Letters published today in the Newcastle Journal

Vaccination could fend off disaster

I would like to take up some of Gordon Adam's points in his letter (5 July). On the issue of vaccination, I find this an incredible statement, given that Argentina is able to control their foot and mouth with regular vaccination which costs only 50p per animal.
This vaccine does not only cover for 6 months but, given that we regularly vaccinate stock against other diseases, I think a vaccination programme to protect our bovine species would be worth it in the real risk of another outbreak.
The fact Argentina and other South American countries have access to vaccines would seem to refute Gordon Adam's point that there isn't a reliable vaccine available yet.
The head of European agriculture has recently allowed Argentina to increase their quota of beef exports to Europe. They state this has come from non-vaccinated stock from areas currently not having exposure to foot and mouth, or even if they can't guarantee this they will still allow beef to come in.
Come on Gordon Adam, put pressure on your European buddies to allow vaccinated stock to be imported into Europe, so that the debacle of 2001 never occurs again.
Carron Craighead Ponteland

Intelligence and compassion, please

Gordon Adam's letter leaves me virtually speechless. How can the Labour European Agricultural and Rural Development spokesman and Member of the Temporary Committee on Foot-and-Mouth Disease prove that the disease was NOT present in the UK before the Heddon outbreak?
We do indeed need facts, not hearsay and unfortunately the only people with those facts are unwilling to produce them.
How can he say that "The overwhelming weight of evidence given to the committee so far is that vaccination could not have brought the outbreak under control in Britain because of the widespread infection before the disease was confirmed" given the very low proportion of cases of PROVEN infection across the country?
How can he still believe that "there are not yet available reliable vaccines or tests"? How can he blindly repeat that "vaccination without subsequent slaughter has trading implications which involve global agreements" when here in the UK we already regularly import and eat vaccinated meat? When other countries have regained foot-and- mouth free status within months of vaccination?
In Mr Adam's case, it is not "emotion" that is not enough - but intelligence, compassion, awareness. All he (or anybody else) need do to check the facts is visit www.warmwell.com
Susan Bamford Princetown, Devon

The answer at hand

Re the letter (5 July): Emotion is not enough says Mr Gordon Adam. I didn't realise such ignorance still existed when there is so much clear and concise information to be seen, read and understood.
May I respectfully suggest that readers read the mass of information on both www.warmwell.com (vaccination updated - left hand index) and on www.farmtalking.org
Joyce Ross Isle of Uist"