFF "applying dogma rather than logic" and said there had been "panic reaction".
LAST FARM ANIMALS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. OWNERS HOLDING OUT. HELP! Malcolm and Gillian Iredale own 6 rare pedigree Highland cattle near Penrith. Maff is insisting on culling their much loved healthy animals. Malcolm and Gillian intend to hold out for as long as they possibly can. There is absolutely no point whatsoever in these animals being killed. There are no longer any animals left in the neighbouring farms. Every farm around him has been devastated. They are anxious for as much publicity as possible, in order to highlight the absurdity and cruelty of the slaughter policy. He asks that his phone line be kept open for urgent calls at this stage, but any offers of help, information, advice, etc will be gratefully received by email. He especially needs information on his legal rights. Stop the Slaughter. Stop the Scare.
Malcolm and Gillian Ireland, The Carrock Highland Fold, Carrock House, Hutton Roof, Penrith, Cumbria. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oaklands Community Farm breathed a slight sigh of relief after the MAFF veterinary visit when the vet confirmed that there was "no cause for concern". Nevertheless, this must be tempered with the fact that MAFF are still to carry out a risk assessment as this farm lies within a 3 mile radius of a confirmed outbreak of foot and mouth. With no indication of how long this process will take, this leaves all concerned at the farm in a state of limbo.
John Neligan at the Oaklands Farm has thanked me for the support shown, but said they are not alone in this fight and that there are many farms and farmers out there battling against MAFF without the benefit of publicity feeling alone and isolated. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to appeal to all readers of this site to contact at the very least one farmer to show that they have friends and allies. Because now there is the very real danger of this ongoing crisis becoming old news.
You only have to have seen the news or read newspapers this week to see how this outbreak is becoming marginalised. With headlines screaming about a minor royal who is plainly showing symptoms of "foot in mouth disease". Who really is interested about what the Countess of Wessex has to say - I for one am not. Please make that call show that you care. Alasdair Swanson
ALERT ALERT. In Gloucestershire today there have been new cases of foot and mouth diagnosed by MAFF, with 2 more near the town of Tewkesbury. With these new outbreaks MAFF is seeking to extend its illegal contiguous cull to every single livestock farm west of the river Severn within the county of Gloucestershire. This outrageous proposal will mean the slaughter of tens of thousands of animals in a single county virtually wiping livestock farming in the county for months if not years.
I cannot even begin to imagine the massive pyres that will scar the landscape in the next coming weeks if this plan is allowed to proceed. MAFF's blatant abuse of power must be exposed for what it is. A policy developed by officials who are so out of touch with current scientific developments and thinking and with the governments chief vet, Jim Scudamore, more keen on saving face that listening to reason. And whilst immediate vaccination is being called for by understandably anxious groups, even this is playing into the hands of corporations intent on putting profit before health. We must concentrate on examining the basics of good animal husbandry. This approach never included squirting toxic chemicals directly into the blood stream surely. How much more death and ill-health do we want on our hands?
Woman arrested after pet goat culled BBC News Scotland 9.4.2001
The owner of a pet goat has been arrested for allegedly biting a policeman after the animal was given a lethal injection as part of the foot-and-mouth cull in Dumfriesshire. The family pet, named Misty, was put down by vets on the orders of government officials. It has been alleged that police kept the family chatting while vets destroyed the goat, which was kept locked in the family's barn. Kirstin McBride is expected to appear in court on Tuesday charged with biting the policeman guarding Misty's body.
Miss McBride, 21, lives in Mouswald, Dumfries and Galloway, with her mother and stepfather Elizabeth and George Walls.
When foot-and-mouth broke out, they put the goat, along with a pony, in a barn and made sure that all visitors were disinfected. The Walls family were told that their goat did not need to destroyed when livestock on neighbouring farms was included in the pre-emptive cull to stamp out the foot-and-mouth outbreak.
However, on 2 April a veterinary surgeon rang to say he had been authorised to dispose of the goat. The family begged him to test Misty first. They resisted repeated calls from vets to allow them to cull the goat and eventually the police were called.
Mrs Walls said: "They came into the kitchen and asked for a chat. After 15 minutes we heard a blood-curdling scream."
Miss McBride arrived home from her job as a rail operator at Lockerbie station to find her goat lying dead in the driveway with a plastic bag over its head. Her mother said: "She's still in a terrible state."
A police spokesman said: "A 21-year-old woman has been arrested and charged with a number of offences. She will appear in court on Tuesday." There are 142 confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth in Scotland.
All but five are located in the Dumfries and Galloway region
. Here is an update to the Oaklands Community farm story I sent you on friday. Any more stories I get I will send on to you. I have just spoken to Diana Neligan At Oaklands Community Farm, Newham, Gloucestershire. As I write this they are expecting a visit from a MAFF vet to test for foot and mouth after being served an "A" notice on March 28th.
Diana stated the farrm has adopted a policy of "due diligence". This requires the vet to undergo their rigorous desinfection procedure before any inspection can take place. This includes showering offsite and wearing protective overgarment and footwear supplied by the community farm. Since being served the "A" notice, the farm has been in a virtual stage of siege with 116 people trapped on site. These include 48 residents with learning disabilities and 25 children.
The farm is using its solicitors to lodge a challenge with MAFF to the precautionary cull as well as blockading the entrance lane to the farm with the on site co-workers being prepared to use passive resistance even to the extent of being arrested if MAFF try to proceed this proposed slaughter of their 25 milking cows, 2 pet goats and 100 sheep which have just started to lamb.
Diana said since the television exposure on BBC Points West, the public support has been overwhelming with people telephoning as faraway as Somerset. They welcome all the support they can get, though for obvious reasons no members of the public will be allowed on to grounds.
On a more sinister note (if anything could get more sinister) Diana believes that MAFF are not telling the full truth about the actual outbreaks of foot and mouth and the number of animals killed so far. As David Neligan, her Brother-in-law, a farmer near Morpeth, Norththumberland, knows of farmers who have had their livestock killed due to infection and those who have had a precautionary cull take place. Yet these have not appeared on the MAFF web site. A convenient clerical error or deliberate misinformation? You decide.
Resistance is growing
At Newham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire a community farm has erected barricades and is using vehicles to block the approach lane to the farm after Maff officals informed them that their animals were to be slaughtered even though none of the livestock are infected with Foot and Mouth.
This stand has made local BBC television (BBC Points West Bristol) with a vet publicly stating on television that vaccination is only logical option to deal with this disease. I have just watched the local TV news (BBC Points West) at 10.30 pm and the community farm that has erected barricades against MAFF officals is Oaklands Community Farm, Newham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire.
The Golucestershire vet who has publicy spoken out on television against the slaughter is Richard Rowe
This action brings a quote to mind "A crack is a crack ,and the people fight back"
Keep up the fight
Alasdair Swanson email@example.com
GOAT KILLED WHILE POLICE DISTRACT OWNER
Mrs Elizabeth Walls, proud owner of Misty, a 1 year old goat, was last night distracted by police, while a vet and Maff official broke into her stable and killed the animal without any written or verbal permission from Mrs Walls.
Mrs Walls, who also owns a pony, 2 dogs and a cat, kept Misty in a stable at the bottom of her garden in Mouswald, Dumfriesshire. Misty used to regularly accompany the family and the dogs on walks in the surrounding countryside.
Vets and Maff officials have been attempting for several days to convince Mrs Walls that Misty posed a risk to health, on the grounds that Mrs Walls' back garden borders a farm which has recently had all its cattle destroyed. Mrs Walls today voiced her suspicion that the cattle on the neighbouring farm possibly didn't have Foot and Mouth anyway, and certainly had all the appearances of being perfectly healthy.
At around 9pm on the evening of Thursday 5th April, a vet came to the door and stated bluntly, "I'm here to dispose of the goat. If you don't agree I'll get the police."
Mrs Walls asked him if he had any proof that Misty had Foot and Mouth and he replied that he did not. She asked him if he would take blood tests of Misty. He would not. He was even asked if he could prove that the neighbouring farm had Foot and Mouth. He could not.
Again he stated, "If you don't let me dispose of the goat, I'm going to get the police to arrest you".
Mrs Walls replied, "Well, I'm not prepared to give you permission."
The vet left and almost immediately the police, who must have been lingering nearby, appeared on her doorstep. There was a man and a woman and the policewoman said to Mrs Walls, "I don't want to arrest you."
However, it was claimed that the Animal Health Act 1981 gave them authority to arrest Mrs Walls if she attempted to prevent the slaughter.
While the police were speaking to Mrs Walls in the kitchen, the vet was nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly Mrs Walls was alerted by screaming from her daughter Kristine who was returning home from work.
"Misty's dead! Misty's dead!"
As Mrs Walls tried to rush out, one of the police officers attempted to stop her saying, absurdly, "You can't go out of the house, it's an infected area!"
"Don't be ridiculous" replied Mrs Walls. The officer shot back, "Well, why do you think we're all dressed up in this plastic clothing."
However, she did get outside, only to find a strange man standing around in the dark.
"Who are you?" she asked, and he promptly turned his back on her.
"Excuse me, don't turn your back on me. Who are you?"
"I'm only the driver."
It later transpired that he was the Maff official. He had also tried to stop Kristine at the end of the driveway when she was coming home, and had followed her down the road saying, "Your mother's going to be arrested, and the police will soon sort you out."
While the police had been keeping Mrs Walls speaking in the kitchen, the vet and the Maff official had sneaked round the back, broke into the padlocked stable, and killed Misty!
They did this without obtaining any written or verbal permission whatsoever from Mrs Walls.
Kristine was told by the policewoman, "Grow up. This is the real world, not Disney World."
PET GOAT UNDER ILLEGAL DEATH SENTENCE
I received a call this morning from a woman in South West Scotland, who keeps one pet goat in her back garden. The local vets have been putting her under considerable pressure for the last few days to allow her perfectly healthy goat to be slaughtered.
She is refusing. Several evenings ago a vet attempted to persuade her to have it killed. He tried for over 2 hours to convince her. One of his ruses was to ask her, "How would you feel if every farm around here caught the disease because of your refusal to have your goat killed?"
It was pointed out to the vet that he had just gone to great lengths to explain how the disease could be carried "60 km in the air" and how it could be spread allegedly by humans, cars, birds and deer. In that case, it was absurd to suggest that her pet goat posed any risk at all when there were so many other alleged ways of it spreading.
The latest phone call last night informed her that if she does not allow the goat to be killed then, "it will be a matter for the police." This, of course, is bluff and she knows it. The police cannot legally enforce the cull of a healthy animal. She has been advised to refuse to sign anything because if she does, she will have given them legality to do what they want.
She is continuing to hold out and has said she will lock the goat in her bedroom if necessary.
I listened with interest to the advice from the Chief Scientific Officer on Wednesday that the slaughter policy was "beginning to bite". With new cases now averaging between 40 and 45 per day, instead of the 60 or more that were predicted by this stage if the current strategies had not been introduced and rigorously applied, he expressed cautious optimism that the slaughter policy was "succeeding".
I made some quick calculations based upon figures from the MAFF website and somewhat conservative assumptions as follows: Assume that daily tally of new cases declines from 42 down to 20 over the next four weeks, gives a total of 868 more infected sites. Allow 4 adjacent farms to each site gives 3,472 more farms to be culled, for a total of 4,340. Multiply by the average count of livestock at 1,050 per farm gives a total over the next four weeks of 4,557,000 animals to be slaughtered. Add to the one million already slaughtered so far gives a total of 5.1/2 million animals by the end of April, and we are told that the epidemic will run well into June at best, and possibly much longer.
If this is success, how many millions more would have to be slaughtered for Mr King to admit failure?
I challenge Mr King to produce on "p.m." his own estimates of the numbers to be slaughtered throughout the epidemic under his policy, in comparison to the numbers estimated under a vaccination policy. He has worked out some figures, hasn't he? Let us see this debated in public now, while there is still time to halt this appalling carnage.
from Alan Beat, a smallholder with sheep on the fringe of the Devon diseased area.
Note to editors on calcs:
week one 42 x 7 = 294
week two 35 x 7 = 245
week three27 x 7 = 189
week four 20 x 7 = 140 Total 868
adjacent farms 868 x 4 = 3472 gives farm total 4340
As at 25th March, MAFF figures showed 614,428 animals slaughtered at 586 sites = 1,050 per site
so (farms) 4340 x (livestock) 1050 = 4,557,000 slaughtered over next four weeks
THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING 4.4.2001
Alan Richards and his wife farmed 75 head of cattle including 35 calves, at Cyn Wyn Farm in Montgomeryshire. Yesterday, Tuesday 3rd of April, MAFF offficials accompanied by the Army and the Police enforced an order that Alan's cattle be slaughtered because his farm was adjacent to a farm with foot and mouth. I personally spoke to the MAFF vet in question before the slaughtering began, to point out the fact that because the cattle were all perfectly healthy, she would be operating outside of the law as it stands. She said she would get her superiors to telephone. They never did.. The vet in question had not even tested the cattle for FMD. Their spurious testing procedure makes FMD testing laughable anyway, if laughable is the right word.
Alan and his wife could take no more of the pressure. They signed the consent form and now its all over for him.
He is devastated. His livelihood has been taken away from him.
Wake up England, Wake up World! This is not about caring for UK agriculture. Tearful and emotional speeches outside Number 10 are a charade. These actions form part of an agenda that our UK press are too gutless to write about. The European federalist agenda. This is a premeditated plan to eradicate UK agriculture from the map. Foot and mouth is the trojan horse to implement the covert dismantling of UK independence. Our newspaper editors are in the pockets of rich men behingd the scenes.
And what we ae witnessing today in terms of invasion of rights and freedoms is only just the beginning.
If there is a party worth voting for, it willl be a party dedicated to allowing the UK to return to self-governance.
In spirit and in purpose, Europe will be the death of us.
HELP HELP HELP
ARE OUR NEWSPAPERS FOR THE PEOPLE OR NOT?
At 9.00pm last night 1.4.2001 we received a telephone call from Alan Richards, a farmer in Montgomeryshire. That day, he had been visited by MAFF, the army and the police who arrived in force to try and get Alan to sign a document agreeing that he would allow MAFF to cull 75 perfectly healthy animals. Alan refused. He said he was being put under a great deal of pressure to sign. He is absolutely distraught, but will not allow them access. When being told 10 days previously that MAFF were going to visit to cull his herd, Alan asked the MAFF official "What shall I do about the milking then?" The official replied "That's your problem."
As a result of Alan's phone call, we immediately contacted nine major UK newspapers to alert them to the fact that 75 healthy animals were to be culled by force, and that Alan was within his rights to refuse. Only two newspapers phoned Alan. The Independent would only send someone if he was prepared to get himself arrested. And the Mirror said they would send someone, who at the time of writing has not made an appearance.
MAFF are returning today. And we know this because we contacted the Monmouth MAFF operations base. On asking army official Captain Higgs if we could be party to operational updates, Captain Higgs stated that that would hardly be likely given that our organisation was encouraging non-compliance with government policy. On asking Captain Higgs on the rationale behind killing 75 animals, none of which are showing any signs of FMD, he replied. "That's not my judgment call. Those decisions are made at a far higher level that me. You need to speak to the politicians. I will do all that is necessary to see the job through."
A tractor is currently blocking entry to the main farm site. What measures the officials take to gain access to the property remains to be seen.
This insanity is not just about killing healthy animals. This is about basic rights. What are we going to do about it? What kind of bullied nation are we turning into? Are we a nation of saps?This is the first outward signs of despicable Europolitics. This is a warning sign. We had better all be aware. We are losing our sovereignty rapidly. Our freedoms are being stripped from us before our very eyes. This is the Europe I do not want to join. And it is the Europe our British newspapers are not reporting on. Do not rely on the mainstream press to tell us the truth.
When it comes to the unseen perils of Tony Blair's federalism, the press have sold us down the river.
They cannot tell the truth.
They are in the pockets of rich men behind the scenes.
By contacting the press en masse, we can at least let these editorial teams know that we know! Please contact the UK mainstream press and report this obscenity. Demand that the newspapers start being responsible for the people and not the politicians. Alan is representative of so many farmers who need our helpRIGHT NOW!
Alan Richards, Cyn wyn Farm, Great Western, Montgomeryshire.
NATIONAL PRESS TELEPHONE NUMBERS
Letter to The Independent Dr Jim Hutchison.MD.,FRCP(G).,FRCPath. (Formerly Director, Public Health Laboratory,Birmingham)
It is surely perverse economy to destroy the greater part of our livestock, in the Canutish attempt to eradicate a disease, to which humans are resistant, and from which most animals recover, howbeit with some weeks of uneconomic recuperation.
If we allowed the disease to become endemic (and there are plenty that are), the natural selective history of many (most) infectious diseases, is that the progeny of the survivors is statistically more resistant than the rest of the herd from which it was derived. In the long run this benefits later generations of the population. Future outbreaks of the present sort are certain to take place, if only because we cannot prevent bird flocks and wild animals from spreading contagion across borders, for thousands of miles.
The present policy ensures that we keep 'Virgin populations' of animals which, never having met met the disease, are the more susceptible to it. It is high time to have a radical, sensible and economically viable change of that policy.
Dr Jim Hutchison, Birmingham. (38A Chantry Rd, Moseley , B13 8DJ )
Steve, I very much fear that the Juggernaut is going too fast to stop now. MAFF has OVERPERSUADED the politicians into a disastrous policy, which MUST be reviewed scientifically not economically!
Best wishes , yours sincerely, Jim Hutchison.
"We must oppose this mass slaughter policy on logical, scientific, humanitarian, moral and economic grounds.
A special report by Alistair McConnachie
THE FMD SCANDAL
In the Glasgow Herald of 24th March, the leader of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, Jim Walker, is quoted as saying in reference to the present Foot and Mouth (FMD) scandal, "There are going to be more draconian measures than are currently in place. As well as the three-kilometre slaughter of all sheep, all livestock on farms which are contiguous to those which have been diagnosed as positive will be taken out." ("Slaughtering policy moves to new phase", The Herald (Glasgow), Saturday 24th March 2001, p. 22) The implications of those foolish words are horrendous. Ultimately, if the disease is alleged to have broken out all over the country, then the inevitable logic of this policy will be to kill every animal in Britain. That will be an economic, social and humanitarian disaster for the British agricultural, rural and tourist industries. We must oppose this mass slaughter policy on logical, scientific, humanitarian, moral and economic grounds. Here are some important facts about this disease which we must lay on the table:
1. We do not know for sure how this disease spreads.
2. We do not even know if it is highly contagious. Evidence from the history of FMD indicates that it doesn't even necessarily spread to animals in the same farm. See Farming and Gardening for Health or Disease by Sir Albert Howard C.I.E., M.A. http://www.whatareweswallowing.freeserve.co.uk/footquestions.htm "My animals then had to be brought in contact with diseased stock. This was done by allowing them: (1) to use the common pastures at Pusa, on which diseased cattle sometimes grazed, and (2) to come in direct contact with foot-and-mouth disease. This latter was easy, as my small farmyard was only separated from one of the large cattle sheds of the Pusa Estate by a low hedge over which the animals could rub noses. I have often seen this occur between my oxen and foot-and-mouth cases. Nothing happened."
3. Afflicted animals almost always recover and become immune to that strain of the infection.
4. FMD is a relatively minor ailment which is curable through the application of simple, basic husbandry techniques. For example, Henry Hamilton wrote a pamphlet in 1967 recounting how, as herd manager on the Duke of Westminster's estate in the 1922-1924 outbreak, he successfully nursed the herd through the outbreak. Those animals afflicted were simply isolated, kept as clean as possible, and treated with a mixture of Stockholm tar and salt. In other words, they were cured by the application of basic animal husbandry techniques. (See Charles Clover, "Old cowmen's cure saved duke's pedigree herd", The Daily Telegraph 21-3-01, p. 6, and
5. Death occurs in a maximum 5 percent of cases, and then only in those animals with weak constitutions; for example, the very young and the very old.
6. The meat is fit to eat.
7. FMD is presumed to be a viral infection but no photograph exists anywhere of the FMD virus.
8. ELISA, the blood test used to confirm the presence of the supposed FMD virus, does not detect the virus but merely delivers the positive reading by detecting proteins and antibodies in the blood which are presumed to be there as a result of the presence of the virus - but which can be there for other harmless reasons.
9. ELISA is therefore highly liable to produce a false FMD positive response.
10. False positive FMD diagnosis is also likely to be heightened by the complete ignorance among farmers, vets, and MAFF officials as to what the disease, or its symptoms even look like. Many may well never seen a genuine case before. Even British farmers who remember the 1967/8 outbreak cannot (legally) have seen a single case of the progress ofnythe disease, since all detected cattle were supposed to have been killed, along with all the other cattle in their herds. Cattle, sheep and pigs are constantly afflicted with foot irritations. How many of these, in the present hysterical atmosphere, are being wrongly diagnosed as FMD? How many vets and MAFF officials will pronounce a positive confirmation "just to be on the safe side"?
11. There is evidence that proper protocols for "confirming" the presence of FMD are not being followed. There is evidence from at least one farm, that FMD is being "diagnosed" in a completely unscientific manner. For example, 1550 animals were slaughtered on Wynn Gittens, Ucheldre Farm, near Welshpool, as the result of one unconfirmed visual diagnosis, of one cow, by one MAFF official - not even by a vet. Not even a blood test was taken, which, as above, wouldn't necessarily prove anything anyway. How many supposed "confirmed new cases" are really accurate?
12. There is clear physical evidence that the proper protocols for slaughtering animals are not being followed, thereby leaving MAFF and vets open to possible prosecution. For example, the picture in The Times, 22-3-01, p. 6 shows cattle destroyed at Berry Farm near Shebbear, Devon, while, contrary to guidelines, live animals look on.
It seems the only entities out of control are our own ignorance of the facts and those official bodies conducting the mass slaughter.
We must break the consensus for mass slaughter if we are to save our farming, rural and tourist industries, and we must promote the logical, scientific, humanitarian, moral and economic alternative, namely: The alternative to killing healthy animals is not to kill healthy animals, and the alternative to killing those animals alleged to have the illness is to help them recover.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
CIRCULATE THE PROPER INFORMATION The first step to a proper Policy is to acquire the proper Information. Wrong information spawns chaos and madness. Do what you can to circulate the information available on this site.
WORK TO BREAK THE CONSENSUS FOR MASS SLAUGHTER That means spreading information and working to convince, for example, Vets, that they are abusing their professional position by being complicit with an economic agenda, rather than a humanitarian and caring animal health policy. By their behaviour in killing both sick and healthy animals, they are also betraying their professional motivation which is, presumably, to heal. See 10 Questions for Conscientious Vets below.
REJECT FALSE "LEADERSHIP Reject those whose inevitable logic, and whose policies, will lead to the destruction of the farming, rural and tourist industries.
GET OUT WITH YOUR VIDEO CAMERA NOW If you have access to a threatened farm, then arm yourself with a video camera now. Video the behaviour of any MAFF officials, farming leaders, vets and other personnel on your farm. It may be possible to bring prosecutions at a later date. Video evidence is therefore essential. For example, we have clear evidence that animals are being been slaughtered in direct contravention of the guidelines. See the picture in The Times 22-3-01 of cattle having been destroyed at Berry Farm near Shebbear, Devon, while, contrary to guidelines, live animals look on. Do not be intimidated if they ask you to stop filming. It is not illegal to film, and you are not breaking any law. If they try to wrestle the camera off you then they are breaking the law. You have a legal right to any material which they may confiscate. Continue filming. Continually ask them for their justification for their behaviour. At the very least, such people deserve to feel awkward about their destructive behaviour.
MAKE YOUR EXPERTISE AVAILABLE If you have specialist knowledge, for example, legal, then make it available.
Old cowmen's cure saved duke's pedigree herd Charles Clover, Environment EditorThe Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 21 March 2001
ONLY one exception to the policy of slaughtering all stock with foot and mouth disease has been allowed by the Ministry of Agriculture since 1878. That was on the Duke of Westminster's Eaton Hall estate in Cheshire during the 1922-24 epidemic. The second duke's herds manager, Henry Pakenham Hamilton, later wrote a pamphlet explaining how he had nursed about 400 cattle, including the celebrated Eaton herd of dairy shorthorns, 300 sheep and 250 pigs, almost all pedigree stock, through the outbreak of 1923-4.
When the disease was diagnosed on Nov 2, 1923, the duke, who was opposed to the slaughter policy, told the ministry that his farms were almost isolated because so many of the surrounding farms had had their stock slaughtered. He pointed out that the ministry, at that time, refused to pay compensation at above the commercial rate for pedigree stock. The ministry agreed to let the duke treat his stock, provided that he bore all the losses and expenses involved, and conformed to the ministry's isolation regulations. These were to last until the end of June 1924.
The duke's staff and vets began treating a disease of which none had any experience. A system of treatment recommended by the vets proved too complicated to carry out because of the numbers of cattle involved. Hamilton and his staff fell back on simple remedies recommended by old men who remembered what was done before the slaughter policy was introduced.
These consisted of syringing the feet and mouth with a solution of salt and water. When the blisters burst the feet were dressed with Stockholm tar and the tongue recovered without further treatment. To prevent the cattle standing in manure or urine which could re-infect them, a round-the-clock watch was kept and their droppings removed. Hamilton said: "That was the answer. Keep the cow's feet clean for two to five days after the blisters burst until the sores healed up and all our troubles were over." He wrote: "Among the milking cows we did come up against blisters forming on the teats. They sealed the end of the teats over and when we did have to draw any milk from the udder we had to break the blisters every time to get the milk out of the end of the teat."
Nature provided an answer to this problem, as the animals were so ill for the days the fever lasted that they produced almost no milk, and they did not return to their previous yield until the following lactation. The cows were off their food for a few days until the blisters on their tongues burst, but recovered swiftly and within two to three weeks were back to normal, except for the few that got septic feet. Two cows did die during this period, but neither death could be put down to foot and mouth.
An indication of the success of the cure was that several animals that had had the disease in November and December were exhibited at the Royal Show on July 1 and won several prizes. When Hamilton wrote up his recollections 44 years later, during the 1967 outbreak, he said: "The treatment of the disease is quite an easy matter if good accommodation is available for the animals being treated, and sufficient experienced labour is available during the first week of the outbreak, during which time keeping the feet clean is most essential."
Kenya's Maasai Cattle Herders Blast Britain Over Livestock Slaughter
Friday, March 23, 2001
By Alexandra Zavis
SUSUA, Kenya Cloaked in trademark red shawls with layers of brightly colored beads around their necks, hundreds of Maasai herders converge on this dusty town on the southern end of Kenya's portion of the Great Rift Valley for the twice-weekly cattle market.
Cows are central to the lives of the nomadic herdsmen who have been deeply disturbed by news that hundreds of thousands of livestock have been killed in faraway Britain in a bid to stamp out an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
Tribal tradition holds that these herders are the true custodians of all the world's cows, and the notion of a mass slaughter of otherwise healthy animals is not only horrifying in theory they take it very personally.
"If the European people were here in Africa, we could have raided them for this," Nicholas Tanyai said angrily, as he looked over cows for sale at the corral on the edge of town, about 50 miles northwest of the capital, Nairobi.
"Just bring those animals that you are killing, and we will buy them."
Foot-and-mouth is endemic in Kenya, as in many other countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America, where an outbreak barely causes a stir. A relatively mild livestock disease which strikes cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, pigs and cows, foot-and-mouth poses no medical threat to humans.
The Maasai equate it with a human cold they use the same word for both illnesses treating the sores that appear on the hooves and in the mouths of infected animals with boiled herbs and salt and waiting for the disease to pass.
While the virus can significantly reduce the milk and meat output of selectively bred European cattle, its effects on indigenous breeds are minimal apart from in the very young, which can die, said Brian Perry, a veterinary epidemiologist at the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute.
Kenyan cows are lower-yielding to begin with, and they have also developed greater resistance to the disease, he said.
The panic that has gripped Britain and other Western countries has more to do with international trade than the nature of the disease.
A country that imports livestock touched by the highly infectious virus risks infecting its own herds, thereby jeopardizing its own export business.
British meat and livestock were banned by the European Union, the United States, Canada and other countries after the outbreak was detected Feb. 19.
The virus can be spread by anything it touches, including truck tires, the soles of shoes, or contaminated hay, water and manure. Wind can carry it up to 40 miles.
Following on the heels of a mad cow disease scare a livestock ailment that has been linked to a brain-wasting variant in humans British officials were quick to impose movement restrictions and a slaughter program. More than 200,000 animals have been killed, their carcasses burned, and the ashes buried in deep pits. Many more could be condemned.
Movement by people in the countryside has also been discouraged, with officials closing country footpaths, halting horse racing, quarantining suspect farms and slaughterhouses and shutting down parks and nature reserves.
In the scrubby grasslands around Susua, where zebra and the occasional giraffe mix with the grazing cows, sheep and goats, Nanna Kakatleya's eyes widen in horror at the prospect.
"If the government tells me to kill my cattle, then they will kill me," said the elderly herder, a member of Kenya's majority Kikuyu tribe, who was armed with clubs and arrows as he watched over his animals.
Cows are at the heart of the herder society, representing food, wealth, status, and a source of cash for school fees or the price of a bride.
Slaughter to stave off an outbreak of the disease isn't an option in a country where the government does not have the money to compensate farmers for the loss of their herds. And it wouldn't be effective anyway unless wild animals such as the migrating wildebeest were also culled, Perry said.
When outbreaks do occur in Kenya, the authorities usually impose a quarantine and vaccinate animals in the affected area.
In Europe, however, the injections have been discontinued because they are not 100 percent reliable and can hinder tracking of the disease, as vaccinated animals carry the same antibodies as those infected.
An immunization campaign would also cost European countries apart from Britain and France, which has also now been touched by the disease their current foot-and-mouth-free status in world trade markets.
That is not a concern in Kenya, where most of the meat and dairy production is for domestic consumption.
Delamere Estates, one of the country's largest beef and dairy producers which operates like western cattle ranches, vaccinates its imported black and white milking cows every four months as a precaution, general manager Renaldo Retief said.
He admitted to being as puzzled about Britain's handling of the outbreak as the herders in nearby Susua, where Moses Kaleki contemplated the issue from a bench in front of the town's rickety cafe.
"Maybe the disease is dangerous to you Europeans," he wondered. "Is that why you are killing your cows?"
Editors comment. Some parts of this article have been highlighted to draw attention to the fact that these observations of f and m are not grounded in proven science.
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