2. The 24/48 hr cull targets
would normally have consulted the industry and all our other stakeholders before
introducing legislation but it became clear during the summer that it was
sometimes touch and go whether we stayed on top of the disease, not least
because it was touch and go whether we could maintain the 24
or 48 hour slaughter deadline
. Margaret Beckett:
( Hansard 12/11/01)
For the epidemic as a whole 474 (33%)
infected farms were slaughtered within 24 hours, and 137 (4. 6%) contiguous
dangerous contacts were slaughtered within 48 hours.
on IP (PQ 5479)
first 4 weeks
Epidemic as a
(only 1444 premises are included in these figures. ie. 582 are
Slaughter times on Contiguous Premises (dangerous contacts) (PQ
% IPs Slaughtered
Epidemic as a
(table is based on data from 2966 premises)
3. Local Spread
Until disease transmission
is analysed for the truly infected premises, it is difficult to separate myth
from reality. It is interesting to note that there appears to be a discrepancy
between DEFRA's , Elliot Morley's, Prof Mark Woolhouse's
and the Imperial
College team's views on local spread. That is: the distance the disease was
spreading and also how it was spreading.
i) ' 78% of infected premises were within 3 km of another
18/06/02 - data extracted from DEFRA's Epidemiology report of 21 Oct
ii) Some 45 per cent. of all outbreaks in the
disease were within 1 to 2 km of the initial outbreak and 60 per cent. of
all outbreaks were within 1 to 3
Elliot Morley ( Hansard
iii)' 50% of new cases turned up in the immediate
neighbourhood of a previous cases'
Professor Woolhouse EFRA select Committee
7/11/01 (189) (neighbourhood is about 3km)
iv) The median
distance of the original kernel was about 2 km (March
'The median distance of the newly estimated kernel
is about 4km. ' (October Model)
College team- Nature 4/10/2001 vol 413
Comment on the
Imperial College team's view.
My understanding of the Imperial
College models, is that in the March model (ie. the one used to determine
culling policy) the midpoint distance between index cases and secondary
infections was about 2 km. When constructing the October model the Imperial team
found that because the cases had been more accurately traced the spatial
relationship between index cases and secondary infections was not as they had
previously believed in March:-
'The newly estimated spatial kernel
(October Model) differed significantly from that previously derived from the
infectious contacts identified by DEFRA (March model) with considerably more
long distance transmission events
being predicted. This implies significant
biases in the DEFRA contact-tracing process, with closer contacts being more
easily identified. '
They discovered that the midpoint distance between
index premises and secondary premises was now about 4 km not 2 km. That is:
contiguous farms were less at risk then previously
b) Method of spread
Department considered that most local spread was attributable either to
aerosol spread between animals or
from contamination, for example of roads or common
facilities, by poor biosecurity on leaving and returning to
NAO report 18/06/02 - data extracted from DEFRA's Epidemiology report
of 21 Oct 2001
ii) Spread was due to animal contact and
short distance aerosol spread -March Model
Spread was due to movement of animals, personnel or vehicles rather than through
animal contact or aerosol spread
- October model.
Imperial College team- Nature 4/10/2001 vol
The reality is until the
infected premises are analysed taking into account their laboratory test results
( that is 1324 definitely had FMD, 401 probably didn't and 301 may or may
not have had FMD) we can not say with any certainty how the disease
was spreading and over what distance.
However, we can say , all the published
evidence suggests, that there were many more market related infections than
initially thought and we now know that many of these infections were not
traced for weeks even months after they had occurred. In addition, there
are several counties where there was very little disease transmission once the
movement ban was implemented; though the scale of the slaughter in these
counties suggests that DEFRA, incorrectly, believed at
the time that the
disease was spreading.
4. Accuracy of Clinical Diagnosis and Reliability of laboratory
i) Accuracy of clinical
' 74% of infected premises confirmed on clinical
grounds tested positive in the laboratory'
Clinical and Laboratory
test results for the 2026 infected premises (source JCC data analysis) Of
the 2026 premises 171 had no clinical signs of disease, that is they were
antibody positive only. Therefore 1855 premises were diagnosed clinically, the
laboratory test results for these premises were: 1153 positive, 401 negative and
Therefore, of the 1855 confirmed on clinical grounds 62% tested positive in the laboratory.
Reliability of Laboratory tests
'A negative test result does not
necessarily mean that the premise was free from disease.
JCC data analysis Page Street
obviously is true, nothing is 100%, but it does need to be clarified
reality of laboratory testing during 2001 UK FMD epidemic As far as I am aware
nobody has challenged Dr Alex Donaldson's view of laboratory testing, as
presented in his letter to the Vet record May 19.
diagnostic material was good, particularly as blood samples were often
submitted along with epithelium
material submitted was tested for virus,
viraemia and/or antibody as appropriate
FMD will have either virus or antibody or both in their blood.
'While it is
never the intention that laboratory diagnosis would replace clinical diagnosis,
we believe that laboratory support for a diagnosis of FMD in sheep, in
particular, is essential'
'The extreme difficult of making a clinical
diagnosis of FMD in sheep is, in our opinion, the explanation for the
discrepancy between the field and laboratory
Agricultural committee ( of EFRA select committee)
Mr Opik (MP) -' We were informed that laboratory tests were
not necessarily reliable. We were told that if a vet diagnosed the disease
slaughter went ahead,even if the result was negative in the laboratory, that
negative result was not necessarily reliable'.
Dr Donaldson- After clarifying
the importance of sampling technique etc in answer to the question could he say
with greater than 90% confidence that the negative test was reliable
Donaldson replied ' Absolutely'.
2 Anecdotal Evidence
Transmission due to mismanagement
Alan Richardson -
vet working in Cumbria
-reported incidences where almost all the animals in a
herd had clinical
disease because slaughter was delayed.
- disease spread because of delays in slaughter
Mr & Mrs Webber p65; Mr & Mrs Thomas p63.
- vets carrying out
surveillance visits may have been inadvertently
eg. Mr Baker p72; DS & L Joslin p64.
Illegal and unnecessary pre-emptive culling
from Solicitors (source PRU Animal Health Bill 12/12/2001)
Neville, a senior partner at Bristol solicitors, Burges Salmon,
comments by countryside minister, Elliot Morley, were "pathetic. "
stated that the Government had withdrawn from seven of the nine
which his company represented farmers. Mr Morley MP had claimed
the Government had won "almost all" its legal battles with farmers.
Addy, the Exeter based solicitor "who assisted two hundred farmers to
the contiguous cull, has confirmed that none of these subsequently
the disease and that all have since been cleared by"
ii) Statements from Farmers and
In the submissions of Pat Innocent, "The cases on Burgess
were also all negative. " A further point made Alan and Rosie
Beat that you
yourself had alleged on World at One "that farmers resisting
the cull had
increased the spread of disease and that this had resulted in
overall" and they said, "We know of no such instance, whereas
there are literally hundreds of premises where the cull was
whose livestock have remained uninfected, such as those examples
Let us consider the operation of the
culling powers. Mr. Anthony Gibson, who
looks after matters for the NFU in
the south-west, has said that the
Minister's accusation that farmers spread
the disease by resisting the cull
"simply not true here in Devon. None
of the herds or flocks which were saved
from the contiguous cull, either by
direct or by legal action, subsequently
developed FMD. "
The number of contiguous/dangerous contact farms where
successfully resisted has never been quantified. Many like us
did not need
to fight our cases through the courts, once it was obvious we
to give in, MAFF simply decided to leave us alone. Twelve
months on I am
still hearing of other farmers in the Three
Counties who resisted, yet at
the time we thought we were the only
Nicola Morris Worcester.
iii) Statements from
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: (Hansard 12/11/01 Col 625)
example, culling was due to take place on 34 farms in the Forest of
it took place on only 18. A successful legal challenge by farmers
the Minister using his discretion to arrange for blood tests to
out on the animals on the remaining 16 farms. Those animals were
the cull, and it eventually turned out that none of the farms had
infection at all.
Mr. Jack:(Hansard 12/11/01 col 626)
Let us consider
those who have had to go to court to defend their interests.
Gillian Cave, who are farmers in the west country, were
saved 100 pedigree Devon cattle which were earmarked for
described the Government's approach as "jackboot tactics".
They said of the
"This smacks of Nazi law, malicious and spiteful-you bloody well
we'll get you. "
They are people under stress. The point about
the need to win over the
hearts and minds of the rural community on these
measures is well made by
such powerful statements from farmers who have been
Mrs. Browning:(Hansard 12/11/ 01 col 631)
I am sure
that that is true in broad principle. However, in terms of the
cull-I am about to say something very nice about the Minister(Mr
grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the role that he played in
allowing me to
see him to refer to three farms in my constituency. He
examined the issues
and he intervened. I am pleased to tell him that the
farms are still running,
with the animals on them. They did not get foot and
mouth disease and the
hon. Gentleman's intervention was extremely helpful.
It was also extremely
sensible. It was not until 19 days after an outbreak
that the farms, which
were deemed to be contiguous, were approached on the
basis that the animals
were to be slaughtered. It is clear that such an
approach 19 days after an
outbreak defeats the object of a contiguous