Major inquiry submissions received by

NB THis list is not complete and is in the process of being updated and corrected...warmwell March 18
N.B. All files open in a NEW WINDOW


Submission remathematical modelling to Lessons Learned

purely from reading the press releases on the subject of modelling I got a distinct impression that 'backward' modelling techniques may well have been used. The values which are discovered by these 'back' techniques were then run through the simulation models to give the required answers. This would no doubt account for very similar results being returned from all the different models.
Another example which concerns me about the questions asked was that the scenarios used for the modelling of possible vaccination strategies were not realistic and could not have been practically implemented. Clearly the wrong questions were asked.

Submission to "Lessons Learned" - Dr Crispin and Dr Binns

we fear that they turned this national crisis into a national disaster as far as farm animal welfare and human suffering is concerned. Government interventions seemed to owe more to election dates than science. The air of panic so apparent in the field was almost certainly mirrored in Downing Street and the Cabinet. It probably led directly to the Prime Minister's personal intervention and resulted in additional quite unacceptable losses of healthy and often highly prized, sometimes genetically unique, livestock.

the vaccination strategies that were modelled mathematically were not realistic (Morris et al, 2001) and none of them would have been adopted for the epidemic. Vaccination has been used in many parts of the world to contain epidemics of FMD and in the elimination of FMD from Europe. The whole question of vaccination was dealt with appallingly badly during the UK 2001 outbreak. It was shameful for Government spokesmen and the NFU in particular to suggest that the public would not wish to eat meat or drink milk from animals vaccinated against FMD. Some 70,000-100,000 tons of meat from countries with endemic FMD, many of which employ vaccination, apparently entered the UK for human consumption over a 12 month period in 2001.

NFMG submission to Lessons Learned

No one can be proud of the record of incorrect and mis-diagnosis and the generation of impact and disruption to so many people's lives and livelihoods. The test results clearly show that the unprecedented slaughter was not justified or warranted.

"BLAA" submission to Lessons Learned - Mary Marshall

How long does it take for such a promising device to be validated? If it was so promising last June, why could it not have been used to avoid the fear generated in the farming community, and the consequential losses to European trade (Stakeholders meeting 15 March 2002) by the media announcements of a suspected case of FMD in Hawnby in February 2002?

Honest Food's LL submission

Post-FMD behaviour on the part of the Government and DEFRA does not fill one with confidence that serious thought is being given to what may be the best contingency plan to be put into practice. The promulgation of an ill-conceived Animal Health Bill, published with no consultation and pushed through the House of Commons with little discussion (it is at present going through the House of Lords) makes us feel that the Government does not show itself to be interested in a serious investigation of what had gone wrong. A similar reluctance to look at the consequences of past policies - "contiguous cull", which has brought about the killing of far more animals than was necessary and created a terrifying image of Britain in the world

The submission of Helen O'Hare, a vet who worked as a TVI throughout the crisis

(Human welfare has been covered by others but words can never describe the misery and lasting effects of this epidemic. For example, the eight year old child whose farm was culled because she had been visiting the pony on the neighbouring farm.)
Breaking of the welfare codes without justification which included: 1) Transport to burial sites of live animals in late pregnancy animals giving birth animals having recently given birth, mainly sheep lame animals unfit to travel
2) Herding of newly born animals and their dams, and very lame animals
3) Restrictions allowing conditions to develop which would normally result in prosecutions.
CLA submission to Lessons Learned

7 All risk assessments and protocols should have been available to farmers and the public at the outset, rather than being developed in haste as the crisis unfolded. If an access risk assessment had been available at the outset, for example, there could have been clear guidelines for paths, access areas and attractions which could be kept open, for paths, areas and attractions which had to be closed, and for paths, areas and attractions which had to be subject to individual risk assessment.

Sheep farmer Lawrence Wright's submission to Lessons Learned.

. I was also seriously misled concerning the justification of the tests. The Div Vet informed me that he was required to act by 'EU Directives'. When he, eventually stated which Directives he was relying on, I was able to point out that neither of the instruments he had quoted required blood testing in animals in the UK; and neither was the procedure described being followed. The response, on 1st August was to refer my questions to Page Street. I have, of course, heard nothing more.
Every aspect of this treatment fills us with anger. We were treated with careless lack of concern. We had to struggle to obtain the basic information which should have been provided to us without need to ask, we were expected to accept on trust [from those who have done nothing to earn other than deepest mistrust], actions which are of life and death importance to our farm; and when we received answers they were unreliable.
I have copies of the relevant correspondence and can supply them.

Submission from Mr Griffiths Jones, Land Agent

This countryside was so torn apart last year, not by the relatively harmless, albeit highly contagious, viral infection, but by the reaction to it both by MAFF and the Government. There are vital lessons which must be learnt, particularly by MAFF/Defra, and which clearly have not been learnt, despite the damning conclusions of the public inquiry into BSE.


Submission to RSE - on mathematical modelling

There was no differentiation between different species although information about the different infectivity of sheep, cattle and pigs to this particular strain of FMD was readily available. There was another generalised assumption that infectivity is constant from day 3 after infection to day 11. Presumably the 3km spread was assumed to be via windborne transmission, although it was known by the Pirbright team that this strain of virus did not spread that way over more than 200 metres......
"... data was widely published in the newspapers and on the BBC. Almost as soon as the data was published the inconsistencies began to show. .....
..."when the blood tests came back as negative, the cases were left on the list of infected premises and remained there. Contiguous farms or farms on a 'D' notice were still culled out or kept on movement restrictions - taking up much needed veterinary and surveillance resources. .....

Roger Windsor MBE. Submission to RSE

Why was the control of the outbreak taken out of the hands of the Chief Veterinary Officer and put into the hands of:

Why were veterinary surgeons with experience of foot and mouth disease both in Britain and overseas (Minor, Richardson, Windsor and many others) used as foot soldiers, when the management of the outbreak was put into the hands of inexperienced veterinary surgeons with no knowledge of the disease or its control, and even less knowledge of management ?
The same could be said of the control room in London (SVS, Page Street) where the veterinary surgeons taking the telephonic reports from the field and making decisions, were often people who had never seen the disease.

Ruth Watkins Submission to RSE

Pirbright has an unchallenged monopoly on FMD work in both research and diagnosis in Britain.....Another important role is the validation of diagnostic tests including commercial tests and publishing the results with the collaboration of the commercial companies. ......
Pirbright has confined itself to in-house tests, producing the materials and developing its own protocols. It has refused to undertake validation of commercial FMD tests such as those produced by Michael Walker at Genesis. There is no other laboratory in Britain that is allowed or could undertake to validate FMD tests - it is a breach of duty that this has been allowed to pass......The insistence on in-house tests and the refusal to share expertise and materials is typical of an institution guarding its research and exclusive status. Is it hoping to suppress competition to its own tests? Does it stand to financially benefit? The interest of the clients is not best served, and 'service' is the operative word, by such attitudes. A professional diagnostic service should be provided and that entails the use tests appropriate to the clinical need, such as a rapid sensitive test for the presence of virus that the PCR test provides.

In addition:


That neither the agricultural or rural industry will ever again agree to an extensive slaughter policy being implemented should FMD reoccur.

Oaklands Park Submission

Mr Morley continues to cite the Brecon Beacons as his evidence that the contiguous cull has been effective, but the truth about this will only emerge in a full public inquiry. The two "independent reports" he claims justify the contiguous cull are papers published by the two modelling teams, not independent reports. Indeed the Prime Minister was urging farmers to agree to vaccination, on the advice of his scientific advisors, the very day we resisted the cull of our healthy animals. Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

David Butterworth, chief executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: Foot and mouth disease was undoubtedly this National Park's darkest hour. In the National Park alone there were 49 confirmed cases and a further 400 farms affected as contiguous culls. Farmers suffered as their stock was killed or as they were burdened by movement restrictions, the tourist industry was decimated as visitors stayed away and the public were denied their right to enjoy the countryside to the full.