Janet Hughes who, as most of you know, lives in Powys and is always taking up the fight on behalf of Welsh farmers and smallholders, is having troubling e-mailing the group, so I am posting this up from her.
She has been faxing newspapers, to try to draw attention to what is going on, and here is a summary of what she's said:
She told of the information given to her on 7 June by a slaughterman who had attended a meeting of officials and workers to receive instructions for forthcoming work. He said that there were lorries on standby in secret locations, hotels booked in Wales and that the idea was to clear all Powys, from Monmouth to Rhayder, the Elan Valley, Epynt, Black Mountain and the Brecon Beacons. They were told not to book any holidays and that they would be 'flat out' in July. He said that they would find something with the sheep, 'even if it's orf'.
Janet then went on to say that at a meeting in Builth Wells last Monday (18th June), promises were made by the spokesman from the Welsh Assembly and also by Tony Edwards, the Divisional Veterinary Officer for Wales, that there was to be no mass cull in Powys. However, hundreds of healthy animals have now been killed at *Libanus, near Brecon (on clinical diagnosis only) - no test results are known and yet all contiguous farms have been targeted and the same old threats issued to the farmers there.
The browbeating is continuing with lies of no compensation if farmer refuses to have his healthy animals killed and they later become infected and that the restrictions will be lengthy if they resist. Some farmers, thank God, are refusing the cull and requesting that the results be made known first.
Due to the way that sheep graze on the mountains in the National Park areas, all it will take is the 'making' of one or two cases of FMD in cattle for there to be a mass cull, particularly of sheep, in these areas. The irony is that sheep are the least likely species to transmit this virus and yet it is the sheep that are being remorselessly victimised.
The way in which this most recent case of FMD has come about, when the farmer has taken all necessary precautions, really leads one to start believing that the spread of this virus is deliberate sabotage and that the farmers are being persecuted together with their livestock.
This ia all appalling, because how can it be stopped? If anyone can offer Janet any help, please telephone her. Most of you have her phone number but, if not, e-mail me for it. I haven't posted it up because of our decision to withhold numbers from the list (just in case).
We have been rather scornful in this group about rumours, but it seems to me that quite a lot of rumours have a nasty way of coming true!
* Cattle were slaughtered on clinical diagnosis on
Friday 22/Saturday 23 June at LIBANUS. Six contiguous farms are
being slaughtered today. All roads closed in the area
and the army out in force. So much for no mass cull in
Powys! This looks rather like the beginning of one.