Warmwell sent the article below to Dr Paul Sutmoller inviting him to comment. He wrote,"Attached some thoughts (written in capital letters) on the note from Mike German. I hope this is helpful."

News

German warns of obstacles to foot-and-mouth jabs

(From the Western Mail, November 13th http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0200politics/0100assemblynews/page.cfm?objectid=12358895&method=full&siteid=50082

 

Nov 13 2002

 

Jamie Lyons, The Western Mail

MAJOR obstacles stand in the way of introducing a vaccination policy to halt another foot-and-mouth crisis, Wales's rural development minister warned yesterday.
Dr Paul Sutmoller: WELL, THEN THEY SHOULD START LISTING THOSE OBSTACLES AND TACKLE THEM ONE BY ONE. IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE ONLY TO TALK ABOUT OBSTACLES WITHOUT ACTION!

The Government has said vaccination could play a part in dealing with a future outbreak.
ABSOLUTE CORRECT POLICY

But Mike German yesterday warned that "complex logistics" had to be overcome before that could happen.
NO EXCUSE! AGAIN, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. MAYBE THEY'LL FIND OUT THAT IT IS LESS COMPLEX LOGISTICALLY THAN MASSIVE CULLING OPERATIONS. IT IS CERTAINLY LESS DESTRUCTIVE.

Answering an urgent question in yesterday's plenary session at the National Assembly, Mr German said routine vaccination was not allowed under EU law.
NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND IS CONSIDERING ROUTINE VACCINATION EXCEPT WHEN EPIDEMIOLOGICALLY JUSTIFIED. THEN IT IS A VERY FEASIBLE OPTION.

It would take at least a year before any emergency vaccination became a fully viable option.
OK, LETS SAY IT TAKES A YEAR. IT WOULD BE REALLY NICE, IF A YEAR FROM NOW EVERYTHING WERE IN PLACE TO CARRY OUT AN EMERGENCY VACCINATION. HOWEVER THE ACTION SHOULD START NOW

"The EU needs to change its rules to allow meat from vaccinated animals to be sold for human consumption without being de-boned and matured," he said.
THE ENTIRE EU RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE BEING OVERHAULED. MY POSITION IS THAT MEAT CONTAINING ANTIBODIES (AS A RESULT OF VACCINATION) IS THE BEST GUARANTEE THAT IT IS FREE OF FMD VIRUS

"Otherwise the Welsh lamb industry could not survive, as it is totally uneconomical to debone the light lambs we produce.
DEBONING LIGHT LAMB WOULD BE VERY UNSCIENTIFIC. I DO NOT THINK THAT IT HAS EVER BEEN PROVEN THAT SUCH A MEASURE WOULD BE EFFECTIVE. TO THE CONTRARY, I RECALL SOME STUDIES THAT INDICATE THAT IT IS INEFFECTIVE, BUT I DO NOT HAVE THE REFERENCES AT HAND AT PRESENT.

"The science needs to develop to a point where it is possible to differentiate between infected and vaccinated animals and this test has not yet been internationally validated.
SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES HAVE SUCCESSFULLY USED THE ANSP TESTS TO ARGUE THEIR FREEDOM OF FMD INFECTION. IF WALES DID A STATISTICALLY VALID SEROLOGICAL SURVEY AFTER AN EMERGENGY VACCINATION AND PRESENTED THE RESULTS TO OIE, I AM CONVINCED THAT THESE RESULTS WOULD BE ACCEPTED. IT HAS HAPPENED IN OTHER OCCASIONS.

"Thirdly a strategy needs to be developed to determine that any vaccinated animals did not harbour the disease so the country could return to disease-free status without vaccination.
THERE IS AS MUCH CHANCE (IF NOT MORE!) THAT THERE ARE STILL ANIMALS HARBOURING VIRUS AFTER A CULLING OPERATION THAN AFTER AN EMERGENCY VACCINATION. IN ANY CASE, IN BOTH SITUATIONS THE COUNTRY MUST SHOW TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ANIMAL HEALTH COMMUNITY THAT IT IS FREE OF FMD INFECTION. THIS WILL REQUIRE THE SAME AS ABOVE PARAGRAPH. THE MAIN PROBLEM WITH THE VALIDATION IS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL TEST RESULT.

RESULTS ON A HERD BASIS AND OF A STATISTICALLY VALID SAMPLE OF THE POPULATION ARE GENERALLY ACCEPTED AS VALID BY THE INTERNATINAL ANIMAL HEALTH COMMUNITY AND OIE.

"These complex logistics need to be developed and implemented to enable any major vaccination programme particularly in sheep to take place if there is a future outbreak."
TRUE, BUT START WORKING ON THAT NOW AND TELL YOUR PEOPLE AT PIRBRIGHT TO GET WORKING ON THE APPROVAL OF THE TEST AND NOT TO OBSTRUCT THEIR VALIDATION.

The Government is in talks with the Assembly on handing it powers over animal health in the wake of the crisis.

Mr German last week said the Assembly's ability to respond to the disease in Wales had been limited because the Government was in charge of operations.

The Government and Assembly last week issued a joint response to the two inquiries into the disease.