Extracts from the FMD Inbox - ARCHIVES

Extracts from the FMD Inbox - June 1 2001

The Inbox for June 1 (latest entries nearest the top).......Maff rallies on SUNDAY 3rd June, __roads from Grassington and Thresfield blocked by Maff and army,__another farmer who has objected has been forcibly "culled out" - no information yet why,__ fears about Wharfdale (May 29 in the inbox) seem confirmed,__cattle with FMD cured in Saudi Arabia,__news reported by Sky that Bobby Waugh is facing prosecution,__in parts of Derbyshire they "think it's all over", __free-ranging animals still being shot at by Maff-employed "rangers" in the Forest of Dean,__it is suggested that protest is better if it sticks to what is known to be true, such as the animal cruelty and pollution, rather than possibilities that may not be,__ 6 emails after a farmer speaks on Radio Cumbria about spooked suckler herd being chased for hours by Maff riflemen on quad bikes, __according to Farmers Guardian post-election cull expected to be in Derbyshire, Swaledale, Lincolnshire, ..and knowledgeable reaction to this, __ more from Mr Chad about Norfolk - and Buxton,__"too many farmers" says NFU, __ brave farmer loses cattle to FMD after successful fight against MAFF,__dioxins from fires,__"missing" herd at Kirkby Lonsdale still in field after all, __certainly "world's worst ever" - in terms of arrogance and ignorance, __peaceful rallies planned for June 6th (or is it June 3rd? clarification please!), __antibodies in animals could provide excuse for leisurely eradication of small farms, __successful petition signing and discussions with passers-by in Monmouth, __FMD contracts for "up to a year" available in Devon - and reaction, __Labour ignores FMD in manifesto sent to Cumbrian homes, .....

June 1 2001

Hello everyone Please would everyone who is able to come be outside the following MAFF centres on Sunday 3 June at noon. Llandrindod Wells, Powys ( We need as many people as possible to turn up outside the offices in Spa road, Llandrindod Wells, Powys on Sunday at noon. HTV are to cover it so please please come along and represent our farmers and our livestock. We are aiming at at least 500 people there. THANK YOU Janet H 01588 620591)

Also: Exeter, Carlisle, Worcester, Whittington Road,... same thing applies to Maff office Whittington Road Worcester, I have got the Midlands TV to come out there and have contacted two local radio stations, so please everyone, make an effort if you possibly can

Northallerton, unless there is a change of plan

June 1 2001

Please be aware that the roads from Grassington and Thresfield, which go to Burnsall and Bolton Abbey (Duke of Devonshires estate) towards Ilkley have been blocked by the army, the whole place is crawling with army personnel and cull vehicles. So far there are no reports of any cases on this stretch of road - and they certainly can't be classed as contiguous!! A friend on her way from Grassington to Ilkley rand to tell me this, late morning today (1 June)

June 1 2001

Sorry to announce that MAFF/Army have entered the Brown 's farm at Accraplatts this afternoon. Val has taken the kids off to her mothers and is beside herself. She rang Olive to tell her what was happening. Val is very concerned about her husband being left alone to cope. We do not know the whole picture yet but it is ironic that the local press ran the article about them holding out and this is MAFF's answer to that !!

Anybody who is in the area to observe please get there as soon as possible......(another)...This is so sad. I've tried to call Maff on the 0113 230 0100 number but there is no answer. Head office have no further numbers for enquiries. As E. said, the last we all knew was that Burgess Salmon wrote a letter to tell Maff to back off, but there's no info about whether the animals have been blood tested / are seen as DC's etc.

June 1 2001

Message received. >>Just had a call from a friend up Wharfedale.... Bolton Abbey has been completely sealed off and the whole place is crawling with army and cull vehicles. This is at 11 am on Friday 1 June. This area currently (according to maff) has no outbreaks and is approx 8 miles from Gargrave (outbreak near Skipton)<<<

June 1 2001

The sero positive sheep have had FMD and recovered, they now pose no risk to other animals, this wil of course not stop MAFF from culling out any that they find. The number they find depends on the time that FMD was here and not detected, the longer it was here, the more sheep it wil have infected, so the cull could be on a wide scale.

This process would be very long winded, taking months, possibly even a year, I think that until we have to wait until it is completed before resuming exports, (not quite sure) If it 's true it's somewhat ironic as it would have only taken a year to regain FMD free status after the last jab of vaccine had been administered.

June 1 2001

Interesting contrast in approach. Never thought I'd point to Saudis as beacon of enlightenment!

Date :5/29/01 10:00:45 PM No.: 37 SPA -37- GENERAL / FIGURES ON FOOT AND MOUTH FEVER

RIYADH, MAY 29, SPA -- THE NUMBER OF LIVESTOCK CURRENTLY CONTRACTING FOOT-AND-MOUTH FEVER IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA STOOD AT TEN HERDS TOTALING 863 CATTLE, OUT OF WHICH 68 ARE COWS AND 795 ARE SHEEP, THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH ANNOUNCED HERE TODAY.

THE INFECTED ANIMALS ARE CURRENTLY UNDER TREATMENT AND OBSERVATION, THE ANNOUNCEMENT SAID AND ADDED THAT THIS WEEK NO LIVESTOCK DIED OF THE DISEASE.

THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HERDS INFECTED SINCE THE OUTBREAK OF THE DISEASE REACHED 143, OUT OF WHICH 133 WERE COMPLETELY CURED, SAID THE REPORT.--SPA

June 1 2001

Reference point 10. Bobby Waugh is to prosecuted for his role in the FMD outbreak (Sky news today)

June 1 2001

"Maff will now survey all farms within five kilometres of an infected farm in the Broughton area, after animals were culled in the area in the last fortnight. The extension of the restriction zone has only previously been used in hot spot areas of North Cumbria when Maff have had extra resources. Now they see the Broughton and Duddon Valley area as a potential hot spot." ....published in the NW Evening Mail. As we know extension of a restriction zone is usually followed by a cull. ...(another) Are we talking about a km cull here or the 5 km serological testing that Maff have said they will begin carrying out in parts of Cumbria? Have we got the correct information? The North West News mentioned testing a few days ago and that was the area mentioned I am not doubting anyone, just checking to make sure I have the correct facts before doing anything.

June 1 2001

(From Farnley Tyas, Derbyshire) Some little time ago we were told via an official letter, not to put cattle out into fields adjoining those already containing neighbours cattle. This week two local farmers has put cattle into every field that surrounds our land. They have also been muck spreading, fertiliser spreading and generally carrying on as though there is nothing called FAM. The local fodder merchant said yesterday, when delivering to our neighbour and whilst waiting to be decontaminated on the 'mat' , that most of the locals have discarded this practice and "don't you think you are making a big fuss now it is all over!" I read your article about Maff in the forest of Dean blood testing first. Since Easter they have employed Forest Rangers to shoot down the free roaming sheep. I am told that they have also shot and killed some deer. These rangers are still there with their guns and it's cruel. An animal could be injured deep in the Forest and the poor thing would be just left to suffer.

June 1 2001

So who did this and why? We or later generations will eventually discover who and why. I don't think we're likely to at the moment. I think the main perpetrator has been the gross negligence and inefficiency of MAFF. There's possibly an element of truth in the Euro theories. After all the Euros have been the UK's natural enemies for generations.

But if you are trying to change opinion it's easier to concentrate on what you know to be the truth and what you know that people will believe.

I would tend to emphasise the animal cruelty aspect and the poisoning of the air and the landscape for future generations.

June 1 2001

(6 emails) Alan Alderson, a farmer, spoke this morning on Radio Cumbria about the slaughter of his suckler herd. The cattle were spooked, put up some resistance and it seems that the the MAFF sharpshooter chased them around several acres for several hours.................It was at Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. No date given as yet. Lots of local witnesses. The cattle were chased on quad bikes. The farmer is appealing for MAFF to use proper equipment and procedures...........(must be after..) 25 May - when MAFF issued instructions WRT use of rifles and marksmen.........It happened on Wednesday evening 30 May......point is that 25 May MAFF did issue very precise and detailed instructions as to the procedures, equipment, authorisations and supervision that had to be used/followed. If the incident was after 25 May then ........The farmer is appealing for appropriate equipment and procedures to be used in future. He said that MAFF showed no respect for him, ignored his advice and claimed to know what they were doing. When challenged about this MAFF claimed that the cattle were 'wild'. Any country person knows that animals will protect their young [much in the same way as people]. These idiots behave as if they're shooting on a computer screen. It's inappropriate, cruel and disgusting and MUST be stopped. These cattle had been the result of several generations breeding.

June 1 2001

gleaned off the Farmers Guardian website comes the information that, according to squaddies and site workers, the first post-election cull will be Derbyshire, followed by Swaledale - particularly Arkengarthdale area - to be completed by mid July, and after that, Lincolnshire.

June 1 2001

Yes this is undoubtedly a useful "by-product" of FMD for this Government, though not, IMHO the reason it was started and certainly not by them. The sheep population in Britain has doubled since 1980 not because sheep have suddenly become such loveable animals that farmers just cant help themselves in wanting more, but because of the subsidies attached to them. They are in that instance largely commodities and are now being traded as such. I deplore it and think that it is a morally bankrupt way of dealing with the problem. However, I do not disapprove of the principle of reducing sheep numbers gradually and by natural wasteage. Nor do I disapprove of the aim to encourage farmers to improve the quality of their flocks to enable them reach higher market prices. Walk around the mountains up here and look at some of the pitiful devils grazing and you might see the point of it. Last year a caring sharing sort of person dumped 6 such ewes and their lambs onto a busy main road on a Saturday evening and then drove away before our eyes. My husband and I had a fun filled time of rounding them up ( a case of one man and his dog if ever there was one!) to prevent not only their possible horrific injury and death, but also that of unsuspecting motorists. We got the lambs into an empty field but the ewes were terrified so my husband had the task of lifting each one over the fence - just what you want to do on a Saturday evening in your best clothes. We did notify the police immediately and found out that this was become increasingly common. Perhaps if we get back to realistic numbers, owned by the right sort of farmers we will also get an industry which is more informed and more able to defend its position against what is happening at the moment. Whilst we undoubtedly need the hefted flocks to graze the uplands the reality is that there is far too much high ground grazing with the consequent environmental problems, ie soil erosion problems, which that is bringing.

June 1 2001

...from Mr Chad....

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Mr. CHAD has heard one large lorry and an equally large trailer carrying large round straw bales on the A47 between King's Lynn .................Mr. CHAD just heard MAFF have just booked into a hotel in Buxton and have asked BT to install 25  50 more telephone lines before the outbreak. WOT OUTBREAK have they PLANNED For Buxton? ...................... and Peterborough heading east into Norfolk. Four miles further on heading into Norfolk Mr. CHAD heard of a flatbed lorry with large JCB identical to those you might see say at Orton and elsewhere on farms in Cumbria. Directly behind that another Flatbed - unmarked with railway sleepers on it.

June 1 2001

Brief mention on the 'today's news'section of the NFU web site. NFU argues Britain has "too many small farmers" (Mail) ....(another email) Well they would do wouldnt they? Think of the power broking they can do with a small number of suited and booted clued up businessmen who are "farmers" by virtue of having animal "factories" around the country as opposed to the 180,000 raggle taggle cussed mob they have now with 180,000 different opinions on every thing under the sum. A loathsome prospect though isnt it, give me raggle taggle and cussed every day (a bit like meself really as TWogan is prone to say!)

June 1 2001

PRESS RELEASE - 31 May 2001 Farmers For Action, the farmers' lobbying organisation, who co-ordinated last september's fuel protest, are organising a Light a Beacon protest on the eve of the General Election.
Farmers countrywide are being asked to build a beacon and light it at 9 pm on 6 June. The very tool that has symbolised the FMD crisis will be used to send a very visible message to this government expressing British farmers total dissatisfaction at the way the Foot & Mouth epidemic has been handled.
This crisis is far from over and families are continuing to lose their livestock, both infected and clean to this disease, and furthermore are having to wait months for any sign of compensation, which is totally unacceptable.
On a more positive note, we wish to thank the general public for the wonderful support they have given the farming communities throughout this terrible time and perhaps we can work together to save our industry in order that future generations can prosper.
If we can get this off the ground, not only will it give FFA some great publicity but also remind Messrs Blair & Co that we are not going down without a fight.
Can you all send this press release to your local papers, contact local tv and anybody else you can think of. No doubt there will be those who will say we are being insensitive using beacons but we have all been locked away for so long now, this is great opportunity to come out fighting.
We are advising national press today, please pass this on to everybody, so that they can all get involved.
David Handley Chairman, Farmers For Action

June 1 2001

Seen in Craven Herald:
Campaigning farmer loses battle against foot and mouth
A CRAVEN farmer, who won the battle to stop the wholesale cull of his pedigree cattle under the contiguous premises policy, has lost the war against foot and mouth disease.
Malcolm Beresford who runs Green Farm, Halton West, in partnership with his brother, Gordon, successfully blocked the entry of slaughtermen onto his land after the virus was discovered at neighbouring premises, owned by W Kenyon and Sons.
He argued his 250-strong Holstein Friesian herd was healthy and the firebreak between the two farms - a strip of non-stocked land - was adequate to prevent direct contact.
But within 24 hours of his cattle being removed from the slaughter list, Mr Beresford received the news the animals had caught the disease and were back on death row. They were due to be culled within the ministry's 24-hour policy.
It is believed Mr Beresford noticed signs of the disease on Wednesday evening and immediately contacted MAFF. He is said to be "absolutely devastated" by the news and too upset to speak to the press.............................also from Craven Herald:Craven Herald - Fears grow as foot and mouth reaches Wharfedale

THE foot and mouth crisis took a worrying turn yesterday (Thursday) with the first confirmed case in Upper Wharfedale.
Kail Farm at Thorpe became Craven's 27th confirmed case. NFU secretary Tim Palmer said: "It is extremely worrying now that the disease seems to have taken a side step beyond the Settle cluster. "We have got to get a response from the Ministry of Agriculture on how they intend to contain this. It is obviously of huge concern to farms around the area."
To date more than 100,000 animals have been cleared from Craven's fields and hills in what has been labelled the Settle Rectangle, an area of land which encompasses part of North Craven, Upper Wharfedale and part of the Ribble Valley.
These include 13,500 cattle, 96,000 sheep and lambs, 85 pigs and 17 goats. Twenty seven Craven farms have been confirmed as having foot and mouth, and at least 114 others have had their stock wiped out as contiguous premises.
Three other farms have had animals slaughtered on suspicion of having the virus.

June 1 2001

"Mary had a little lamb
Its feet were full of blisters
Blair put it on a funeral pyre
With its brothers and its sisters"
And poisoned the rest of us with the dioxins etc.?...............(another email) But was the diagnosis definite? What are they doing? And can we stop them?
..............(another)
The friendly cow all red and white
I love with all my heart
They chase her round from dawn till night
Then blow her brains apart
And, yes, we must keep on fighting!!!

June 1 2001

Saw the cows at the Kirkby Lonsdale farm - way away from the road. Lights back on in sheds so they are still safe it appears. Phew ! Will keep an eye on this farm cos if it does go positive all hell will break loose around here.

June 1 2001

It very much depends on what you define as "confirmed" cases doesnt it, since a large number of them have been proven to be negative and that's only the ones they are admitting as such. It certainly is the worlds worst ever in terms of inept handling and I still think the biggest conspiracy in all of this is the one of arrogance and ignorance, just a question of which one dominates the other. ......Just as to fight your foe the best you should understand and appreciate his/her strengths, to fully examine "conspiracy theories" you must first understand and acknowledge rational explanations.

June 1 2001

re JUNE 6th (not the 7th) We are trying to co-ordinate a peaceful rally outside the main MAFF offices throughout the country. The main offices so far are Carlisle, Edenbridge House, Lowther Street, Carlisle Worcester, Whittington Road Llandrindod Wells, Powys, Wales - Spa Road East Exeter Northallerton plus LONDON HEAD OFFICE
If anyone is able to help organise this on their own local level please phone me on 01588 620591

June 1 2001

Antibodies stay in the animal for up to two years. Maff are saying that all animals in North Cumbria that survive will be blood tested. My theory is that in some areas NO farms will be allowed to restock until these blood tests have been carrried out. So if their aim is to see more farms go under - then a go slow on the blood testing side will do this nicely. As there are pockets of animals left scattered all around North Cumbria and probably most other areas of the Country this is leisurely method in which to do this. ................(another email)My thoery is that they'll find a few antibodies here and there and cull what's left over - hope I'm wrong.......(another) Tell me I'm slow in the uptake...I know it...but what possible harm can antibodies DO?? What's the big deal with antibodies in fit healthy animals?...................(another) Far from doing any harm, they are an indication that the animal has had the infection, recovered from it and now has a degree of natural immunity. At least this is what I have always understood to be the case. .

June 1 2001

Monmouth was good yesterday. On the whole people were very interested, sympathetic and responsive. Also very willing to sign petition. The high spot of the day for me was winning a lengthy arguement with an auctioneer who really grilled me, but I thought it was very constructive as he showed me the weakspots in my arguement, but eventually conceded that he thought I was right on several important points such as why maff have any arguement for a firebreak cull in an area where the fire broke out 3-5 weeks ago, and he also tried to tell me that my local farms had not all been culled, it was just that the animals had not been turned out to grass yet!! Thank you Martin for rescuing me from the old dear from Dorset who told me her life story, and her medical history and her upbringing and the names of all the farms in her family! Thanks for coming Di, and for trying to rescue me from above mentioned lady! The low spot of the day was the #25 parking ticket!! very expensive day in all, but all in a good cause

June 1 2001

Foot & Mouth jobs jobs available through the Bideford Job Centre: 70 to 100 hrs weekly, contracts up to a year!

So I rang the Job centre who put me in touch with a contractor in CLAWTON who has the contract for all the "cleaning up" of farms after the MAFFia have finished . This involves the teams which are supposed to bring farms to a sanitised and sterilised status for the future.
Rang the contractor to find
a. Only self employed status at # 6 per hour.
b. They will ring to detail the location.
c. You turn up.
d. Could I drive a tractor or swing shovel (could but never have! but after light aircaft and DUKWs can't be difficult!!!).
e. Could be a "Team Leader" for extra # 50 per week.
f. Tax & Insurance (must be joking!
g. IR 35? whats that got to do with it.
h. Insurance?
I. Training?
j. Interview?
k. Procedures, Disinfecting, clothing not even mentioned.
I wait for my phone to ring! Who are they? Luke Furse 01409 211142 ask for Suzanne. Does not sound a recipe for success to me.
Oh and book-keeping if you fancy it.

..............(another) It is no secret that there will be a massive programme of seralogical testing of sheep subsequent to the supposed end of this outbreak. Sheep with antibodies will be slaughtered as the policy stands at the moment. This ties in equally well with the information your contact was given.......

(another)To those of you thinking of applying......just bear it in mind.. people in this sort of "hillbilly" area [straw in our hair etc.... but don't think we're that thick! ] do have a tendency to remember this sort of thing.
And some of us like those sheep....and will remember you.
Yes ......we will remember.....

June 1 2001

I have to agree this foot and mouth outbreak is all about politics and Blair's vision of the Countryside (or non Countryside) afterwards. FMD does not even get a mention in the local Labour manifesto that has come through the door this week - this is Cumbria - and the Bas****s don't even mention it. Well that's OK - vote em back into power and he can then carry on where he left off with his slaughter regime. We in Cumbria will then open another museum for the tourists full of stuffed cows and sheep, and men dressed as farmers with a soundtrack of the odd cow or two mooing!! Go down a treat that will - just like the real stuff but with no S**T on your shoes. All courtesy of Tony Blair and his Merry Men!! Sad thing is it's probably not far off being the truth.

June 1 2001

Extracts from the PMD Inbox - May 31 2001

The Inbox for May 31 (latest entries nearest the top)... Mr Chad has some insider information, Maff's figures again, 5km cull for Cumbria rumoured but newspaper says"restrictions", light a beacon on June 6th, encouragement to individuals who feel they'regetting nowhere, a farmer who recognised that compensation was really a "bribe" (but took it anyway), FMD in Qatar eliminated with vaccination within one month, the sinister "Snowie" lorries, news from Kirkby Lonsdale and Settle, more disappointment that vaccination gets no mention, sinking feeling that - far from machiavellian scheming - we're only dealing with unbelievable incompetence after all, with symptoms appearing in infected herd within 24hours doesn't mean healthy animals go down within 24 hours, blow fly strike in the South of the Country adds to misery, reasons for towns' lack of sympathy, a typo suggested!..., true number of animals dead, "we cannot sit idly by", reaction to Channel 4's FMD special report and "Question Time".....

May 31 2001

...from Mr Chad....(whose information is rarely if ever wrong....)

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W O T N O F A R M E R S

Mr. CHAD has just heard that vehicles that are Contracted to MAFF are to be found in North Lincolnshire today. Mr. CHAD expects an announcement of F&M in the area in the next day or two which he hears will be rapidly cured!! He hears this will be used as the precursor to a planned outbreak in Mid. July.

May 31 2001

In his article in The Times on 23 May, Simon Jenkins says "80,000 a day against 33,000 when the outbreak was supposedly at its peak 2 months ago". Simon J is a highly respected journalist, used to be editor of The Economist and I don't think would use a figure he hadn't checked. MAFF website says currently 8,000 a day, maximum 82,000 a day in April

May 31 2001

A lady up in Cumbria has just told me that a Maff vet has told two farmers that a 5km cull is now planned for Cumbria.......

From the NW Evening Mail a few days ago about 5k testing.....Farmers who fall outside the three-kilometre area but within five kilometres will not be placed under D-notices, Maff said. The increase in the restriction zone has been criticised by some farmers in Broughton. Broughton smallholder Janine Allis Smith, who has been on protest marches in favour of vaccination, said: "I think they should give us a break. "This community has been in a state of shock by having D-notices placed on farms which have later proved to be negative.

May 31 2001

Please alert any farmer in Cumbria who wants to save their livestock. Tel Or Fax 01588 620 591

May 31 2001

Farmers For Action are organising a 'Light a Beacon' protest on the eve of the General Election. Farmers countrywide are being asked to build a beacon and light it at 9 pm on 6 June. The very tool that has symbolised the FMD crisis will be used to send a very visible message to this government expressing British farmers' total dissatisfaction at the way the Foot & Mouth epidemic has been handled. This crisis is far from over and families are continuing to lose their livestock, both infected and clean to this disease, and furthermore are having to wait months for any sign of compensation, which is totally unacceptable.

May 31 2001

With reference to the couple of people that feel frustrated that there is nothing physical that they are doing and feel that they are getting nowhere - First, every letter,every e-mail, every phone call - even every conversation in the street or shop (especially to shopkeepers - they speak to others) continues the snowball effect. E- mail newspapers till your fingers hurt, till you suffer sleep deprivation.Phone till your telephone bill can't stand any more. Today my wife has sent 43 letters to Regional & daily newspapers! Attend local election meetings ring prospective candidates - BE A BLOODY NUISANCE. E-mail friends and business abroad to e-mail address back in UK. Believe me that all this is just as useful as standing on the front line. SHOUT - (eggs are up to you!!!). The more people that are aware of the truth, the more that the Gov. has to listen - the success has been through their hiding the truth - the public will realise eventually and EVERY e-mail etc.. brings that moment closer.

May 31 2001

Also Mary, thought you would like this - I was speaking to my long-time stockbroker in Manchester yesterday. One of his clients is a farmer who has had cull carried out - very happy at level of compensation paid out (#700 per animal).He knows it is a bribe but not bothered. Remember that last year calves were being shot because they were not worth the cost of fuel or feed

May 31 2001

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE IN QATAR -Text of a fax received on 23 May 2001 from Dr Majid Rashid Al-Kuwari, Assistant Director of Animal Health Affairs, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture, Doha:

The outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the western area, which was reported on 1 May 2001, has run its full course, with full recovery of infected animals. Control measures: emergency vaccination against FMD is continuing. --------------------------------------
Note Well : "...has run its full course, with full recovery of infected animals".

What bl**dy morons this government are. They break the EU Law and get away with it....and do the EU pipe up ? No !

May 31 2001

For all those who are not familiar with those nice red Snowie cull lorries that our farmers just love to see heading up their farm drives to take away their dead stock - here is their website http://www.snowie.co.uk/news.htm Nice pictures of the red lorries we keep seeing along the A65 - these are special custom-built water tight trailers, made in Belgium. So these don't leak, folks - guaranteed. "The Snowie Group has brought a specialist dimension to the business of re-cycling beneficial waste. " Isn't that comforting to know that we are recycling our country's livestock? And the Snowie Group have 3000 acres themselves and has " established close links with the farming community"..............
Apparently.....according to a pig-farmer contact of mine......Snowies are massing in Scunthorpe, N. Lincs. 13 miles from me.

May 31 2001

Could not see the cows at Kirkby Lonsdale - so may have already gone. Noticed a NE cull lorry sitting in the lay bye not far away. We have had lorries back and forth all day here.Will check again tomorrow. They are tarmacing the road again where the disinfectant mat was at the boundary on the A65. So no doubt the mat was purely a temporary measure for someone to see when visiting. There are plenty of cull lorries parked in the laybyes on the entrance road into Settle (Bishop Auckland ones) and it appears that MAFF have now taken over Settle High School. Equipment in the school play ground and lights on late at night in the school and doors open. Still plenty of gear in the main Settle car park and hotels full of army & TVIs. Slaughterers on a pub crawl. So they may have set up a new command centre in Gisburn but there is still a definite presence in Settle itself. Shame the farmer never brought up vaccination as the most viable way of sorting this problem out when Tiny Blur said if there had been any other way he would have used it .........
Are the public still prepared to see Millions of animals killed ,countless more lives ruined and as we have seen another tragic death when there is still a perfectly good vaccination that can be used . Every window of opportunity to vaccinate has been wasted so that F and M has got going again .

May 31 2001

After all our suspicions of world wide diabolical plotz, I'm beginning to think that the whole catastrophe was the bungling of a bunch of totally incompetent bigots. Lord, the things we meet when we haven't got a gun!

May 31 2001

The virus doesn't infect the animals that quickly, it's the symptoms that appear quickly, same way that if you get a cold, you may not fell it for a couple of days, then you get a sore throat, than you're sneezing over everyone. This fit in with what the guys who've had FMD here tell me, once the first animal shows signs, within a couple of hours there are a dozen, 24hrs and the lot have gone down.

May 31 2001

To add further loss and misery there is a blow fly strike in the South of the Country now!

May 31 2001

It's all very political - both Political and political unfortunately. I'm not cut out be a campaigner either but sometimes one cannot sit idly by.

May 31 2001

6 million is the figure unofficially agreed by Maff. I'm going to hunt around for a document that records this figure. It is then also known that the 6 million figure does not include lambs/piglets/calves, of which the estimate is another 2 million. My Tv ducks each time they say 3 million too.

May 31 2001

This year CAP has been kicked around and people think ALL farmers are making a fortune out of that scheme. Add the stories about farmers deliberately infecting their own flocks, moving animals illegally and to top it all receiving compensation far in excess of the actual value and you can perhaps understand why sympathy is a little thin on the ground. When Tony Bliar (sic) and the ARMY state their distorted facts middle England listens and follows. When supermarket chairmen say they are not squeezing the farmers, middle England listens and when there is a general election running 90% of Media coverage is on that. Unfortunately, the rural communities count for little in the Blair household and even less for many townies.

May 31 2001

You said: ****are spreading F&M, but apparently, if you try to cull them you'll panic them, scatter them, not manage to kill them and possibly spread F&M further.
I think you had a typo. You put 'deer' Are you sure you didn't mean MAFF? I don't actually believe this as MAFF officials Can't run very fast because of the size of Their wallets and they are terribly unfit due to All the expense account eating they do. The main reason MAFF officials are easy to herd and cull Is that they prefer to LIE and are very dizzy from spinning.

May 31 2001

Brilliant Channel 4 item regarding FMD - just a pity they gave Brown the soap box to lecture from on BSE. Did you hear him say that they should not be alienating the Country leading up to a Election - excuse me but WHAT has the Labour party been doing these past months with the rural community - if not alienating US from the rest of the Country!
There was a fuller interview with the Liberal Democrat Politician on the radio - his view was that many areas will never recover - not just farming but all aspects of life. 'The days of cricket on the village green' as he referred to it - will not return. Sadly I think Cumbria is one of those - certainly North Cumbria....
Why doesn't he ( Nick Brown) blink when being interviewed? Is he an alien?....
Snow was so wishy washy tonight it was embarrassing - he had Tim Yeo hand one of the main facts to him ie. that culling would begin again in earnest / preparations for after the election date and Snow the pl**ker completely missed the point. Then Snow tried to compare the Bse crisis to FMD and that was a golden goose for Brown - ''you can't compare the two, anyhow that was the conservatives blah blah''.
End result , no further forward whatsoever.
Joe public thinks? From watching the Snowogram graph it looked like the Government had got the disease on a steeper decline than they had estimated, therefore further on the way to eradication than first thought.......
He (Brown) could not even commit to a PUBLIC enquiry....."there's two going on now"............Yeh ! covering their miserable fat arse backsides and making up all the poxy excuses they can think of. Pile of rubbish the bl**dy lot of them. John Snow did not a bad job though.......I hope we see more of the same.......and rip into these lunatics with the truth........
Question Time was better Bryn!! Blair squirmed like a fish on a hook! Dimbleby was great.....and one guy absolutely trashed the Kaiser over FMD!!...............
didn't ask him about vaccination - nor did the farmers who were in the audience. This is the second time in a week that he and Brown have bleated about there being no other way. Why, oh why, haven't the interviewers got up to date with the latest science? I was screaming at the telly, but no - one caught him out. He actually came out of the programme quite well, even more disappointing. It was a fairly hostile audience and he performed pretty well under pressure. I think we are going to be stuck with the B-----d for another four years, (and his Lady Macbeth wife.) .................

May 31 2001

The Inbox for May 30 (latest entries nearest the top)....... Chilling inference drawn about the likelihood that all stock animals in Devon face death from Maff, Maff criticises farmers for demonstrating, Blair refuses formal inquiry into FMD, heavily deformed chick near Anglesey pyre (again), extraordinary behaviour of the virus in Yorkshire - filmed by Maff who deny it is a new strain (4 emails), big Kirby Lonsdale farm possibly next in line..., some thoughts about our "democracy", Ben Gill's flawed old arguments about vaccination in Times letter, concern about FMD in deer, logic of confining farmers when Maff move so freely questioned, distrust and confusion about blood testing, disappointment at Today Programme's handling of Roy Anderson, disappointment at the attitude of some farmers, cronyism at the BBC, the Blairs' suggestion of "Old MacDonald" does not go down well at old people's singsong, Penrith - a huge area, fear at new development about testing for antibodies, Mr Blair and Mr Hoon turn green, telling a policeman, sensible sheep owner keeps Maff out - others lose their sheep because of "fertiliser burns" or misdiagnosis, some forthright comment which reflects the feelings of many of us, blood test results in Monmouth still not back after two weeks but others all negative, new "outbreaks" in Cheshire, Lancashire, Devon - and Newport, interesting speculation about cause of English dislike for farmers, suspicion of global industries and supermarkets as covert players, police filming demonstrators in Co Durham, Maff settles in accommodation in Settle, farmers forewarned for the barricades.....

May 30 2001

last night's Bulletin 83 from the NFU. This tells us: "Blood testing has started in West Somerset and continues in North and East Cornwall (progress is slow there because of the large number of small holdings, many not registered as keeping animals). Bleeding (sic) has finished in the Crediton, Morchard Bishop, Brentor, Tavistock and Clawton areas in Devon and at Berkeley, Westbury-on-Severn, Frampton, Newent, Redmarley and Boddington in Gloucestershire. Test results are expected back from the labs soon. Despite assurances to the contrary, blood testing has not started in East Devon - though we are told it should start tomorrow."

I note that the results have not been released yet. I have, however, inquired and been told by MAFF that they are testing every sheep and every goat in the 3 km zones round each infected premises.

I also recall suggestions from a French scientist, when tests on sheep exported to the S of France in January proved positive, that he had found that about 5% false positives could be expected when sheep were tested.

This would mean that any flock with more than 20 sheep (i.e. practically every flock tested) can be expected to show at least one positive reaction.

It might be inferred that MAFF will therefore seek to cull every flock they test and probably the contiguous flocks too. They will then define a new 3 km zone and continue the process. They will presumably be able to enforce their action in the Courts, because (unlike the contiguous and firebreak culls where they are killing apparently healthy animals merely because they have been close to infected ones) they will apparently be able to present evidence that the sheep are carrying disease. This could be the basis of the rumour that all the animals in Devon, including all of Dartmoor and Exmoor, are to be killed.

May 30 2001

There has already been predictable Maff criticism of farmers leaving their farms to demonstrate in Exeter today - saying that by going to a demo from an infected area they could spread the virus. The farmers have been asked to wear clean clothes and disinfect carefully. Don't you get bored with all this Maff PR? I do. It's closer to mud-slinging than PR.

May 30 2001

Spotted in Ananova nes posting.... Tony Blair has stopped short of promising a full public inquiry into foot-and-mouth disease. He said he would not commit himself to a formal inquiry now, adding that could "await another time".

May 30 2001

Spotted in Friends of the Earth Press Release ..... IMMEDIATE 29.05.01 Third Severely Deformed Chick Born Near Anglesey Pyre A third severely deformed chick has been born on a free-range farm close to the Anglesey pyre site heightening concerns of environmentalists. Two chicks, with deformities not seen before in the lifetime of the farmer, were born some weeks ago prompting calls from green campaigners Friends of the Earth (FOE) Cymru for the authorities to issue health warnings and carry out an investigation

May 30 2001

Well now, just watch FMD spread west towards the M6 from Settle. I was advised today of a dangerous contact close by in Kirkby Lonsdale. A milk tanker visited this farm and also the Settle area. Now this KL farm happens to be the largest in this area and has a large herd of dairy cows - the only herd around here with triple milking. Will keep an eye on it to see if MAFF decide to go in and cull.

May 30 2001

From North West Evening Mail....South Cumbria National Farmers' Union spokeswoman Gill Shearer said: "Animals given the all clear are found to be heavily diseased just two hours later. "We were so concerned we have been on to the agriculture ministry vets because we thought it could be a new strain of the disease. "They say it isn't, but it seems to have become much more virulent and is moving very fast in an area that hasn't had an outbreak for six weeks. "I would urge Furness farmers to check their animals as often as possible, preferably every couple of hours."

In two cases, filmed by Maff, animals thought to be free of the disease went down with it in less than two hours.

In one case the symptoms were so severe shocked vets doubted the animals had been given the all clear just hours before.

Also from North West Evening Mail............DISEASE IS STILL SERIOUS THREAT THE Country Land-and Business Assoc-iation believes the government is unsuccessfully trying to cover up the scale of the foot-and-mouth problem. The CLA says a surge of new outbreaks in Yorkshire near the Lancashire/Cumbria border shows the crisis is far from under control. The latest confirmed cases have inspired land and rural business owners in South Cumbria to call on political leaders to tackle the scourge of the countryside and not hide in their election battle buses.

.................This is mystifying to say the least. Not so very long ago we were being told that the virus thrived in cold damp weather and warmth and sunlight would destroy it. Now it is being suggested that the present hot weather may be increasing the virulence of the infection. When is someone going to start telling the truth? Or does nobody know what the truth is?....................I wonder if the warm weather is a bit of a red herring and if these animals have all been infected at a similar time 10-14 days ago?

May 30 2001

There has already been predictable maff criticism of farmers leaving their farms to demonstrate in Exeter today - saying that by going to a demo from an infected area they could spread the virus. The farmers have been asked to wear clean clothes and disinfect carefully. Don't you get bored with all this maff PR? I do. It's closer to mud-slinging than PR.

May 30 2001

we have all the trappings of a police state, we are watched almost where ever we move in even the smallest town. We are encouraged to distrust each other, elderly people are afraid to be on the streets, even in broad daylight. We dare not allow our young children to play out or walk to school on their own. In fact we are at times led to believe that crime is our biggest problem. ............................. I must declare my interest, I am a Conspiracy Theorist, I have studied the Theory for forty years or more. I have realised that our Corporate Madness has led us give up what little freedom we had in that Golden Period just post WW2, to have it replaced with a Licence that can be withdrawn at any time that our hidden, secret Masters choose. One treatment for madness is `Shock Treatment', how much bigger shock does this country, and in particular the farmers, need before they recover from their madness? Beam me up, Scottie, I think I've had enough

May 30 2001

....Letter from Ben Gill in the Times today spouting the same old c**p about vaccination. I'll try to bang off a short reply later but would any vets like to write a proper response? He does concede that 'vaccination may well form part of a future policy'. Big deal, at this rate there'll be no animals left to vaccinate.

May 30 2001

Some farmers seemed convinced that deer are spreading F&M, but apparently, if you try to cull them you'll panic them, scatter them, not manage to kill them and possibly spread F&M further. The official line is that deer are testing negative throughout the country.

May 30 2001

Maybe farmers are confined to try to keep them quiet and not able to protest as to what is going. I cannot see rhyme or reason to confine them in this way, when we keep on hearing of the disgraceful bio-security activities of the so called experts. If we are to believe the stories about how this disease is spread, then posting a letter, and licking the stamp is dangerous.Are they still confined when cases come back negative?

May 30 2001

We have already lost half of our sheep and cattle that were on keep on farms that were either "contiguous" or infected. We are now waiting for blood tests to be done on what's left. I thought testing was a good idea but having heard other peoples experiences we are rightly concerned.

One vet told me it was very easy to remove all traces of the virus from a test using an ultra-violet light, another that if they want to kill your animals as contiguous and you protest and they take tests the results come back 100% positive. As you are contiguous they don't need to confirm you either!

May 30 2001

( 2 emails) BBC Radio 4 Today programme: 29 May. Listen to Prof Roy 'sheep killer' Anderson talking to John Humphrys and again advocating rigorous application of his policies! http://www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin//radio4/today/listen/audiosearch.pl?ProgID=991143262 He really says b****r all except to trot out the standard 'line'. John Humphrys let him off very lightly indeed - has he been 'got at'?................. He was allowed to get away with murder (literally) and they repeated it again in the evening. To someone who didn't know about animals or the country he came across as quite credible. No hard or searching questions were asked at all - almost as if they were determined to put the Gov spin on the matter. Very infuriating particularly as Humphreys has been extremely good up till now. I was also disappointed by the broadcast with Noel Edmonds when Nick Brown claimed "if there were any other way to deal with this we would have used it" and NO-ONE even mentioned vaccination.

May 30 2001

Obviously I cannot be specific - especially over the internet - as I have to live with these people and am on very good terms with them. If anyone was to ring them up to ask for details of anything I mentioned they would deny it - but only today a farmer's wife told me that they had a lot of surplus stock and had booked them in for welfare - and I know perfectly well that there is no shortage of keep on that farm and no difficulty in moving stock around it! I absolutely agree that we must all continue to make every effort to get this slaughter stopped, but I am afraid that without the support of the farmers success is not likely in the immediate future. Can any of you honestly pretend that you are not rather disappointed with the general lack of protest from farmers? They turned out in huge numbers for the fuel blockades after all.

May 30 2001

.....the BBC should be denied the right to use the word British in their title/name. The BBC is a disgrace to the name British & should be re named for the sake of truth: The Brussels Broadcasting Conspiracy.

Countryside supporters were told by the BBC East Chief Reporter Kim Riley: 'if you people think you are getting on air you can forget it. My instructions are not to film or record you, your banners or your protest'. The Press subsequently referred to collusion between Blair and the BBC. Hardly surprising  Tiny Blur has stuffed The BBC with his cronies and puppets  As a result Tiny Blur has stuffed the Reputation of the BBC worldwide.

May 30 2001

Well, I wouldn't like it on my conscience what both the Blair's have done. What kind of parents and so called christians are they? Could you declare you are in charge and go round with a stupid grin on your face, knowing what was going on in your name? Did you see the news report of them both in a singsong with some old people? She suggested they sing, "Old Macdonald had a farm" and someone in the background said not a song about a farm....

May 30 2001

When they say "Penrith" they mean a huge area. We are in Long Marton 3 miles Nth of Appleby & we are regarded as Penrith! We have lots of new cases around us all in dairy cattle.

May 30 2001

I'm not aware of anyone who has successfully resisted a cull when the animals had positive antibodies. This is new territory....I agree that it sounds bad. How many of the remaining Herdwicks will we lose if this happens?

May 30 2001

I have just given a local policeman a quick course on Fand M. He had no idea about whats going on . I think I will try and persuade him to let me give a talk to the local station :) or maybe even the whole of West Mercia - might as well think big .

May 30 2001

spotted in Daily Mail Tuesday May 29th 2001
Ephraim Hardcastle

TV personality Clarissa Dickson Wright tells me Tony Blair "threw up on the spot" while visiting, after lunch, a pyre of dead cows in Dumfries. My information comes from vets who were there. They're surprised it didn't get in the papers. Defence Minister Geoff Hoon was removed ashen-faced from a Great Orton pyre.....(another email) Hoon did NOT visit a Great Orton pyre. There were no pyres at Gt Orton, just a killing shed where in excess of 2 million animals were butchered! There were so many lambs being killed they installed a conveyor belt to remove their bodies to the burial pits! Hoon .... was due to be there for 1 hr & could only stomach 10 minutes!! The bastard!!

May 30 2001

Living in the Furness area of Cumbria and having successfully refused inspection of my small flock of sheep, although supposedly being under a D-notice (never received, I am determined that my healthy sheep stay totally isolated. This is because of the slaughter at 2 nearby farms, one which turned out to be fertilizer burn and the other, after suspicion, proved clear. These farms are now having to go through the disinfection process, because the 'dirty' slaughtermen and vets, in killing the clean animals, have infected the premises. Of course, this obviously makes sense in the general madness of things. After the Gen. Election the Duddon fell flocks are going to be bloodtested, not on the fells where they are now or before they are moved, but when they have been brought down to lower pastures for shearing, this is madness. The killing will start again, the hill flocks will be decimated as it is almost certain that some flocks will have FMD antibodies and will be culled, although they've fully recovered. I think they're talking about testing at least 20 fell flocks. Will there then be another wave of contiguous culls, 3 km ones or even more - and has anyone has been successful in preventing a cull of livestock with FMD antibodies ?

May 30 2001

because this whole sickening, gut-wrenching slaughter.........with fields running red with blood..........and families out to lunch seeing terrified animals falling into canals, and murdered in front of them............dead ewes with aborted lambs hanging out of them....piglets hit over the head with bloody shovels.........MAKES ME WANT TO VOMIT......... which I sometimes do. That's when I'm not trying desperately to stop crying........WHICH I OFTEN DO.

May 30 2001

what I have heard today and which I find really worrying is - that the result on one of the A notice farms tested over 2 weeks ago has not yet come back, which suggests there may be an indecisive result there. All the others tested so far have come back negative.

May 30 2001

People are shocked when I show them some of my literature. They had no idea. I have tried to explain....in language they can understand......that the government is responsible for the spread of this outbreak...........I.E. Run by the E.U. etc....etc...arable farming only........destruction of the British Livestock Farming Industry. When you explain it simply to them, they are appalled. I have not spoken to one person who is voting Labour. Who are all these people in the polls? Anyway, I am forewarning the farmers here, and they will be ready for mid-July..........barricades and all! Some will stand.........and I guess some will fall, but at least they will be prepared.

May 30 2001

Channel Four news said..."Foot and mouth relapse There are fears the foot-and-mouth epidemic could still be spreading. Two cases of the disease have been confirmed in Cheshire, while new outbreaks have also been identified in Lancashire and Devon".......................and another one up in the welsh valleys north of Newport - as far as I could see nowhere near anything else!

May 30 2001

I have noticed that if a covert operation to destroy livestock farming in Britain were to be mounted, it could hardly have been done more effectively and at a better time. We have an urban government with an urban electorate that generally dislikes farmers (I trace this to the primogeniture tradition of inheritance in Britain - this released the younger sons of the landed families to go out and conquer and administer an Empire, etc. but it left the underlying attitude to landowners - read 'farmers' - that they are unfairly privileged.) The Government has no understanding of farming and Rural Communities other than that they tend not to vote New Labour - the Minister of Agriculture is an ex advertising copywriter, who must be entirely dependent on his Civil Servants for advice.

May 30 2001

Our favourite for the perpetrator is a global food concern (the sort that the NFU holds investments in) on its way to control of food production worldwide, wanting to move into control of farming in Britain as a way into Europe - but we haven't worked this out properly yet. Supermarkets have benefited most tangibly so far and they and Nestles have been implicated in stopping vaccination.... We noticed the Alastair Driver article. We noticed how enthusiastic were the NFU (disregarding the effect on what must be the greatest number of their members

May 30 2001

Clitheroe as a target? Things seem to be taking off there in a big way.

May 30 2001

Did anyone hear about the protests in Co Durham yesterday? Apparently the police moved the protesters on at one of the sites and were also filming everything.

May 30 2001

There always seem to be fresh outbreaks straight after a bank holiday! Why should that be...I don't think it has anything to do with walkers etc, it almost appears as though MAFF are using weekends and bank holidays as cover for their own agenda. Also, saw on the evening news the rather nice accommodation MAFF have organised for themselves in Settle, they appear to be settling in for a long campaign! Derbyshire will be next.

May 30 2001

The Inbox for May 29 (latest entries nearest the top) Local knowledge says MAFF plan to be set up at Settle and Gisburn for 5 months, 5% of sheep never infected with FMD can test "positive", Andrew Spence backs Heart of Britain campaign, up in arms in New Mills, Derbyshire, Mr Blair NOT losing any sleep we find, deep suspicion of Maff in Clitheroe, frustration at lack of progress, anger at Maff's blaming the Settle outbreak on farmers, similar anger at Maff lack of biosecurity and arrogance, more frustration at indifference of most media and politicians, misreporting by BBC, wandering sheep and deer being shot in Forest of Dean, photographs, bafflement about why FMD is so demonised and why vaccination is never on the agenda, Diana Organ's (MP Forest of Dean) indifference, FMD moving towards Wharfedale? Abigail Woods' evaluation of FMD policy from historical perspective, "confirmed case" means " slaughtered but awaiting (sometime, maybe) blood test results".....Farmers Guardian story of the maffaged figures, irreplaceable breeding stock lost, compensation money not being paid, public ignorance of true scale of FMD, Derbyshire campaigning, need for publicity, true figures of "new cases" over last few days, how many to die before vaccination considered...NUM and MAFF say "we are just carrying out orders..., the number of dead described graphically......

May 29 2001

Loads of road closures at Sawley today as culling under way at Bank Top Farm and surrounds. Sky News and BBC onsite. Local knowledge says MAFF plan to be set up at Settle and Gisburn for 5 months!!!!!! Rumours of hotel bookings already made in The Peak District !! From the NW Evening Mail..."MASS CULL FOR FELL SHEEP IF DISEASE IS CONFIRMED SLAUGHTERMEN are on standby in case a scorched earth cull of sheep is needed on the Furness fells just after the general election. Fears are growing that foot-and-mouth will be diagnosed in thousands of fell sheep when they are brought down for shearing in early-to-mid June."

...since it only takes one in a flock to test positive for all to be killed - and since , if the tests were to be applied to a population of animals never exposed to FMD, it would be expected (as a French scientist was quoted in connection with the tests on sheep exported from Mid Wales last January) that 5% will return positive - this is frightening news. If 5% false positives are found will all animals in those flocks be killed - and contiguous farms too?

May 29 2001

I've just had a phone call from Andrew Spence, the Farmer and Haulier who is standing as an Independence Party candidate against Tony Blair in Sedgefield. Tony and Cherie were canvassing in the constituency yesterday and when greeted by Andrew they couldn't scuttle away fast enough! Andrew supports our efforts to help those affected by FMD and the community in the countryside. He is backing the Heart of Britain Campaign. Welcome aboard Andrew! Unless Tony Blair is willing to talk very soon, he tells me another fuel protest will go ahead! Maybe the Slaughter of healthy animals will grind to a halt along with the Country,sooner than we think!

Jane Barribal - Farmtalking.com

May 29 2001

I live near New Mills in Derbyshire, I am in contact with a few people who are up in arms and know they would attend a Demo, If you live in the area maybe you could suggest a location is there a town centre??? Lets do something before its to late, as i feel just sitting here tapping away on the keyboard is not going to change things we need action now.

May 29 2001

This is a brief extract from an article in the Telegraph magazine of 26 May. Adam Nicolson meets him for the second time in 4 years:

.... Nicolson: Had he lost any sleep over foot and mouth?

Blair: "Nah" he said dismissively. There had been some anxious moments "when I thought the scale of this is just enormous, beyond anything contemplated, but..." the shrug, the full Rory Bremner - "y'know, I mean, I've no doubt we've taken the right decisions throughout"

May 29 2001

I live in the Clitheroe area and the feeling around here is MAFF are not to be trusted and every farmer I have spoken to is against the slaughter of healthy animals. I believe alot of support could be rallied in the Clitheroe area.

May 29 2001

(2 emails) I know that I am not doing enough but I don't know what to do. I have never been an activist. I have never before been involved in any sort of protest group. I want to do something positive but I don't know how to go about it. I have made myself available to man a help line when required, but to date my services have not been called upon........ The fuel protesters brought the Country to a grinding stop because we all/everything needs fuel. Sadly animals do not fall into that category, what we cannot supply then Europe/World will do so and people will buy it. I think any protest has to be in a County that is just starting to have it's animals wiped out - hit that area before it is to late. We must draw on rural people from all over the Country - but I have doubts as to just how many would actually turn up and protest. We are not be listened to, we might be a thorn in their side - but they are still carrying on with the same old policy slaughter, slaughter slaughter. For every email/letter we send out how many farms/animals have been lost?

May 29 2001

Re "Maff explains Settle Outbreak" story...MAFF have consistently lied about almost everything to do with F&M - it was MAFF who tried to blame the whole outbreak on a spring roll from a Chinese restaurant with NOT ONE SHRED of evidence. MAFF have LIED, LIED and then LIED to cover their LIES. If this is MAFF's explanation of the Settle outbreak I think based on MAFF's track record there is only one conclusion you can draw from it - this is the LEAST likely scenario of how the outbreak in Settle started. Have they got their story ready for how the outbreak in Wharfdale will start this week or how the outbreak on the 15th June will have 'started' in Swaledale or how the outbreak in Lincolnshire will have 'started' in mid July? What is their LIE about how the outbreak on Dartmoor & Exmoor 'started' on the 8th. of June. What is MAFF's LIE as to why there are 300 lorries gathering in the West Country at the moment? They will all probably have been cause by those terrible farmers and their evil methods [plays well for the media and the towns - you only had to read .. The Independent to realise that].

May 29 2001

On Saturday a MAFF worker (helping with the lagoons) that the farms are having to have to cope with the disinfection procedure. This man (wearing his dirty protective white suit) as he was driving and moving about - stopped and came up to our gate. He leaned on the gate even though we have a D notice pined to it. I told him I did not know where he was looking for - but he seemed adamant that I should help him. I did not dare leave him and go and get Duncan ( I truly felt he would come in if given a chance). After repeatedly telling him that the farm he wanted WAS NOT in this hamlet (and him keep saying he would have to phone for fresh directions) he went away. We then went and thoroughly disinfected where he had been. We would complain because he is not working within the rules regarding protective clothing - but we still have animals - and YES we are scared of retaliation. MY blood boils that these people think they are GOD and strut around without a thought and care for anything.

May 29 2001

(2 emails) Whatever we do and whoever we complain to the whole thing just carries on and we hardly make a dent in it. Talking about MPs...where have Cunningham [Copeland] and Hutton [Barrow] been throughout this crisis?......Jack Cunningham went on a very nice visit to the far East trying to do some PR work on behalf of Selafield. Not bad work if you can get it.

May 29 2001

I emailed BBC about their repeated stating of the figure being 3 million animals total and said they were grossly misrepresenting the facts and pointed out what the correct figures should be, and how and why! The email when it came back some eight days said this 'Please rest assured that your comments have been carefully registered for the attention of our news editors and senior management alike. Thank you once again for taking the time to contact the BBC.' This mornings report and they are STILL peddling the same rubbish - they will not listen - will they?

May 29 2001

There are almost exactly [sorry - were] the same number of livestock in Britain as there are people. In human terms MAFF by Murdering Animals For Fun With no sound scientific basis for the MAFFacre Have killed the equivalent of the TOTAL POPULATION OF LONDON

May 29 2001

8 million not counting the lambs and calves. Important scientific data is being withheld by MAFF, while it is presenting false data for political reasons. Enough us enough. The killing has got to stop. For a start, we should ask Labour to answer this question: what is the upper limit to the number of animals they are prepared to kill, before they start using vaccination? 10 million? 16 million? 50% of the herd? 100%? The NUM and MAFF people to whom I have put this this question have answered "We don't make the policy. We are just carrying out orders." So we must take it to the source of the orders. Mr Blair, Parliamentary Candidate for Sedgefield......

May 29 2001

(2 emails) Have just updated the daily data - there were 33 cases this last week - just as 2 weeks ago - that makes back to 5 per day - not the rapidly going down 3 they'd like us to think - wonder if they'll try and make that 4 per day! .......I have been checking the figures. There have been fewer animals killed this week. 10,500 a day. But last week it was over 38,000 a day and MAFF puts it at 8,000. The week before it was just under 30,000 a day and MAFF has it as 9,000 now. 6 or 7 per day for last few day

May 29 2001

I'm feeling really frightened tonight, mulling over all the things I've read today and thinking of all the killing that's to come. We must make ourselves a thorn in Blair's flesh and get maximum publicity NOW! Why can't we bring things to a standstill like the fuel protestors? I know we're scattered all over the land, but some of us must be able to get together to do something. What say you? Also (I mentioned this before, but don't think anyone read it), can't we make a short video giving information, figures, true facts about vaccination, etc, and get it shown on Channel 4?

May 29 2001

For evil to prevail all it takes is for good men to do nothing. I myself live in Derbyshire although we are free at the moment we are campaigning as I believe we will see the disease as set out by the government to destroy British agriculture. please get in touch e-mail writer here

May 29 2001

Reported 2 new cases of fmd in Settle today. NO mention of the other 4 cases confirmed today which appear on Maff website. I asked my other half who was watching TV in another room how many cases there'd been today and he said 2.... and that's what everyone else will think.

May 29 2001

As far as #6 million to Cumbria goes BOL**X!!!! We haven`t received a penny!!! Not a penny!!!!! As I said on the phone, I saw a "culling lorry" heading West down the A66 towards Keswick; had a Thirsk name on the side. Take care, by the way, am getting strange phone calls & funny cars appearing near my home; in such a tiny village all things like this are very noticeable!

May 29 2001

From Farmers' Guardian 25th May.."On the Ministry website there is mention of only the one initial farm in each case, with no mention of the other nine or 18 farms and that, said Mr Henderson, gives no idea of the scale of what is happening. Many similar reports have been given to FG by farmers who have contacted us over the last seven days. They have been angered too by official assertions that the cull so far is equivalent to only five weeks' normal abattoir throughput. That assertion fails to recognise that many of the foot-and-mouth cull animals have been valued breeding stock which farmers will find it difficult. if not impossible, to replace."

May 29 2001

The Nelson Farm, Calton case is another "confirmed" but awaiting test results. Amazing !!

May 29 2001

As they say FMD is now really an 'economic' disease as much as anything else. Did you read Abigail Wood's piece on the Sheepdrove (http://www.sheepdrove.com) web site?: Foot and Mouth Disease:An evaluation of the current control policy from a historical perspective By Abigail Woods MA MSc VetMB MRCVS PhD student in the History of FMD in 20th Century Britain (read it here)

May 29 2001

( 2 emails) So now they are burying carcasses instead of rendering. I saw a cull lorry today heading back along A65 to Settle from the M6. Anyone know where Hespin Wood is? Don't like the sound of this 5 mile testing radius. Confirmed case today at Low Bucker House - in a remote valley north of Winterburn Reservoir. This is getting nearer to Wharfedale so we may need to get some posters into Grassington area soon........Hespin wood is in Penrith Cumbria it is land fill site which has been taking sheep from all over the Country as well as the one;s from Cumbria. Saw a wagon with think it was Doddington or Dotherington? on Saturday in a convoy of three more (all different logos on them) they could have come from Great Orton but not sure where they where heading back to, does that name mean anything to anyone. They were definitely or had been transporting dead animals.

May 29 2001

re the Forest Action Group meeting on the 26th April during the height of the culling and burning,here in the Forest of Dean. 2 NFU reps came, lady from the Soil Association, John Gourier, David Parker, Glos DVM from Maff, the solicitor for the Forest Action Group, and Mark Harper, the Conservative candidate, numerous members of the Press, and Diana Organ's representative who said Diana couldnt come because there was a 3 line whip vote in the House of Commons. There was a 3 line whip on the Special Educational Needs Bill at 2 pm. Diana Organ DID NOT VOTE in that 3 line whip vote, it is recorded who voted on record in the Hansard. If the constituencies urgent need of help and support excused her absence I could understand, but she didnt turn up here either. Mark Harper, the Conservative candidate checked this info with the Conservative Whips office.

May 29 2001

I've been asking that very same question for ages now, why is vaccinating against FMD so different to vaccinating against other stuff, it's silly and doesn't make sense, why is FMD so different, we can't even get the damned virus so it's not really important as far as us as humans are concerned in that context but we as humans should know better in this day and age than treat a disease that's not even that serious in some ways like it's some sort of plague

May 29 2001

I am trying desperately to get the most hideous shot of a pile of heavily pregnant & slaughtered ewes with one particular lady with a large foetus hanging out of her rear. Easily identified as a young lamb. Horrific but I want this on the front page of every national paper to show the world what TBB (That basatard Blair) has done! If I don`t get coverage I will show this photo on the net & anywhere I can where it will get most impact

May 29 2001

In The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review on 18th May it said that there were 7 farms left in the area of the free roaming sheep. If you include the outskirts there are 35 farms left. As you come into the Forest from Monmouth there are a few farms with animals there and also I have seen a few in Longhope with animals.

I was told yesterday that the forest rangers are still shooting free range sheep that have escaped and they are also killing the deer. I think its terrible just taking shots at them. It said in the Citizen they were going to do it. It's just a disgrace and they have been at it since Easter.

May 29 2001

The Inbox for May 28 (latest entries nearest the top)more maffaging of figures, cri-de-coeur from a fighter who now views vets with deep suspicion, similarities between symptoms of FMD and Orf, more news about Maff's refusal to test before culling/contiguous culling even though Pirbright now have fast-track means to test diagnosis before slaughter , more rumours that Maff has foreknowledge of "outbreaks" and plans culls in advance, more on Maff's own lack of "biosecurity", misdiagnosis of FMD..possibility that it's deliberate, many farmers making money from FMD, but many more in desperate need, mentally drained and at their wits' end.

May 28 2001

I've just checked the MAFF site. As at 15.00 today there have been 7 more cases since last night. But "The number of premises recorded on which animals have been or are due to be slaughtered is currently 7,691." This figure hasn't changed since the 25th May. And there have been 20 more confirmed cases in that time.

May 28 2001

There are hundreds and hundreds of us who have been made to go to the corners of the Earth we never knew existed in order to try and save our animals - farmers, hobby farmers, pet owners whoever, we have all been treated in the most contemptible way by this rotten scheming Government who will stop at nothing in order to reach their main aim - to wipe out our animals. I loath and hate what these people and their camp followers have done to us and our animals. Apart from the few sheep we have dogs we run a small breed Rescue. There is not one Vets this area that has not involved many working as TVI's. I personally am finding it very difficult to see these people in the same light I hate giving them my money and putting my dogs in their hands knowing what they are capable of.

May 28 2001

( 2 emails) I have had Orf twice,which only affected me on point of contact, (huge blister on top of thumb). The first time it lasted for ages but the second time was very mild and was gone in about a week.I had no other symptoms and my doctor didn't know what it was. My vet confirmed it was Orf as she has also had Orf several times the last time just a mild rash. I subsequently had a ewe which caught Orf from a borrowed Tup which I handled as the ewe was badly affected but did not affect me so I presume that I am now completely immune. I believe there is a vacination for Orf.......i had orf once, really nasty, my doctor told me it could take weeks to go and there was no cure, he helpfully showwed me some photos of people with their mouths and feet covered in blisters , similar to fmd, which were part of the secondary infection. Meanwhile i gave the sheep some large black capsules called orfoids and they recovered in days. The virus was making me really ill and i was told it would last at least 6 weeks, those orfoids take a bit of swallowing , but they do work.

May 28 2001

there was no laboratory support for the diagnosis and not only was the Bollands Farm slaughtered out but the surrounding 8 - 9 farms were also culled out on the basis of 6 sheep with untested clinical signs. The questions must be raised how many more cases in the Yorkshire outbreak have been based on unconfirmed clinical diagnosis? And, how many contiguous culls have proceeded on this basis? I spoke to Paul Kitching on Wed evening - and he informed me that Pirbright have all the facilities and capabilities to undertake fast track laboratory testing to confirm (or not) clinical signs of the disease to enable reliable diagnosis prior to 'confirmation' and slaughter. Pirbright are already running the PCR test which enables swift analysis. We will be asking the Ministry later today how many of the 'confirmed' cases in the Yorkshire outbreak were supported by testing from Pirbright before slaughter, and how many contiguous farms have been taken out on the basis of unconfirmed clinical diagnosis.

May 28 2001

We don't understand why we cannot obtain the vaccine, apply it ourselves and protect our Rough Fell breeding ewes and tups. We see vets as a threat to bio-security. We do almost everything else ourselves, even caesarians sometimes - why so much interference with our traditional private life? What happened to Englishman's castle? Do you know which law prevents us. MAFF assures us there is a law but cannot tell me which!

May 28 2001

It is surprising what the walls in pubs will tell you when squaddies are out on a Friday & Saturday night!! On the 15th. June Foot & Mouth is PLANNED and The Army is moving against the animals of Swaledale For a mass slaughter of the animals in Swaledale area. The Army expect the slaughter of animals to be complete In Swaledale by mid July then an outbreak is PLANNED for Lincolnshire and the Army will be Relocating to slaughter all the animals in Lincolnshire.
Upwards of 300 lorries mostly tractor trailer units Are being gathered in the South West of England Many originate from East Anglia. They have been re kitted to remove logo id. Etc. The trailers have been rubber sealed & repainted. The drivers are being paid £35 per hour = £2,000 a week. Owner drivers are getting £5,000 a week. They have new contracts and are expecting 6 months work. On completion of the work the trailers are to be destroyed! The lorries are being massed NOW for the haulage of slaughtered animals.

May 28 2001

It would seem that the slaughterers who were thought to have contracted FMD may have infact caught orf. So perhaps indicating that many of the animals that they handled had orf/MNV clinical symptoms which had been mistaken for FMD. Apparently there are no lab tests for diagnosing MNV. Bovine papular stomatitis is a different but closely related virus and is spread by contact with lesions on calf's muzzles. Salivation and lesions in mouth and lips -all very similar to FMD. How many alleged FMD cases reported clinical symptoms first discovered in young stock? So, seeing how easy it is to misdiagnose FMD, you would have thought MAFF would have chosen a quicker and more accurate system of diagnosing the disease. Unless you wanted to kill everything anyway and didn't want farmers to know it wasn't FMD at all.

May 28 2001

I am going to inject an unpalatable note of reality regarding the FMD outbreak. Many farmers are openly saying that FMD is the best thing that ever happened to them; their flocks of hill ewes are worth around four times the market price if culled, and there has been no hesitation in calling in MAFF in the hope that the flock would be slaughtered 'on suspicion'. ......... I feel desperately sorry for farmers who really didn't want their livestock culled and the greatest admiration for those who went to very great lengths to save their flocks and herds from slaughter - but being realistic, the ones who protested were pedigree breeders, smallholders, and those honest traditional farmers who were proud of their livestock and had spent years improving them.
There is no doubt that many people are making a lot of money from the outbreak. Much of the work is not pleasant, but quite apart from the large sums being paid to 'clean up'workers (disinfecting farms etc) some farmers are also doing pretty well out of it - new buildings, new concrete on their yards, new fences and so on - doesn't seem to matter if the tests showed up negative or if they were a contiguous cull where the parent outbreak was tested negative - the cash keeps flowing! I might add that the NFU is also doing pretty well out of handling farmers' compensation and investing the money for them short term.

May 28 2001

Surely the compensation for damages by neglect of duty, incompetence, seizure of private property, bullying, harassment, trespass, invasion of privacy and human rights, disregard for farmers' views, experience and preferences, premeditated murder of animals, lack of protection and counselling for children, etc., by the Government SHOULD be very high. Obviously, our main concern is to protect the closed hefted flocks, pedigrees and rare breeds because this Government has done NOTHING to that end. There has been a complete refusal to allow vaccination, no provision of isolation, and they are still chasing this disease, not attacking it. We have an indigenous flock of Rough Fells @ 1000 ft in North Westmorland pinned in on our in-bye with Form D and new cases all around us, but it took two weeks to get Form D put on our neighbours, and misleading info put out by MAFF has meant that the adjacent fell has neighbours sheep put out on it. We feel defenceless. I feel damaged by the stress. G willing we'll survive, but it'll still take 5 years to recover

May 28 2001

.....Tell them to spray the sheep with borax in a garden sprayer, Works a treat up tp about 15-20 ft. And tell me about bio-security. Ghurka's jumping over dykes and into fields with out dis-infecting, shepherds and valuer with out proper clothing and they didn't even disinfect the loader after they had done their dirty work here

May 28 2001

The Inbox for May 27 (latest entries nearest the top) while farmers wait for financial help there is pots and pots of taxpayers money for New Labour unelected political advisors, another reference to "unknown strain" possibility, rumours that government plans to remove all livestock from Dartmoor after the election, anger at the brutality of slaughter in Worsley nr Manchester - and where was the vet? foxes digging up carcasses at Tow Low, Mr Blair's "disatrous, scandalous mistake", dioxins in breast milk worry, supermarkets and vouchers, animals with antibodies, more on disastrous misdiagnosis, where will the pay-out money come from? Tim Yeo rejects Indy's story of farmers being to blame, FMD vaccine is effective, 3 emails about the position of Nestlé over vaccination, unpleasant little story in the Independent "Farmers to blame for FMD", Maff muffs the figures in the mistaken cull, Llandrindod Wells next for the slaughter? walkers on Snowdon being leafleted to keep sheep off hills, spreading the word in Bristol, widespread ignorance about FMD, missing cases may be because Maff is perhaps treating the whole Forest of Dean as one case.. desperation in N Yorks, speculation about the driving force behind the Maff "juggernaut"

May 27 2001

Twenty two such advisors work at 10 Downing Street, compared with less than a dozen under the last administration. A total of 78 advisors work for the Government. When travelling abroad on government business, MPS are traditionally accompanied by civil servants. Under this government, however, it has become increasingly common for ministers to take special advisors. According to Andrew Tyrie, Conservative MP from Chichester, since 1997, the "advisors" have made 587 official foreign trips at an estimated cost to taxpayers of more than £767,000. The cost of such staff from 1996 to 1997 (at the end of the Tories' term of office) was £1.8 million. The total for last year alone was £4.6 million. Says Andrew Tyrie: "Special advisors are now performing a new function, representing ministers overseas and substituting for ministers in this role. This is a departure in British politics." -Andy McSmith in the Daily Telegraph

May 27 2001

Is it possible that this is not a known strain of Foot & Mouth. In 1967 they did not cull ininfected animals, this time they are not only killing animals, but burning wooden sheds, even to the extent of removing the yorkshire boarding and internal sleepers and lifting paving slabs to disinfect underneath. We have even heard of the removal of a foot of topsoil from where the cattle were standing. This is a cross party conspiracy - letters and faxes to politicians from the beginning of April have received no satisfactory reply. There are plans to wipe out all livestock from Dartmoor after the Election - lorry drivers on standby with refurbished lorries in Hatherleigh Market assure us. Nobody is being paid - Valuers, Vets Slaughtermen, let alone farmers. There is no better way to silence people than to withhold payment!!

May 27 2001

(From report in Sunday Express) Slaughterman working for Maff Preston was attacked and head butted after killing an escaping cow in front of families sitting outside a village pub. As parents and children watched in horror, he waded into the canal to shoot the terrified cow as it floundered in the water after crashing through a hedge. It had made a bolt for freedom from a nearby field where a herd of cattle were being slaughtered as a dangerous contact. A couple of angry locals had tried in vain to stop the killing in Worsley Nr Manchester. ONCE AGAIN WHO WAS THE VET ON THE GROUND,TO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN? THIS IS NOT THE FIRST INCIDENT FROM MAFF BARTON.IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT THIS RING THE DIV VETERINARY OFFICER ROB PAUL 01772 861144, fax 01772 861798 E mail a.h.o.preston@vfis.maff.gsi.gov.uk

May 27 2001

BBC radio north says that foxes and badgers are digging up the corpses at Tow Low Co Durham. Happily wandering off with bits of [infected?]sheep apparently...

May 27 2001

In his shoes I'd be getting rattled. He knows it's been one disastrous scandalous mistake and will reappear after the election to haunt him and to help Gordon Brown get the leadership of the party. Amazing how quiet Gordon's been, must be smothering his laughter with his red flag.

May 27 2001

( 2 emails) If there are dioxins in cows milk where cows have been within 3km of a pyre I wonder if there are dioxins in human mothers' milk too?? I'd be pretty worried if I was pregnant or breastfeeding that close to a pyre....One pregnant woman was apparently advised by her doctor to leave the area.

May 27 2001

I find it rather sickening that the farmers get supermarket vouchers rather than cash. If I was a hard hit farmer I'd be pretty pissed off at having no choice but to do my shopping in the very supermarket that had been robbing me blind!

May 27 2001

all animals with antibodies to FMD will eventually be slaughtered? Surely these antibodies indicate that the animals now have an immunity to the disease. Surely, scientifically, these are the last animals one would wish to destroy. Or do I have a total misunderstanding of the true situation?

May 27 2001

You have to begin to wonder if THERE is any money in the pot yet to meet this huge payout. Will that amount of money have actually been allocated from Central Funds yet - where is the Government actually going to find it from? Perhaps when they get back in again - and we see more cuts in other areas or taxes in some form going up to cover this massive bill - the man on the street might sit up and take notice - when it is too late.

May 27 2001

A farmer contacted me earlier this week about some farming friends of hers across the valley just outside Keswick (at the time I thought she was talking about friends in Settle and went into major headless chicken flap - oops). (3 emails) They had phoned her to let her know of a mouth/gum disease whose symptoms seem to resemble those of foot and mouth. They had noticed stock - sheep I think - displaying signs of F&M and had called MAFF who duly sent one of their vets out. The vet had taken one look, diagnosed F&M and said that the whole lot would have to be slaughtered. An American vet came out the next morning, checked the animals, said it wasn't foot and mouth at all but was this gum/mouth disease and was very curable. Hey presto, animals saved. The lady who phoned me was concerned as the first farm to have gone down in Threlkeld a few weeks ago had shown similar symptoms, was diagnosed with F&M and all animals slaughtered and the blood tests had eventually come back negative, no foot and mouth to be seen. Is this another of the reasons that millions of animals have been slaughtered needlessly? ........There is a similar case reported in May 24 NW Evening Mail. A Barrow councillor almost had his cattle slaughtered because a young Australian vet diagnosed F&M. "They had cuts in their mouths". The vet asked for a second opinion and the cows were given the all clear. The councillor [Jack Dent] is calling for an inquiry into the F&M disaster. [He believes the cuts were from thistles.]...............This has happened a lot round here. Where sheep have been short of feed owing to movement restrictions they have eaten the hedges and cut their mouths: the farmers knew this but inexperienced vets did not and thought it was FMD.

May 27 2001

This is the most disgraceful piece of propoganda i have seen so far, the only positive side is that MAFF/Govt are getting rattled. The contiguous cull has been a collosal error of judgement, and Tony Blair had taken personal charge so the buck stops with him. It's not just the fact that they have killed too many animals,... It is the wider implications that are so disastrous, Blair's policy has poisoned the environment and virtually bankrupted the tourist industry. But rather than admit he's wrong so close to an election he continues with the cull. I am convinced he knows it is wrong. Its no wonder he's fed up with the farmers. I believe that even if he sweeps this under the carpet in the short term the cover up/ mismanagement angle will come back to haunt him.

May 27 2001

In his letter to Blair Dr Narang made it quite clear that the vaccine is dead not attenuated (I have a copy of that letter somewhere). FMD vaccine is actually one of the more effective vaccines since none is 100% effective and indeed neither do they have to be to stamp out infection (despite the scaremongering FMD only actually has an infectivity rate of 70-80% and indeed Dr Donaldson of AHI Pirbright says this strain is actually LESS virulent than others throughout the world contrary to the official line) You will find heaps of vaccination info on sheepdrove.comand masses of anti-vaccination bumf on just about every one of the usual suspects websites - MAFF NFU RCVS. .. it is utterly ludicrous to slaughter vaccinated animals, that would be purely an economic decision and pretty c*** economics really when you see what this approach has cost the country in financial (not to mention integrity and decency) terms. It's a bit like going for your holiday jabs and then being shot at Heathrow Airport by some mad customs official otherwise isnt it?

May 27 2001

re vaccination -Nestle have been one of the main culprits in this disaster. Along with many other people I have written to them several times. The last reply (received yesterday) was a stupid waffle about BST and human milk. I have not yet been able to make them understand that animals are already vaccinated for many other things. Why should FMD vaccine make such a difference? They will NOT answer this point.

May 27 2001

Finally!!!!! Tim Yeo and I in accord. Now he needs to get this message out, not shilly shally around with the old fashioned "lets get the army in quick smart and kill everything faster" rubbish he had been spouting

May 27 2001

BST* is a case in point. Some years ago there was a trial of BST in this country. The actual farms using it were kept secret from the general public and the milk was allowed into the food chain. Where were Nestles ethic then?. As a producer, I am just extremely hesitant about doing anything which could conceivably give them another excuse to discriminate against my milk.

May 27 2001

I had an e-mail back from Nestle to say that although they were in support of the Government approach they WOULD accept the milk from vaccinated animals. Further I spoke to their Press Officer, sorry name escapes me at the moment but I can find it in my pile of accumulated papers, and she told me that they had been misquoted and that they knew vaccination was safe and that F&M was not harmful to humans.

So really it is a questions of what you believe. I think now the main point is not so much vaccination but the fact that (a) the contiguous cull was wholly unwarranted because there is no real airborne spread of the virus and (b) many of the "infected" herds have been found not to be so because inexperienced vets were authorising slaughter on inaccurate visual diagnosis.

May 27 2001

re Independent's story of "farmers to blame..." I was thinking more of emails and calls to their newsdesk. I find it somewhat amazing that MAFF, who are well known for their lack of emphasis on biosecurity, can criticise farmers who are mostly terrified of getting F&M and who are being as careful as they can.........(another writer) No doubt there is a tiny thread of truth in some of this. However, I have just spoken to Mrs Brown who told me that a digger from the MAFF team was parked next to their only field of sheep and left there all night. The Browns rang up Settle and another police station, both of whom gave totally different replies, the digger was not moved away until the following morning. She feels the MAFF team left it there to infect the flock so they could cull it out. They can't put the flock on borax as they drink from the streams...... (and another) I'm afraid that this is just another attempt by Blair and Brown to try to remove public sympathy from the farming community . Brown has been trying it on for weeks with his standard comment that F&M is passed by farmers breaching bio security and sheep breathing on each other .
I've seen MAFF in operation here in Devon on several farms . Bio security ? they don't know the meaning of the words. As to Blair being fed up with farmers , he hasn't spoken to any!!! He certainly hasn't had the guts to come to North Devon to see what HIS policy has done , and what damage HIS minister's total lack of intelligent thought has caused to the rural community .
Sophie Wessex was quite correct - he's a nasty little man who doesn't give a XXXX for the countryside.

I noticed that the Indy's coverage of F&M had been comparatively minimal!

May 27 2001

the wrong cull in Settle . The figs put out by Maff 468 animals. The farmer confirmed that the real number was 1,100 sheep, 100 cattle. Just proves that they still can't add up. But what a bloody disgrace. Maff's apologies to the farmer are not enough.

May 27 2001

Farmers in Powys are worried to hear that Jim Scudamore was seen booking up the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells.

They also hear that walkers on Snowdon are being handed a leaflet saying help us to ban sheep from the hills.

May 27 2001

Without wasting too much of your time folks, let me just say I watched in wonder today as Q approached the most unlikely looking groups of what one might affectionately call 'yobs' and captured their interest, and sent them all away heads down reading avidly! Well done that woman - and to all the others too of course!

May 27 2001

its looks like we will end up like DEVON and CUMBRIA very quickly MAFF are taking every thing out very bloody fast we have couple up here holding out with a MAFF truck outside there gate since this morning. They are not on the internet. These little people will be squashed by Maff unless some one helps them....

May 27 2001

Re Getting through to Any Answers..Interestingly when I got through and spoke to one of the operators, and explained what the contiguous cull entailed , she didn't realise, and why it was completely flawed - she was genuinely shocked. The principle is pretty simple really; it reminds me of the joke in Blackadder where Tom Baker played the sea captian with no legs and no crew. Rowan Atkinson says, "Are you sure we don't need a crew?"
Baker replies, "Opinion is divided, all the other captains say you do; I say you don't."
Sound familar? bit like Nick Brown on today: "Every other expert on fmd in the world says you don't need a contigious cull, mine says you do"
...not entirely acurate as Anderson is not an expert on fmd at all.

May 27 2001

The discrepancies in Gloucestershire will be something to do with the Forest of Dean. There were so many cases in the Forest amongst the common sheep, I think they decided to make the Forest ONE case

May 27 2001

(re Bristol) I think it is astounding how many people don't know and don't care what's going on - one girl actually told us that she was "only interested in number one". On the other hand, a few people I talked to cared deeply and knew quite a lot about the subject. Hope the others who were with me today tell us some of their conversations - I personally chatted to a huge variety of people, ranging from the man who declared that he didn't know that any animals HAD been killed, to the young chap who said that all animals MUST be killed to get rid of the disease, to the old chap who spent some time telling me about the beautiful fox families around Chew Valley Lake - to the women whose family had always farmed in Ireland and who were angry, angry, angry about what is happening to animals here.

May 27 2001

I want to know if the draconian cull was a genuine desire (misguided) to solve the FMD epidemic which has got locked into a juggernaut no one wants to lose face by stopping or a CYNICAL and machiavellian move to decimate the livestock in order to restructure agriculture along "more efficient" lines. The article in the Farmers Weekly seems to ring horribly true. The Maff buys up quotas from exhausted and demoralised farmers and does not release them again. Small units are swallowed into conglomerates and all the fears of farmers like David in Tewkesbury are realised.

And while I sit here turning it over and over in my mind - this bloody apocolyptic culling heartbreak goes on.

May 27 2001

The Inbox for May 26 (latest entries nearest the top).....Maff admits killing wrong animals in Settle, comment about political economy - i.e.with the truth - before an election, a cheering "Any Answers" (Radio4) addition to the debate, Channel 4 FMD special next week, a reply from Mr Blair to concerned letter, anxiety that Maff will want to kill an elderly, much-loved cow in Settle, Noel Edmonds speaks out for Devon, outrageous story of vet's own healthy pet goats slaughtered, spontaneous combustion at the burial site at Bewdley, an "insider's" comment about Maff efficiency, a sad thought that if only the animals could speak..., fears that the docility of the English will not be dented by this holocaust, more concern about burial pits and more rumours of intensive culling planned in advance for "after the election"

May 26 2001

Just got in having heard the end of the news on radio 4. animals in Settle last night were killed in error, but MAFF says it is alright cos they will compensate them. words fail me yet again

May 26 2001

Prof King, the Govt's Chief Scientist, is not stupid and knows full well that he's being 'economical with the truth'. As does Nick Brown. As does Jim Scudamore, The Chief Veterinary Officer. As does the Prime Minister. As does Ben Gill and his colleagues at the NFU. Not to mention the senior officers of the British Veterinary Association and the British Cattle Veterinary Association, the Sheep Veterinary Society and the Pig Veterinary Society. But of course they cannot be seen to make a U-turn, and certainly not this side of the election.

May 26 2001

re Today's "Any Answers" on Radio Four ....It was GOOD. All callers knew their stuff & were given time to hammer MAFF, Brown, etc. Dimbleby was masterful, teasing out info with gentle questioning. At the end he also commented that calls aired represented accurately the views of other calls - ie no bias in selecting callers.

May 26 2001

The Daily Telegraph has run a front page article revealing apparently another 1500 cases of "virus farms". This is completely the opposite of what has happened. Here in Powys, Wales; we have yet to find a verified positive case out of over 50 confirmed cases. In Worcester there is only 1 out of 7 and that is not verified either. Apparently in Cumbria it is the same sort of picture emerging as I was told by an NFU rep up there. Please contact the reporter at the Daily Telegragh Charles Clover, environment editor. He will not be there until Sunday. The Sunday Telegraph are there today; maybe they would help? I don't know because I haven't been able to get through as yet. Daily Telegraph no is 0207538 5000 Sunday Telegraph environment correspondent is David Harrison Tel no 020 7538 5000 Ext 6479

May 26 2001

...Channel 4 are anxious to keep up the coverage "in spite of the governme