Foot and Mouth

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04/08/2007 at 00:09
Just heard there's been a case reported in the SE, Kent I think. What's the betting half our races are hosed for the next six months?
04/08/2007 at 01:59
It's actually Surrey - near Guildford and at present a 10K exclusion zone. I wouldn't mind if races were cancelled, footpaths closed etc. if it made any difference, but judging from last time it will only be guesture politics to show 'something is being done'.
04/08/2007 at 08:50

I have a number of estate meetings to attend to talk with my neighbours and tenants about this.

I'll return to this evening and explain a few things about this from a farmers point of view (Provided I'm going to get a fair hearing - which I'm sure I will).
Duck Girl    pirate
04/08/2007 at 10:51
04/08/2007 at 11:09
Cancelled races will be the least of many peoples worries.

I hope to god they can contain it this time.
04/08/2007 at 11:25
Spot on Slowboy.

It's sad that race meetings might be cancelled, but what farming really doesn't need now is an outbreak of foot and mouth.

I really hope this doesn't get bad.
04/08/2007 at 11:51
Hopefully it will already have been contained.
04/08/2007 at 11:54
Hope this doesn't spread and I dread seeing those funeral pyres again :o(
04/08/2007 at 16:54
Hopefully won't be seeing any funeral pyres again, isn't there a vaccine against this disease?
04/08/2007 at 18:24
Hopefully they wont be going over the top cancelling all sorts of events this time too.
04/08/2007 at 18:32
We can run on the roads. I've no problem giving up off road running & off road races in the interests of bio-security.
04/08/2007 at 20:54
Popsider, if they went over the top in 2001 it's because too little was done too late and they - the powers that be - opted to regain face by clamping down on everything.

Personally, if they do cancel all races through rural areas or on rural roads, then we should all put up with that for the sake of the farming community.

Want to be eating low grade Brazillian or Argentine beef, or pathetic quality New Zealand lamb? No way!

There is a vaccine and it's being distributed for a national programme just in case. That means that we won't be able to export - potentially - and this is a bad thing for the rural economy.

04/08/2007 at 21:08
I was in Saudi Arabia in 2001 and the English language newspaper over there had a quote from a government spokesmen who said that as F and M was endemic in Saudi arabia there was no problem.

I would be interested in knowing what the rationale behind that statement could be/
Duck Girl    pirate
04/08/2007 at 21:21
Radio 4 news says more cases :(
DEFRA has interesting background info.
M...eldy    pirate
04/08/2007 at 21:29
I would far rather they over reacted now and were proved wrong than later and proved right.
04/08/2007 at 21:49
A farmer speaks (this may be a long post so bear with me)

A number of points here that are worth answering.

Firstly, I said this in 2001 and I'll say it again: Quite what the rationale is behind cancelling urban road races on the grounds of F&M is beyond me. There might be a small theoretical possibility of cross infection, but its so vanishingly unlikely that its frankly a waste of time.

Johnny - F&M is endemic in a number of countries. However allowing it to become endemic in this country simply isn't an option. Animals don't die of F&M but they do become weakened and give lower yields. Its illegal under EU law to export even healthy carcasses from a county that has endemic F&M.

210 I had a meeting with Defra officials in my capacity as estate manager, some months ago at which contigency plans for F&M were discussed. Environment minister Hilary Benn was present, and spoke eloquently about the plans for mass vaccination in the event of an outbreak being "out of control". When I asked him to define "out of control" he went a bit quiet, and when I explained that there were something like 3,500 sheep spread over the moors within a 25 mile radius of where we were sitting, and what were their plans to handle the logistics of mass vaccination of these animals, his minions almost gave birth on the spot.

Bio security is essential, and has been at the heart of Defra advice for some time. All new animals coming onto a farm are supposed to be isolated for 6 weeks (the incubation period for the virus). At our meetings this morning all but one of my neighbours confirmed that they did this. The one who didn't was rounded on by the rest of us, and told in no uncertain terms to get his act together.

Sadly increased bio security will mean some restrictions if the disease takes hold. I'm afraid history isn't on our side, and I doubt that this will be an isolated incident. Closure of local abbetoirs, and livestock markets means that animals are trugged up and down the country. The squeeze by the big supermarkets on margins means that livestock dealers will use the cheapest transporters and slaughterers and turn a blind eye to corner cutting in terms of basic hygene and husbandry. Even a moderate sized independant breeder like me will find himself dealing with folks all over the UK. I'm very very particular about who I do business with - but not everyone else is - or can afford to be.


04/08/2007 at 22:07
There is some prima facea evidence that immediate complete access bans do help. In 2001 a number of areas did this, most notably Lincolnshire, and din't have any cases at all. Maybe they just got lucky though. Personally I'm not in favour at least at the outset, however the thought that the pair of boots walking past my window may have trodden in an infected cow pat somewhere will push me further in the direction the longer it goes on and the more widespread it becomes.

People might say "But you will get compensation if you are affected" and yeas I would. However look at it this way. Say you had a thriving business that you'd built up from nothing, and suddenly one night the whole lot was destroyed in a fire - designs, blueprints, computers, backups - the lot. Sure you could replace everything, but the work you'd put in, all that innovation - you can't replace that.

Its the same for me. The Birchinlea brand is unique. If I lose the stock it isn't just a matter of going along to the Sheep Shop and getting some newuns. I've put a lot of my life into those animals, and I don't want to see it dissapear down the plughole.

Optimistically I'd say we might get clear of it in a couple of months if its been caught early enough and everyone plays their part. I'm afraid that might mean some pain for the running fraterinity.
04/08/2007 at 22:30
Just to clarify - I don't mind being banned from walking over FRs fields if it means less chance of this disease spreading - I do mind if they cancel the bike race I'm organising this September (as happened with the course last time there was an outbreak) and ban all sorts of road running events when from what I've read (and if someone can correct me fair enough) there is no evidence these sorts of measures are necessary or even helpful.
04/08/2007 at 22:35
Thats what I thought you meant Popsider.
04/08/2007 at 22:40
just watching the news now - they think it has leaked from the site where the antivirals are being made at Pirbright as it is the same strain

hopefully means it is a very local outbreak but not good news for those affected
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