Is the recent Foot and Mouth outbreak, which may affect crop circle research this year, all it seems? Or has it been misrepresented for dubious purposes? JOHN BOWEN asks us to consider 10 important points on the subject…
1. Foot and Mouth disease (or Hoof and Mouth to our transatlantic cousins!) is not a serious disease, husbandry-wise. 95% of infected animals recover. The reason for the current lunacy is purely economic, with the hope of preserving the UK’s ‘Foot and Mouth free status’.
2. Preserving the UK’s Foot and Mouth free status? We IMPORT from 18 countries with Foot and Mouth.
3. There is NO evidence that walkers can transmit the disease - so why the closure of public rights of way? A new category of ‘unpaved’ rights of way has been introduced, for the first time in British history. These can now shut by an un-elected local government officer! Ever talked to local government about, say, mowing the verges? And they now have these draconian powers.
4. Disinfectant can kill the Foot and Mouth virus ... as long as there is a 30 minute total immersion! This means that wiping feet or wheels with disinfectant for the standard 10 seconds is rather a waste of time.
5. ALL the recent representations of the ‘Foot & Mouth virus’ in the national media were artist’s impressions.
6. The Chief Vet is a civil servant in this country. But he is also on the (unelected) EU panel which dictates policy to member states - a slight conflict of interest?
7. Some farmers in the past have looked after cattle in previous outbreaks, when cows in adjoining fields were infected, with not one case of their own! They gave diet and environment as the reasons for their success.
8. On enquiring to the MAFF for evidence on transmission rates and methods, I was referred to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). They replied “We’re not dealing with Foot and Mouth”. IS there any evidence?
9. MAFF has no legal right to cull healthy animals that have not been in contact with disease. There has been much resistance (non-violent as yet) to the obscene ‘firebreak’ policy, particularly in Devon and the Forest of Dean - all totally unreported in the national media.
10. My personal opinion is that there is a covert EU-driven policy to degrade the UK as a pastoral farming nation.
Two sheep in a field.
One turns to the other and says "I’m not feeling very well".
The other one says "Shut up or you’ll get us all killed."