Update on Diary of British Farmer during FMB outbreak

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They plan on running an update each Monday. For this week's installment, see the address below. Jack


-- jack (atl.jack@mailexcite.com), March 12, 2001


Thank you for the link. I seem to be attached to them allready.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), March 12, 2001.

"Alabama's agriculture chief has quarantined 17 shipping containers carrying used tractors from Britain."

This was in the news this morning. So far, no cases in Ireland yet, but they think someone smuggled 60 sheep into Ireland and won't tell which farms they went to.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), March 13, 2001.

Thanks for the link. I feel so bad for all of these folks that it is hard to read. What a experience to have to go through.

-- Jackie (miller672@cs.som), March 13, 2001.

March 14, 2001

Desperation Stalks Rural Britain on Foot - And - Mouth

---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- REUTERS INDEX: TOP STORIES | INTERNATIONAL | BUSINESS | TECHNOLOGY ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------


Filed at 9:09 a.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) - For men and women working the land, Britain's foot- and-mouth disease epidemic is much worse than the country's mad cow crisis.

With the stench of rotting animal corpses hovering over swathes of the countryside, many ewes dying in labor as they give birth alone in fields and the isolation of being trapped at home, many farmers have been driven to despair.

Some farmers have considered suicide, others have had their guns taken away from them by police for their own protection while a few gave up hope for their businesses when officials arrived unannounced to shoot their cattle, sheep or pigs.

``Farmers have had enough. There are all these cattle rotting everywhere, magpies and foxes are getting to them and the police are already taking the guns away from farmers...Everybody's scared,'' said Caroline Haddock, a farmer's wife working in one of England's worst-hit areas of Devon.

``This is worse than mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE) and some farmers are bound to want to kill themselves,'' she told Reuters.

Farmers under restrictions due to the animal disease cannot leave their homes, their children cannot go to school and all they can do is watch television and see the huge pyres of animal carcasses being burned across the country.

Haddock said farmers may not be able to move their animals, but still have to feed and tend to them with no money coming in.


``We can't sell anything. At least you could trade when BSE was at its height. Now you've got livestock that you cannot move, we're running short of feed,'' she said.

``We've had several farmers ringing us up in tears over the last few days because the next door's farm has gone down and they can see and smell all these animals rotting...People don't know how bad it's going to be.''

She said local villages were all but shut down, with pubs, hotels and even shops feeling the draconian restrictions on rural Britain that have turned much of the countryside into an effective ``no-go'' area.

``I think one of the main things is that MAFF (the UK Agriculture Ministry) can't cope. They're not letting farmers know what's going on, so you're getting farmers having MAFF turn up on their doorsteps and just shooting the cattle. Those farmers didn't even know they were going to come,'' she said.

Farmers and their families have turned in their droves to help lines, with the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution saying it had received 10 times the number of calls since the beginning of the epidemic just over three weeks ago.

Some UK agencies expressed fears of increased suicide among a population group who already have one of the highest rates, and called on farmers to use their help lines.

One farmer committed suicide every 11 days on average between 1991 and 1996.

Others have turned to their friends.

``A widow from Hampshire, a friend of many years standing, phoned me to say they are thinking about us and that helps,'' Bernard Partridge, whose farm in Essex is as yet free from the disease, said.

``Hopefully the people in dire straits will not be pushed over the edge.''

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 14, 2001.

I spent allot of time this morning over on the UK sites, and it is awful what they are doing to the farmers. They HAVE to lift these bans and let the farmers get their sheep home to deliver. They were talking about killing thousands of HEALTHY ewes just because they will suffer and die during lambing! Someone needs to stop this, and let the farmers take care of their sheep. I think this is way out of control now, taking the control away from the farmers. This is insane. No wonder the farmers are screaming in agony and crying in the streets. The farmers know if they don't take care of their animals, no one will. Can you just imagine the sheep just left alone there in the fields to die during labor?

Please pray they lift the ban on moving the pregnant sheep back to their farms, allot of these places are clean areas.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), March 15, 2001.

I was wondering if anyone could answer why do they kill all the animals? I understand it is highly contagious (hoof and mouth) but I have read everywhere most animals survive. Is that incorrect? Why not quarentine the farm? How has it spread to Saudi Arabia and Argentina? The picture I saw of all the dead cows was sobering, and that was just one farm.

-- Brenda Clark (brenclark@alltel.net), March 17, 2001.

The quaranteen would have to be extensive cattle after recovery can continue to spread this for 6 months. Think I will go over and forward the letter I just read. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), March 18, 2001.

This is forarded intact from another list:

>Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease affecting wild and >domestic animals with cloven hooves and camels. So goats, sheep, >pigs, cattle, llamas, antelope, water buffalo, deer, etc can become >infected. Horses do not become infected, but a horse which has been >in a field with infected cows, for instance, will track virus in the >dirt in its hooves to the next paddock where the nice uninfected >sheep live. Dogs, cats, raccoons, and other animals will track it >from place to place too. Sheep and goats primarily get subclinical >infections, so you can't tell they are ill *while* they are shedding >virus and infecting other animals. (yes, it's a disease control >nightmare.) Clinical signs are most severe in cattle and pigs. To >make FMD even harder to control, infected animals often begin >shedding virus 24 hours *before* they develop any signs or symptoms >of infection. > >Animals with FMD display loss of appetite, depression and the >formation of fluid filled vesicles on the tongue and gums. (vesicles >are basically blisters) Vesicles may also form between the halves of >the cloven hoof (on the interdigital skin) and on the teats. The >vesicles rupture and become ulcerative lesions. Foot lesions in >swine are often painful enough to prevent the animal from standing at >all. Lesions on the feet and within the nasal cavity often develop >secondary bacterial infection. Lesions on the teats cause the cows >lots of discomfort during milking and the lesions are a site of viral >shedding so incomplete disinfection of milking equipment spreads the >virus throughout the milking herd. The high fever induced by the >disease may cause complete loss of milk production for the remainder >of the lactation cycle if not permantent partial or complete >production loss due to teat/udder damage. In calves up to 6 months >of age, death may occur as a result of myocarditis. The virus does >not cross the placenta, but pregnant cattle may abort due to the >high fever. > >Cattle which recover from the disease may shed the virus for up to >two years. Sheep shed virus for 6 months. Swine don't have >prolonged shedding period. The shedding period is why all animals >from an infected farm are being destroyed. > >There are seven viruses which cause FMD. Becoming immune to one does >*not* provide protection against any of the other viruses. The virus >survives quite nicely in the environment when it is protected by >protein (blood, feces, mucous, dirt, feed products). Infection is by >inhalation of aerosols (such as cows sneezing on each other) or by >ingestion of contaminated feedstuffs or by contaminated trucks, vet >equipment, etc. Even "traditional" feedproducts such as hay or >silage can become contaminated and facilitate transmission of FMD. > >Aerosol transmission is efficient enough that viral analyses have >indicated that a FMD outbreak in France in 1981 led to outbreaks in >the Channel Islands of Jersey and the Isle of Wight (250 km to the >north). The longest airborne spread previously documented for this >virus was 100km from Denmark to Sweden. Long distance viral travel >is probably in dust. So simple quarantine of an infected farm may >not completely contain the spread of the disease. > >Foot-and-mouth disease has been a problem in the United States. >During the 19th centruy, foot-and-mouth diasease was widely reported >in Europe, Asia, Africa, Soth America and North Aemerica. In 1914 >the larges epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease ever recorded in the >United States occurred: the epidemic spread rapidly across the >country after gaining entry into the Chicago stockyards. More than >3500 herds in 22 states were involved. In 1967-1968 an epidemic in >England resulted in the slaughter of 643,000 animals. In the second >half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, >repeated rapidly spreading epidemics of foot-and-mough disease >resulted in great losses as increasingly intensive livestock >production systems were developed in many countries. Producers >demanded their governments create control programs to prevent >reintroductions as well as to deal with ongoing epidemics. > >Foot-and-mouth disease, more than any other disease, has influenced >the development of international regulations designed to minimize the >risk of introducing the animal disease into a country. Some >countries have successfully avoided the (re-)introduction of >foot-and-mouth disease by prohibiting the importation of all animals >and animal products from countries where the disease exists. The >United States adopted such a policy from 1929 to 1980; only recently >in the light of improved diagnostic procedures has it relaxed this >embargo to allow small numbers of cattle to be imported, through >quarantine, for breeding purposes. > >For many countries such as Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the >United States that have a recent history of freedom from >foot-and-mouth disease, cost-benefit analyses justify a "stamping >out" policy whenever disease occurs or is suspected. This is based >upon slaughter of affected and exposed animals and rigid enforcement >of quarantine and restrictions on movement. Vaccination is not used. > >A vaccine against FMD does exist, but produces antibodies to FMD that >are indistinguishable from antibodies produced upon recovery from the >disease. It is difficult to produce a vaccine of consistent potency >and animals must be re-immunized against each virus (all six of them) >on a yearly basis. With the systematic use of vaccines, many >countries in Europe have now sufficiently controlled foot-and-mouth >disease to discontinue vaccination and adopt an eradication policy >whenever clinical disease occurs. This is what is currently >happening in Europe. > >Even if the vaccine only cost $0.50 per animal per virus, that would >be a sizable chunk of money for a herd of 200 milking cows. ($0.50 x >6 viruses x 200 cows = $600 per year for FMD vaccination only) If >the disease is not present in a country, the vaccination isn't needed >and isn't given. U.S. veterinarians, for example, do not vaccinate >against FMD. > >While humans may become infected with foot and mouth disease this >occurs only rarely and is usually a subclinical infection. Clinical >signs in humans include fever, anorexia (don't wanna eat) and >vesicles (blisters) forming on the skin and mucous membranes. Human >cases occur in people working closely with infected animals (vets, >farmers, etc) and in laboratory workers. > >Humans can and do track the virus about to different places on their >shoes, clothes, trucks, etc. They can serve as mechanical vectors >for FMD, just as a virus covered doorknob or computer keyboard can >help you catch somebody else's cold. The tracking about of virus on >shoes is why the public walking paths throughout Britain have been >closed and why only persons associated with a particular farm are >allowed entry to that farm. > >So, in a nutshell: FMD doesn't cause disease in humans, except on a >very rare basis and it doesn't kill people. FMD doesn't kill >animals. It makes them sick. It causes loss of production of milk >and of meat (the animals aren't eating much cuz they're sick so it >take longer to get them to market and more food to get them to market >weight). It's an economic mess. It is policy to slaughter and >incinerate all infected and exposed animals in FMD-free countries. >Rigid enforcement of quarantine and restriction of movement is begun >immediately upon identification of FMD cases. > >Foot-and-mouth disease of animals is not related to BSE (bovine >spongiform encephalopathy, aka mad cow disease) or scrapie or the >human equivalent, Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease or CJD). > >Hand-foot-and mouth disease (HFMD) in humans is related to >foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) but is a separate disease caused by a >related but distinctly different virus. HFMD is caused by a >coxsackie virus. FMD is caused by an aphthovirus. Both viruses are >members of the picornavirus family. Both diseases cause the >development of vesicles (blisters) on the skin of affected persons >for HFMD and animals for FMD. > >This summary on foot-and-mouth disease was compiled from: > >Veterinary Virology, 3rd edition. By F. A. Murphy, E. P. J. Gibbs, M >C. HOrzinek and M. J. Studdert. 1999. San Diego: Academic Press. > >Medical Virology, 4th edition. By D. O. White and F. J. Fenner. 1994. >San Diego: Academic Press. > >Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 16th edition. Abram S. >Benenson, editor. 1995. Washington, D. C.: American Public Health >Association. > >For more info on the progress of the European FMD outbreak (it's now >in France as well as the UK and Ireland), go to ProMED at >http://www.promedmail.org

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), March 18, 2001.

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