From:            J M SCUDAMORE
                     Chief Veterinary Oficer
                     Room 303B, 1 Page St,
                     London SW1P 4P
                     020 7904 6139
                     GTN 3290 6139
Fax                020 7904 6242
Date               8 July 2000
To: Dr Richard Cawthorne
      Mr Martin Atkinson
cc: Mr Tony Edwards
      Mr Leslie Gardner
1. I refer to Tony Edwards' minute of 18th July 2000 expressing concern about the lack of progress on our contingency planning exercises.  Having been at Pirbright for a day last week and seen the various aps of the deteriorating FMD situation in the Middle and Far East there appears to be an increasins risk of incursions from exotic viruses.  The wild boar population in Kent, the increasing number of outdoor pigs and the plethora of lorries coming in from the Continent, many of which could originate in Greece/Turkey, all pose a risk.
2. The main problems relate to slaughter and disposal of carcasses, training of staff and the availablity of up-to-date contingency plans.  Linked to this is the need to ensure that we have a satisfactory epidemiological capability to deal with outbreaks of disease with respect to investigation of origin and spread.
3.  We do not appear to have resolved the issues identified over 2 years ago by the Working Group.  I know plans have been to establish a Project Board to take it forward but, unfortunately, I believe the issues are becoming more important.  Perhaps a Project Board is not the way to deal with this problem.  Tony has identified a number of issues and I would be grateful if the 3 of us could meet to discuss this in more depth to decide the way forward.  As I indicated at the beginning, I am increasingly concerned that we are not in a position to identify and deal rapidly with an incursion of a notifiable exotic disease.