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Exercise Hornbeam - The decision whether or not to vaccinate, as in 2001, came not from an Expert group but from Number 10

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The exercise did not include a simulation at farm level.

Where should the expertise come from - and accountable to whom? Sir David Shannon told the Lessons Learned Inquiry on 8 April 2002 that the Science Group directing things in 2001 had enjoyed enormous power without any formal responsibility. Dr Iain Anderson too emphasised a point that needs to be written up somewhere in large letters:

"The one area which I believe needs to be emphasised again and again is that in order to get this right for the future .....it needs to be captured in processes which engages people from different agencies outside of the centre." Dr Iain Anderson

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See EU foot and mouth Directive's recommendation for an Expert group "composed of epidemiologists, veterinary scientists and virologists in a balanced way" to be "permanently operational"

Exercise Hornbeam - DEFRA's real time simulation of a confirmed foot and mouth disease outbreak during days 7 and 8 to test their contingency plan.

Where is DEFRA's own report on Hornbeam?

(In fact, Defra's Report(new window) on Hornbeam was located and sent to us by tireless Bryn Wayt, who describes here how he got it....)

How much observing?

DEFRA's report on Hornbeam published on 15 December 2004 says (p.85) that 80 observers attended the Hornbeam rehearsal. At least one tireless stakeholder requested permission to attend - but was denied access as it was "already full".
It would appear that most of those visitors had a one and a half hour lecture and guided tour. That was that.
The EU Observers were given a little more attention - including dinner with the CVO

2 - 7 February 2005 ~ More than 500 people involved in Hornbeam - but " the value of the Department’s exercise (Hornbeam) could have been increased by including a simulation at farm level"


January 16 - 22 2005 ~ "All exercises identify issues that need clarifying and addressing and Exercise Hornbeam was no exception.

November 27 - Dec 3 2004 ~ Hornbeam: "Currently there is insufficient scientific evidence to be confident that vaccination will be an effective tool in controlling an outbreak."


November 27 - Dec 3 2004 ~ Where is the DEFRA report on Operation Hornbeam?

June 29/30 2004. Warmwell reported...


July 3 - July 9 ~ What were and are the real reasons for not wanting to vaccinate?

July 3 - July 9 ~ In March 2002, Nick Brown told the EU Committee "We were only 24 hours away from vaccinating"

July 3 - July 9 ~ The answer to the question "Why did the UK not vaccinate?" makes no more sense today than it did in 2001.

July 3 - July 9 ~ "No supermarkets or trade federations in Uruguay tried to tell government that the public would not accept vaccinated meat

July 3 - July 9 ~ In Uruguay, the farmers, safely and without stress, vaccinated their own cattle.

July 3 - July 9 ~ Hornbeam is over. "We still want to know..."

July 3 - July 9 ~ Commercial and political interest and the reality of "testing" for disease

July 3 - July 9 ~ Repeat offenders

July 3 - July 9 ~ DEFRA's work on FMD defended.

July 3 - July 9 ~ "All groups need to be aware now of the Government’s operational arrangements.."

June 26 - July 2 ~ So were any animals vaccinated? Any at all? Apparently not - for all we can read in media reports.

June 26 - July 2 ~ Contingency plans " would prove “useless” if there was interference from Defra bosses nationally...

June 26 - July 2 ~ "For all the Commission’s huffing and puffing, Defra, it appears, has not heard or learned a thing."

June 26 - July 2 ~ Were any animals given emergency vaccination in the "Hornbeam" simulation?

June 26 - July 2 ~ "Too much importance was attached to the trade-policy aspects, with the result that protective vaccination was not carried out even when it had been authorised."

June 26 - July 2 ~ We chose the words suggesting vaccination as a tool of first resort with care, using the same phrase as in the Royal Society's report into foot and mouth

June 26 - July 2 ~ " Vaccination would be used as a last resort. Slaughter is still the best solution," .

June 26 - July 2 ~"Mr Bradshaw's comments caused dismay yesterday amongst those who lived through the 2001 crisis"..."It makes you wonder whether they have learnt anything at all....".

June 26 - July 2 ~ Evening of Day 6 - Exercise Hornbeam - 17,400 animals dead

June 26 - July 2 ~ "the slaughter of animals on infected premises and those suspected of harbouring foot-and-mouth will remain the first options, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said."

June 26 - July 2 ~ DEFRA would not allow the conversation to be filmed.

June 26 - July 2 ~ Bovine TB "... 6 weeks down the road from our last 60 day test, we still have had no notification of the result"

June 26 - July 2 ~ the number of herds logged on the Defra website does not tally with BCMS 'active' holdings.

June 26 - July 2 ~ Hornbeam begins