Misinformation about vaccination1. Vaccination doesn't help as there are 7 serotypes and they are not Polyvalent.There are enough warnings available now in the world to know what strains are the likely ones to come to each country. Merial has a substantial library of vaccine strains to provide cover against newoutbreak viruses as they occur and was therefore in a position within a few days of the first case in the UK to confirm that several of its vaccine strains, including O Manisa, were appropriate to protect against thedisease.Depending on the epidemiological situation, FMD vaccines may contain one or more strains and monovalent, bivalent and trivalent vaccines are commonplace where the valency refers to the numbers of serotypes in the vaccine.Since 1990 the FMD control programs of all the countries of South America have successfully used oil-adjuvant vaccines for the systematic vaccination of cattle. The vaccine is cost-effective, does not produce any undesirable side effects, and is well accepted by the farmers and livestock industry.The vaccines contained in the European Vaccine Bank, when tested with homologous strains by injection of the virus on the tongue - a quite heavy challenge - were seen to protect all animals.2. They are too expensive because they do not last for the life of the animal - until they make a vaccine that does there is no point.This argument is indeed all about money and nothing about the efficacy of vaccine. The inference is that the EU will put up money for such research and enterprise. Scientists (especially those at Pirbright) will fall in with this since they will leap at the chance of generous funding for "research".)Even a quarter of a dose of the vaccine contained in the European Vaccine Bank, was shown to be protective for 80 % of the animals, (a level which is in general considered as sufficient for herd protection.) Sheep can be very well protected by both aqueous and oil-adjuvant vaccine with long lasting immunity induced by the latter type of vaccine.3. Validation and more research into tests to tell the difference between vaccinated and naturally infected animals needs looking into and financing - the EU have funds for this.Tests to detect antibodies against non-structural proteins are not 100% sensitive in individual animals, but perform very well if used for screening on a herd basis. If required, individual animals can further be tested for presence of virus e.g. by probang tests or PCR .Tests to discriminate between carriers and vaccinated animals have been widely used and the results are internationally accepted.4. Vaccination can only play a small part in the control of FMD because the vaccines aren't good enough - research and funds were needed to put this right for the future. ....as things stand it is clear the British Government had done the best thing possible in the actual control of the diseaseThe idea that vaccines need to be improved to be effective is nonsense. The current vaccines protect perfectly well and with the available concentration technology we can make them as potent as we like. Of course, vaccines can be improved further but this does not mean that the available vaccines could not have stopped the outbreaks. In fact in South Africa and in The Netherlands it was demonstrated that it did so - also for the panasian O-type.5. Vaccination would not have helped to control our outbreak - the spread of the disease meant they could not place any 'rings' because they did not know where to start and stop hence slaughter was a better policy.The statement that ring vaccination was somehow impossible in the UK whereas contiguous culling was effective is simply not true. If *Brazil got organised with their huge herds; there is something seriously wrong with us if we cannot .Ring-vaccination should be carried out including all susceptible species without delay in an outbreak. Preferably, the vaccination must be carried out from the outside of the "ring" towards the outbreak farm. Simultaneously, vaccination must proceed from the center towards the outside, to protect as soon as possible the most endangered farms. In the immediate vicinity of the outbreak farm, the large holdings should be vaccinated first because potentially those are the largest "aerosol samplers". Ring vaccination of the livestock in the immediate vicinity of an IP farm must be carried out before the removal of the carcasses.6.The British Government got rid of the disease quicker and with fewer dead animals (proportionate to the size of the outbreak and the fact we had 'no warning') than Holland who used vaccination.After vaccination was completed, the Dutch Government changed its mind about keeping the vaccinates alive and insisted on slaughtering the animals - in a bid to qualify for normal trading after three months. Originally intending to keep the animals alive, the vaccination rings were very large - 10 kilometres. Many animlas were thus involved. Only then was it decided, to the horror of the farmers and the population, to slaughter them all for economic reasons. That was the main reason why their vaccination strategy created such a high number of animal deaths. It was not that vaccinating caused proportionately more slaughter. Yet this nonsense of the British Government getting rid of the disease quicker and with fewer dead animals is peddled every time vaccination in the Netherlands is mentioned. Many Dutch farmers attempted to fight the slaughter in the courts and there was further public outcry.
Dr Frits Pluimers CVO of the Netherlands made an impassioned speech at the December conference, stating that he could not in the future ignore the will of the Dutch people and that vaccination would certainly be used should they be unfortunate enough to have another outbreak. However, they would never again follow a policy that slaughtered vaccinated animals, proved by tests to be uninfected. They would press for such tests, which he insisted do already exist, to be internationally validated, and trading rules brought up to date with the science.
It is all very well for our government to crow about Holland and France getting the warning from us but we too had plenty of warning that we might be getting the Panasia O Manisa strain before we actually got it. Our Government chose to ignore the warnings
*Successful Vaccination Campaigns.
Vaccination is a success story. We've heard it from the scientists. We've heard it from the vets on the ground. Now here is from someone at the sharp end who actually carries it out.
British born Brazilian cattle rancher Rodney Hobbs writes...."Foot and Mouth is a sorry sight - and one I am fortunate not to have seen for twenty years. Many years ago I saw bad cases in the Argentine. Today in Brazil, like Argentine, we vaccinate very methodically against it and this is how it is done:
Twice a year - May and again in November - all stock, whatever their age are vaccinated with 5mls of oil based vaccine, subcutaneous - half way down the side of the neck. The cost of the vaccine in today's terms with today's rate of exchange stands at about 0.35 of a US dollar. The vaccine is made to protect against the three strains we have to control - which are, O,A and C. The system is rigorous and controlled by the government with the usual amount of paperwork involved - but not a hassle when you look at the other side of the coin.
The vaccine we are using is made by Coopers, although there are many other reputable makes to be found. All vaccine is government controlled.
I will explain a little as regards our own operation. We have 12,000 head of cattle. One cattle foreman and 19 cattle hands. The foreman plus another three hands all vaccinate, very simple, no problem whatsoever. All vaccine has to be kept cool, so kept in our farm fridge , transported to the yards in an esky when needed. We can vaccinate, if we set our minds to it, anything up to 1,700 animals in a day.
All the paperwork is done on in the farm office, also all very simple. Government controls revolve around the purchase of the vaccine. As it is in the interest of everyone to vaccinate, these controls are tightly kept. Whenever cattle are trucked off farm, they must be accompanied by a certificate, given by the local government authorities, testifying that they have been duly vaccinated during the last campaign, which in turn must tie in with the previous campaign when compared with cattle numbers and vaccine bought.
The 'blending in' as you put it is done automatically as we vaccinate everything during May and November, and all our calving is carried out during the months of September, October and November. Otherwise one would have to vaccinate at four months of age and then catch the official campaign'
So what's all the fuss about? "