Would you please pass on my congratulations to the National Foot and Mouth
Group on their presentation to the EU Temporary Committee.

I'm not a member.

The whole document reads well and, especially  in the one area where the
undersigned does have some particular expertise, they are right.

I've had many a caustic word to say about the inaccurate information on
imports being disseminated. The accompanying xenophobia has added insult to
injury and damaged Britain.  It is a real pleasure to see that the group has
such a good grasp of the true situation.


In addition, with ever expanding global trade and the increasing movement of
people, animals, carcasses and food it is not realistic or achievable to
develop fortress Europe.

The risk of FMD importation is far more likely to increase,  than diminish -
and to be honest it is impossible to impose adequate border controls either
around the EU or from importing countries - so great is the sheer magnitude
of goods and products and people that are being transported.

It is not bush meat or 'illegal' imports which pose the threat - but far
more likely to come from areas of the world where FMD endemic areas and FMD
free areas have inadequate boundary surveillance and enforcement, resulting
in the contamination of  legal imports with infected animals or carcasses.

We have discussed this with Tony Garland, formerly of IAH Pirbright, who was
involved in border inspection surveillance and he concurred that it was
impossible to check and scrutinise every movement and shipment across
frontiers and borders, so great is the sheer volume of people, vehicles and
containers involved.

It may well be better and more sensible for the EU to consider a move
towards a more risk orientated policy to respond to the disease rather than
impose exhaustive, but ineffectual measures, to prevent the disease from
entering the EU.


Their honesty and commonsense  is commendable. It puts the government, most
politicians of all parties, much of the veterinary profession and the
farmers' unions to shame.

Please publish this if you wish, but in any case do please convey my
approval to the group.

Regards Pat Gardiner