Consolidated F&MD Thread - 3/31/-4/6

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Thus far looks like the F&MD scare in NC is just that. Several pigs were found at an auction which concerned inspectors. Samples were taken and, thus far, F&MD has been eliminated as a cause according to CNN.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 30, 2001

Answers

Well... I know we don't care much unless they are trade partners, but Reuters, BBC, and AFP have listed several hundred cases in other countries....

Iran, India, Kyrgyzstan, SAUDI ARABIA, UAE, Denmark, Ireland, Brazil, Argentina, France, Netherlands and Pakistan. (Besides the obvious, Britain and Scotland)

they are testing in Germany, Italy and Greece.

Interesting that all of these countries reported last year as having confirmed cases too....

Is this report (NC) on BOTH the situations in that state??? I heard the first one was negative, but I've been on the net and didn't hear reports about the second case.

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), March 30, 2001.


Hi Ken,

I just heard on the raliegh news station that there is a scare, however, they also are taking samples from the sampson County NC plant too as they shared the same truck. the samples were being flown to their lab in NJ or NY, the fed lab. i have a real concern over this as its too easy for blood samples to get switched and messed up. We were supposed to go to NC tomorrow, near to where the place is and get minerals for our girls, guess we will just ask them to ship it express UPS. Not even gonna take any chances. Am i paranoid? Yes, but the stakes are high and i'm not going to risk anything, not even going to show this yr or do linear apprasial or go on DHIR test. Too risky until we know more. Is it true that the USDA kill oder for the US will be within a 2 mile raduis? i hate all this scare stuff. This NC situation sure isn't funny. Too close to home for me.

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), March 30, 2001.


I am with you Bernice!!! I had a couple of my girls that were looking so good that I wanted to get out and show and do some one day tests but I am closing down. Nothing in, nothing out. No visits from other farms until I feel secure again. Just the thought of someone coming in here and shooting all my girls puts me almost over the edge. I am not a person who usually lives in the fear bag but this thing has gotten me scared.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), March 30, 2001.

It has me spooked too. I think I'm more afraid of the "cure" than the disease. Doesn't matter how careful you are, if your neighbor a mile or two down the road gets it, they're gonna do your animals in anyway. Makes me sick just thinking about it. It's going to be a long, long time before I feel secure about my critters again. I'm about in the mood to build an underground bomb shelter for my animals and disappear for a year or two. Goats? What goats? I wish it were that simple.

-- Lenette (kigervixen@webtv.net), March 30, 2001.

I'm as easy to panic as the next guy, but I don't think the time to do so is now. Britian, from what I can tell, almost asked for it to happen with almost non-existent import controls and inspections. They are now paying the price for being lax. The U.S. has stepped up inspections, but, admittedly, nothing is 100% fool proof. Might only take one relative smuggling in a smoked sausage made from F&MD contaminated meat, then scraps fed to a hog, to start the ball rolling. I guess what I'm trying to say is to continue life as normal, just be careful out there.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 30, 2001.


P.S. I don't know what the U.S. zone of kill would be, but two miles might be conservative.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 30, 2001.

U.S. Steps Up Efforts Against Foot-and-Mouth North Carolina Pigs Test Negative for Disease

By Randy Fabi Reuters

WASHINGTON (March 30) - With suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease in North Carolina, the United States stepped up efforts against the highly contagious disease on Friday by banning imports of used farm equipment from nations with the virus.

U.S. officials said a handful of pigs suspected of carrying foot-and- mouth disease in a North Carolina slaughterhouse facility tested negative. Two other pigs in a neighboring county were also being tested as a precaution.

The devastating virus cripples pigs, cattle, sheep and goats for months and sharply reduces milk and meat production. The virus, which rarely endangers humans, can be spread by shoes and clothing.

U.S. animal health inspectors and border patrols have been on heightened alert since the highly contagious disease jumped from Britain into France earlier this month.

The disease has since spread to the Netherlands and Ireland. Argentina, Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries have also discovered cases of foot-and-mouth.

American officials have warned that an outbreak in the United States, which has been free of foot-and-mouth since 1929, could cause billions of dollars' worth of losses to farmers.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said officials remained vigilant against an outbreak. ''I think we should be very confident that the systems we have in place in the United States are working to protect American agriculture,'' she said in an interview on CNN's ''Wolf Blitzer Reports.''

She said the testing of pigs in North Carolina suspected of carrying the disease was part of that protection.

''That is, there was an animal with some disease -- there are several diseases that look very much like foot-and-mouth -- because people are on their guard, as they always are, they made sure to take a sample, get it up to be tested immediately.

''It tested negative, and so what we saw today is the system working and making sure we aren't getting such diseases.'' she said.

USDA INVESTIGATES CASE

An inspector on a routine visit on Thursday to Robersonville Packing in Martin County, near Raleigh, North Carolina, found fever- and blister-like lesions in the mouths and between the toes of at least three hogs set for slaughter, said Danny Peet, owner of the plant.

''They (inspectors) saw little lesions ... that appeared on the foot. Bruises were on the foot, and it looked like blisters in the mouth area,'' Peet said. His slaughterhouse processes about 85 hogs a day, along with cattle, goats and lambs.

The hogs were immediately moved to an isolation pen. After slaughter, tissue samples from their lungs, feet, mouths and tongues were sent to a USDA lab in Plum Island, New York.

USDA spokesman Kevin Herglotz said test results issued on Friday showed the pigs did not have the disease.

The USDA also quarantined and took tissue samples from two pigs in neighboring Sampson County, he said. Tests results from the Samson County pigs were expected early on Saturday.

''They are being tested as a precaution,'' Herglotz said.

The pigs were from the same supplier and showed similar symptoms as the slaughterhouse animals, he said. USDA officials would not disclose the name of the supplier.

North Carolina's $1.2 billion-a-year hog industry is concentrated in the eastern part of the state, a rural area hard hit by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. North Carolina ranks as one of the largest U.S. hog- producing states, with 3,600 hog farms and 63 slaughterhouses.

Rep. Bob Etheridge, a North Carolina Democrat, urged the Bush administration to approve emergency funding for USDA inspectors and veterinarians.

''This disease represents a threat to our national economic security,'' Etheridge, who owns a cattle farm, said in a letter to President George W. Bush. ''I am concerned that even rearranging our resources to move inspectors from low-risk ports of entry to high- risk ones could leave cracks in our nation's defense system.''

ROUTINE INSPECTIONS

In Chicago, live cattle and hog futures traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange fell sharply near midday in reaction to news of the suspected case in North Carolina. Prices rebounded immediately after the USDA reported the tests were negative.

USDA officials said they routinely tested some 400 animals annually for foot-and-mouth disease.

Industry officials expected the number of U.S. animals tested for the virus to escalate as the crippling disease spread in Europe.

Other recent investigations for foot-and-mouth disease included pigs with flu-like symptoms in Illinois and calves in Idaho. All tested negative for the virus.

As an added effort to keep out foot-and-mouth, the United States on Friday banned imports of all used farm equipment from the EU and other places suspected of having the virus.

Earlier this month, Alabama officials quarantined a shipment of some 100 used tractors that had been displayed at a farm trade show in Britain.

Alabama state officials began disinfecting the John Deere tractors earlier this week at a U.S. port in Mobile.

Molly Frazier, a USDA port director at Mobile, said the used farm equipment was unloaded from shipping containers at a special facility on the Alabama dock and immediately sprayed with a bleach and water solution.

The shipment was headed for a tractor dealer in northern Mississippi, an Alabama official said.

Earlier this month, the USDA halted all imports of livestock and raw meat products from the European Union. The ban will remain in place until the EU shows it has the disease under control, USDA officials said.

The USDA also assigned an extra 150 inspectors to the nation's busiest international airports to screen passengers and luggage that might be carrying foot-and-mouth disease.

Reut21:31 03-30-01

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 31, 2001.


Here's one I copied.

....................Apart from Britain, where the number of infected sites now stands at 779, foot-and-mouth has been found in France, Ireland and the Netherlands, which confirmed its 11th case Friday.

As frustration grew in the Netherlands, angry farmers sealed off a farm infected with foot-and-mouth in the central village Kootwijkerbroek to protest against the planned slaughter of animals in the area.

Dutch officials plan to cull 50,000 animals within just over a mile of the farm, where the disease was found Thursday. The total cull of animals in the Netherlands is expected to reach 100,000.

Dutch farmers want the government to allow them to vaccinate animals to control the spread of the disease. Earlier Friday, Dutch farmers took three workers of the Meat and Animal Inspection Service hostage for a few hours.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), March 31, 2001.


(When they refer to restricting movement, they likely refer to just movement of animals within the state. However, take TN as an example, I-40, I-56, I-24, I-26 and I-75 pass through it. Would any truck carrying live animals have to detour past the state? No movement within a state means no livestock auctions, immediately putting people out of work.) March 30, 2001

USDA Addresses Foot - and - Mouth

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 5:42 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Should foot-and-mouth disease reach this country, the government's emergency response plan lays out a ``cascade of events'' that would follow, including a halt to all movement of livestock in the state where the case is found. The entire state could later be quarantined.

A positive test for foot-and-mouth ``will generate immediate, appropriate local and national measures to eliminate the crisis and minimize the consequences,'' says a summary of the plan released Friday by the Agriculture Department.

Foot-and-mouth is harmless to humans, but it is dreaded by livestock producers and veterinarians because the virus spreads so easily and quickly. The United States has not had a confirmed case since 1929, although about 100 tests a year are done on animals with possible symptoms of the disease.

``We have been effective up to this point and I think we'll continue to be effective,'' said Alfonso Torres, deputy administrator of veterinary services for the department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The emergency plan, which has been in existence for years, is still subject to ``fine-tuning'' as a result of discussions with state and industry officials, Torres said.

Under the plan, a positive test would trigger a ``cascade of events ... starting with a conference call'' been state and federal officials.

The state veterinarian would then quarantine the affected farm and consider stopping the movement of animals within the state's borders. State officials would consider destroying the affected herd -- a virtual certainty in the case of foot-and-mouth -- and determine whether there are wildlife nearby that could spread the disease further.

Another series of actions follows when a case of foot-and-mouth is ``confirmed positive,'' meaning that the virus has been isolated and identified after a positive test on an animal.

USDA would quarantine the state to limit the movement of trucks and other vehicles that could spread the virus to other states.

``The idea of stopping movement immediately so that people and animals and trucks don't move is absolutely critical,'' said Lonnie King, dean of Michigan State University's veterinary school and a former administrator of the federal inspection service.

``If everything stops moving, then you can catch up with the disease. If not, then the disease is always two or three steps in front of you.''

``Movement control zones'' would be established around exposed herds, extending at least six miles in each direction. No animals or animal products would be allowed to leave the zones and all people, equipment and vehicles would have to be disinfected before leaving.

Burial, not burning, is listed as the best way to disposing of animals that have to be killed because of exposure to the disease. Burial is easier, quicker and ``less polluting,'' the plan says. Forty-two cubic feet of ground -- an area roughly 6 feet by 3 feet by 2 1/2 feet -- is needed to bury one cow, five hogs, or five sheep.

A crew of five would be required to kill and dispose of a herd of 40 animals in a day, and another three would be necessary for disinfecting people and equipment on each affected farm.

USDA would secure vaccine to use in containing the disease, if necessary.

Vaccinating herds would be a highly controversial step, as shown in Britain, because it could shut down the country's meat exports. Tests for foot-and-mouth can't distinguish between animals that have been infected with the disease and those that have been vaccinated.

Torres says USDA has sufficient supplies of vaccine available.

The Bush administration, meanwhile, is under pressure from Congress to tighten controls at the nation's borders and airports to keep the virus out. In letters to the Treasury and Agriculture departments on Friday, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said he has ``received reports raising serious concerns'' about enforcement of restrictions on airline passengers.

Travelers are supposed to disclose whether they have been on a foreign farm while out of the country and declare food products that they are carrying. USDA and Treasury's Customs Service share responsibility for enforcing the restrictions.

On Friday, USDA banned the import of used farm equipment from the European Union and all other countries where foot-and-mouth has been found.

At the White House, spokesman Ari Fleischer said President Bush ``is concerned that we make sure the United States does take appropriate action. He's satisfied we have.''

^------

On the Net: USDA: http://www.aphis.usda.gov

U.S. Animal Health Association: http://www.usaha.org/index.html



-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), March 31, 2001.


Well plans for raising hogs for sale may change big time! no one wants pork...help. The local news really screwed me they reported that hogs are the cause for the H&MD and with in 1 hour 3 people called and said no to their hogs. Great! at least I did not buy them yet to feed out. I am thinking chicken and turkey is the way to go this year.

-- renee oneill{md.} (oneillsr@home.com), March 31, 2001.


Okay, folks, so we'll be eating plenty of poultry and rabbits these next few years! Hey, here's the oppurtunity that rabbit farms have been waiting for!

Seriously, though, it has been mentioned several times in other threads that whitetail deer can carry the disease - how on earth will they keep deer within state lines? Will they start killing all the deer, too?!?

DH and I figure we can live without beef and pork, as long as we can get venison. Something tells me the antihunting faction that relies on beef/pork industry may be changing their tune when a nice hot juicy steak is $25 a pound! Or not - they'll learn to enjoy ostrich!

And how many scoffed when farmers looked into raising ostrich? Look at the income potential with "alternative" meat sources - rabbit, ostrich, Who knows what else!?! Remember, when life gives us those lemons, make gallons of lemonade!

Again, can anyone get info on the affects of F&MD on whitetail/mule deer/moose? Will the next step be sweeping, wasteful killings? Or will deer hunting no longer be allowed? Or will we see interest suddenly increase in hunting and the sale of deer permits?

-- Judi (ddecaro@snet.net), March 31, 2001.


My understanding is that all cloven-hoofed mammals are very susceptible to FMD, including deer, elk, and presumably moose. I suspect that there would be mass hunts of all such wildlife in any affected areas to try to prevent them from spreading the disease. So venison as a substitute meat would probably not be available. Better stick with the rabbits and poultry -- and fish.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), March 31, 2001.

Judi, the deer in Colorado (BIG TIME) and the elk in Montana (smaller occurrence) have Mad Cow. If you get infected with Mad Cow, it can kill you while F&MD does not kill humans.

-- Lynn Goltz (lynngoltz@aol.com), March 31, 2001.

so we kill off our wildlife too and annhilate all our cloven hooved animals, both domestic and wild to stop this disease? is that what i am understanding here? The senseless killing and slaughter of cloven hooved animals is not the answer. We will only result in killing off every cloven hooved animal in the world. So do we eat horse steaks or dogs, cats... whatelse? I am sure this disease has been around longer than people so it seems nature takes care of it eventually. And in the long run this will impact on the food chains and environment. I just don't understand the killing, makes no sense to me. We must come up with better choices to deal with it. guess before i fuss anymore I better read up more on the endemics of the disease. got to run, need to get groceries and the realator is coming this afternoon to show our farm. I hoope we sell it sow e can move far away from this. if ther eis such a place.

-- Bernice (geminigoats@yahoo.com), March 31, 2001.

And does any of this ring a bell? The world dependent primarily on grains, the movie "Left Behind"?

-- Deborah (bearwaoman@Yahoo.com), March 31, 2001.


Deborah, just recently finished reading the series - thanks, you just gave me bad case of goosebumps...

-- Judi (ddecaro@snet.net), March 31, 2001.

(On the question of why Britian is burning cattle rather than burying them, due to MCD there had been a order no cattle less than five years old could be buried since the rogue prions might get into groundwater. That order has now been lifted)

April 1, 2001

In a Crisis, Vegetables, Not Beef, for British

By WARREN HOGE

ONDON, March 31 The love of red meat was once so much a part of the national makeup of the English that the French called them "les rosbifs." The 18th-century painter William Hogarth titled a famous canvas portraying the quintessential robustness of his countrymen "O the Roast Beef of Old England."

A well-marbled rib was the symbol of British well being and power, but eating habits have moved on. With rampant disease striking British herds for the second time in a decade, the change is accelerating.

"We've had a huge increase in phone calls and 14,000 hits a day on our Web site from people asking for information on balancing diet and going vegetarian," said Samantha Calvert, director of public affairs for the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom. "There was a poll that said that 32 percent of respondents would consider not eating meat, and that's a very good day for vegetarianism."

The British are shunning beef even though the malady now afflicting their animals foot-and-mouth disease does not harm people who eat infected meat. The cows and pigs and sheep recover in a matter of weeks, though with weight loss and reduced capacity to produce milk.

People are reacting to the vast coverage in newspapers and on television that has focused on heaps of carcasses being incinerated and on affecting images of farmers grieving over the animals being sacrificed in the mass cull now under way to stem the spread of the highly contagious virus. The images have also engaged the traditional British concern for animal welfare.

"Lots of people are finally making the connection between that neat slice of red meat in the polystyrene wrapping that they buy in the supermarket and that fluffy little lamb being held by the crying farmer on TV," Ms. Calvert said.

The Ministry of Agriculture reported today that the cull had now marked 832,000 animals for slaughter and that the number of confirmed cases had risen by 50 more in the last day to reach a total of 841 in the six- week epidemic.

Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely reported to have decided on a one-month delay of a national election planned for May 3. He must declare his decision on Monday.

Beef sales fell in 1996, when it was discovered that bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as mad cow disease, could provoke the incurable brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Ninety people have died of it, and five more cases have been confirmed.

"We stopped serving all beef and offal when the B.S.E. crisis hit, and every time we think about putting it back on, something else happens," said Ruth Rogers, co-owner and chef of the River Cafe, one of London's most popular restaurants. She said that diners are eating more fish than meat and that some people choose two appetizers to confine themselves to vegetables, a specialty.

The British government has mounted a vigorous effort to combat what it considers misinformation particularly abroad about the safety of food here and about the wisdom of moving about the countryside when there are many restrictions to keep the infection from spreading. Tourist offices have reported Europeans and Americans inquiring whether food is available and edible, and customs officials say people are showing up at Channel ports with provisions to last a week.

Contrary to its old reputation, Britain was the most vegetarian country in Europe even before the outbreaks of disease. Ms. Calvert said a study in June estimated that 5.4 percent of people in Britain were vegetarians, and new surveys this month raised the estimate as high as 12 percent a level that might not be sustained once the crisis has passed. Figures for France and Germany in the mid- 1990's, considered comparable to the British figure a year ago, were 0.9 and 1.25 percent.

Vegetarianism tends to be an urban phenomenon, and Britain's rural population is down to 10 percent, the lowest in Europe, according to a new MORI poll. Its farming community is also smaller and less politically powerful than those on the Continent.

While British farmers' incomes have plummeted, the big British chains, where nearly 80 percent of Britons buy their food, have enjoyed record profits.

Hugo Arnold, author of "Buying the Best," a book on food shopping, said he thought that the current nervousness about food would produce a more discerning and demanding shopper. "In five years' time," he told The Evening Standard, "dinner parties are going to be divided between the people who buy their meat in a supermarket and the people who buy direct from specialist suppliers, farms which have reared the meat themselves, slaughtered it in small abattoirs and can tell you how it was fed.

"What I like about it is that it's a traditional kind of model of going to market, except it's done by modern methods." ted.)



-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 01, 2001.


Found this...................

AN ELDER from the Masai tribe, the nomadic African herdsmen who regard themselves as the divine owners of all of the world's cattle, offered to travel to Britain yesterday to cure the foot and mouth outbreak. John Ntimeri, speaking in Kiserian, a small town in southern Kenya, said: "I will come whenever you want. We have a cure for foot and mouth. Let us share it." Mr Ntimeri and two other elders were shocked that Europeans deal with foot and mouth by mass culling.

According to Masai tradition their god Engai entrusted all of the world's cattle to them and the premature slaughter of any cow is seen as sacrilege. Foot and mouth, called oloirobi by the Masai, is a common problem in Kenya.

But they never kill infected animals, treating them instead with a cocktail cow urine and rock salt gathered from Magadi Lake in a remote area of the Rift Valley.

Joseph Tuukuo said: "When we see the blisters between the hooves or on the mouth we rub cow's urine on the area. We collect the urine from the whole herd and use it as a strong disinfectant. If that does not work we rub salt on to the area, which is a powerful cleaner."

The Masai are aware of the risk of cross contamination but sometimes encourage it to raise the immunity of the whole herd. William Karbuali said: "We try to keep the infected cattle away from the others but in the rainy season it is difficult so we rub the face of the ill cow and then the face of the other cows.

"We know we can cure them so the sooner they all get the disease the better." No Masai has ever been harmed by eating meat from a cow with foot and mouth.Mr Ntimeri, who has eaten infected meat, said: "We are feeling that this killing is very bad because there is no effect for humans."

For the Masai foot and mouth appears no more serious than the common cold although Mr Karbuali pointed out the five strains of foot and mouth common in east Africa might be different from the O variant infecting British stock.

Young Masai are taught how to identify and deal with foot and mouth from an early age as part of a traditional education that prepares them for the nomadic, pastoralist lifestyle of a tribe with cattle at the hub.

They do not eat grain or fruit, surviving instead on a diet of cow's blood and milk, bleeding the animal by shooting an arrow from close range into a neck vein.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@hotmail.com), April 03, 2001.


I recently began a new discussion group at yahoogroups to discuss the recent situation with FMD. For anyone interested in joining here is the addy to the group. I hope to see you there.

Bernice here is the addy:

FMDcrisis@yahoogroups.com

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

Don't know if this is our Bernice or not. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), April 03, 2001.


April 4, 2001

Report Says Britain Gaining in Foot - And - Mouth Battle

By REUTERS

Filed at 0:18 a.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's chief scientist is expected to tell Prime Minister Tony Blair Wednesday that his government's mass slaughter of livestock is beginning to curb a foot-and-mouth epidemic, officials said.

They said Professor David King's report was likely to be more optimistic than his assessment last month when he warned that the epidemic could cost Britain up to half its livestock population of more than 60 million.

King's report will offer Blair some hope that his Labor government may be turning the corner in the battle against the highly infectious and financially devastating livestock disease, now plaguing Britain for a seventh week.

``The figures are showing we are getting ahead of it,'' said Ben Gill, president of the National Farmers' Union.

``It's stabilized on the predictions of 10 days ago. We should be averaging 70 to 80 new cases a day and we are not. We're averaging 42 to 43 cases a day.''

Although Britain has by the far the worst number of infected sites -- up to nearly 1,000 Tuesday -- foot-and-mouth has also established footholds in the Netherlands, France and Ireland. Other European countries have suffered scares.

After weeks of countries around the world imposing bans on European meat and dairy products, disinfecting travelers and introducing other draconian measures, there were some glimmers of a return to normality.

The European Union said restrictions on France, which has had only two foot-and-mouth cases -- would be relaxed and the sale and export of non-treated milk, meat and meat products would be allowed from most of the country.

NORTHERN IRELAND REPRIEVE

The hard-pressed farm-food sector in Britain's Northern Ireland province won EU permission Tuesday to resume exports that had been banned because of the epidemic on the British mainland. The province has had only one foot-and-mouth case.

The go-ahead followed a meeting of the EU's top veterinary experts in Brussels at which no objection was raised to a proposal to treat Northern Ireland as a separate region from the rest of Britain, officials said.

The United States said Tuesday it would lift its ban on imports of raw meat from the EU in stages as officials evaluated the risks of the disease spreading to the U.S.

Last month, the United States halted all imports of live animals and raw meat products from the EU after the disease jumped from Britain into France. U.S officials said the ban, affecting imports worth $278 million, would remain in place until the EU showed it had the disease under control.

``I would say that the likelihood would be, given what I know today, is that we would not lift the EU (ban) all at once. But rather it would be lifted in stages depending upon the risks,'' Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman told reporters.

Alarm bells continued to ring across Europe over the disease, with the Netherlands confirming three new cases on Tuesday to bring its total to 15. All the new cases were located in areas that had previously been hit by the disease.

NEGATIVE TEST IN GERMANY

German officials said an initial quick test had proved negative in a suspected case of foot and mouth at a pig farm in northwest Germany.

Earlier, a government spokesman in the state of North Rhine- Westphalia, which borders the Netherlands, said there was a high degree of suspicion of the illness. Around 100 animals had been slaughtered.

Officials were still awaiting results of another set of possible foot and mouth cases affecting sheep in the neighboring state of Hesse.

Ireland's Agriculture Ministry said final test results from sheep at a farm neighboring the country's only case of foot-and-mouth had proved negative.

The alert was raised last week when it was suspected the infection had passed to sheep from the adjacent contaminated flock in County Louth, in the northeast of Ireland.

In Britain, the number of infected sites rose by 44 on Tuesday to a total of 991. More than 630,000 animals have been slaughtered and about 380,000 still need to be killed.

The scale of the outbreak has forced Blair to postpone local elections until June 7, and effectively a general election too, so he can focus on the ruinous disease. Large tracts of countryside have been turned into quarantined ``no-go'' areas and Britain is hemorrhaging millions of pounds every day in lost meat exports and tourism.

The army, which is providing logistics for the disposal of slaughtered animals, will dig up and re-bury 900 sheep and cow carcasses which were wrongly buried on a site in northern England near a farmer's drinking water supply.

The farmer and his family were being housed in a hotel until the dead animals were removed. ``We believe the situation has been controlled,'' an Environment Agency spokesman said.

Foot-and-mouth, endemic in some poorer parts of the world, afflicts cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs, sheep and cows by causing severe weight loss. It has little or no effect on humans.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 04, 2001.


April 3, 2001

British Farmers Debate Vaccination

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 4:26 p.m. ET

TEDBURN ST. MARY, England (AP) -- Roger Cann does not believe vaccination would have saved the 300 cattle and 100 sheep that grazed his land from contracting foot-and-mouth disease.

``It is so quick to spread, and vaccination takes time to take effect,'' said Cann, who owns 100 acres of verdant Devon countryside. ``And then you lose your disease-free status.''

But a few miles away along a twisting country lane, Mary Quicke says vaccination could be used to build ``firewalls'' around infected farms like Cann's to protect healthy dairy herds like hers.

This is the dilemma Prime Minister Tony Blair's government is struggling to answer: vaccinate and lose export markets, or carry on simply slaughtering diseased animals and perhaps delay containing the contagion.

With over 960 confirmed cases and nearly a million animals condemned for slaughter, officials are battling to keep up with the cull and disposal of carcasses.

The government is considering a targeted campaign to vaccinate up to 180,000 dairy cattle bound for slaughter in the worst-hit areas of Devon, in southwest England, and the northwestern county of Cumbria.

But after getting European Union permission, the government has twice put off a decision -- it was first promised by Saturday, then Monday, then postponed indefinitely.

In the House of Commons, lawmaker Stephen O'Brien from the opposition Conservative Party complained Tuesday that ``there is deep anxiety about the uncertainty and lack of clarity on this particular difficult issue.''

Farmers like Quicke -- who cannot move her 3,000 healthy pigs, has had to shut her popular farm shop and is living behind barriers of protective tape and straw sodden with disinfectant -- argue that vaccination must be used alongside slaughter.

``If this epidemic goes on, we are going to lose our export markets for years, anyway,'' said Quicke. ``Many countries have used it in the past 12 months, and they're using it in Holland now.''

The National Farmers' Union and some Agriculture Ministry officials fear vaccinating will shut Britain out of export markets for up to two years, as other countries will not accept meat and animals from a vaccinating country. Tests for foot-and-mouth can't distinguish between animals that have been infected and those that have been vaccinated.

Opponents also argue that vaccination is not 100 percent effective, requires booster injections and animals can take 5-12 days to build up immunity.

But some vets say shots would quickly control the spread of the disease, buying time for officials to catch up with the slaughter.

The National Trust, which owns large tracts of the scenic Lake District in Cumbria, has called for targeted vaccination to be used to save rare breeds like the area's indigenous Herdwick sheep.

``Already a significant proportion of the Herdwick flock has been lost and unless we can obtain agreement to the vaccination policy and implement it within days, we stand to lose ... entire flocks,'' Trust spokesman Oliver Maurice said Tuesday.

Emergency vaccination is usually used when authorities are struggling to kill animals fast enough. Although it doesn't eradicate infection, vaccination can seriously suppress the ability of the virus to replicate inside the animal's body.

In a disease-free corner of Devon, dairy farmer John Vinnicombe says he would resist vaccination ``except in extreme circumstances.''

``The biggest problem is that animals are still prone to foot-and- mouth for a few days after vaccination -- and if they are going to be culled anyway, I don't really see the point,'' he said.

^------

On the Net:

Quicke's Traditional Cheese: http://www.quickes.co.uk

Ministry of Agriculture: http://www.maff.gov.uk

Institute for Animal Health: http://www.iah.bbsrc.ac.uk

National Farmers Union: http://www.nfu.org.uk

Meat and Livestock Commission: http://www.mlc.org.uk

National Pig Association: http://www.npa-uk.net

Pig Health: http://www.pighealth.com/fmd.htm

British Veterinary Association: http://www.bva.co.uk

Royal Veterinary College: http://www.rvc.ac.uk/News/FMD.htm

Sheep Veterinary Society: http://svs.mri.sari.ac.uk/NewsFM.htm

AVIS Consortium: http://www.aleffgroup.com/avisfmd/index.html

European Commission foot-and-mouth update:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/ah--pcad/ah--pcad--fmoverview-- en.html

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 04, 2001.


Ken: Are there certain disinfectants that are effective, and others (like chlorine products) that are less so? Somewhere on one of these discussions types of disinfectants were mentioned, with the "chemical" names, and it sounded to me like chloride products weren't at the top of the list.Just wondering so that we could be prepared to have the right stuff on hand as needed. Thanks also for all the info you have posted and for keeping us all informed. Hope we don't need to know the above.

-- Peg (bptaylor@ccrtc.com), April 05, 2001.

Peg:

Everything I have read says the F&MD virus is fairly easily to kill. The same products you use to disinfect your kitchen and bathrooms should work - such as Lysol. When showing pictures of custom agents cleaning shoes at airports, it said a weak bleach solution was being used. I may be wrong, but I recall reading somewhere a 2% lye solution in water will work. For a boot bath, I'd say to put in enough bleach to where you can smell it.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 05, 2001.


April 6, 2001

Dutch Farmers Facing Mass Foot-and-Mouth Slaughter

By EDMUND L. ANDREW

LST, the Netherlands, April 5 Jan Willem Horstmann spent the last 18 years grooming a line of breeding sheep that he sold to farmers for up to $2,000 a head. Today, he made preparations to slaughter them all.

"Eighteen years of work, and it's over," he said. "It's a bad day."

Mr. Horstmann and most other farmers around here have been trapped by the contagion of foot-and- mouth disease, which swept through Britain last month and has now contaminated the Netherlands.

About 45 miles east, in Ochtrup, Germany, Heinz Hewing is waiting in dread. Germany has yet to document an outbreak of foot-and-mouth. But Mr. Hebring and most other German farmers near the border have placed their barns and themselves under a limited quarantine.

"You almost have to count on it coming," said Mr. Hewing, whose small family farm dates from the 13th century. "I don't want it to come, of course. But it is so hard to avoid."

Such is the nature of epidemics in the European Union today, as borders between countries have all but dissolved. It has been years since anybody needed a passport to travel between most countries in Western Europe or since countries tried to restrict cross-border truck traffic.

Now Europeans are desperately trying seal their frontiers to a virus that is devastating to livestock and spreads with frightening speed. They are also in a pitched battle over how to respond. Countries like the Netherlands are pushing for vaccination. Countries that are less exposed want to continue relying on preventive slaughter.

Foot-and-mouth disease can spread by the mud on a person's boots, the meat or milk from contaminated cattle or simply the wind that turns windmills on both sides of the Dutch-German border.

Having devastated livestock in Britain since it appeared there in late February, the disease skipped like a stone over water. It infected just a handful of animals in France, but settled in with a vengeance here. The United States has imposed a ban on imports of European meat.

The question now is whether farmers can stop the virus from spreading further. Besides the lack of internal borders, European farms are often tiny properties nestled back to back in densely populated areas. They are also linked by some of the best rail and highway systems and trade heavily around the continent.

In the last few days, Dutch officials have cordoned off a swath of territory that covers 1,500 small farms and 115,000 animals. Today, they began a slaughter of at least half, and perhaps all, of those animals.

"My own opinion is that they will have to slaughter them all," said Jos Roemaat, a farmer and the general manager of the regional agricultural association.

People have begun living under a de facto quarantine, part of which has been imposed by the government and part of which people have imposed on themselves.

Here in Olst, the police have blocked roads to most farms as well as some residential neighborhoods on the farms' periphery. Though people can enter and leave, they cannot accept visitors, and most farmers stay at home for fear of spreading the virus.

At an elementary school here, de Holsthoek, some children have been kept at home and some have been unable to travel to school because of blocked roads. Those who do attend have to step over a disinfecting mat before entering, and parents are not allowed in at all.

"The fewer contacts, the less danger there is of contamination," said the principal, Mies Karrembeld. "It is really like being in East Germany."

Although Dutch farmers deal with the grim certainty of contamination, the German farmers a few miles east are in a state of near panic with foreboding. In Steinfurt, a one-hour drive from Olst, Alfonz Berning found on Monday night that a number of his young pigs were sick with what looked suspiciously like foot- and-mouth disease. County officials in Steinfurt quickly destroyed all the farm's 95 piglets but initially tried to keep things quiet "to avoid hysteria," according to Thomas Kubendorff, head of the county council.

But word leaked out quickly, and hysteria spread faster than the virus. By Tuesday afternoon, the entry to Mr. Berning's tiny farm was barricaded by police cars, and television crews were circling in helicopters overhead. On Wednesday, preliminary tests indicated that the pigs did not have foot-and-mouth, though conclusive results will not be ready for days.

In the meantime, trucks carrying feed or produce to Mr. Berning's farm have to drive through a disinfectant spray. The Bernings are allowed to leave if they disinfect their shoes and clothes, but they try to stay home.

"You just don't know whether there might be some dust on your jacket," Mr. Berning's son Frank said. "It's like house arrest."

Germany had three other foot-and- mouth scares on Wednesday, involving sheep 50 miles north of Frankfurt. Officials immediately sealed off three small villages to outside traffic and closed schools. Once again, preliminary tests indicated that the animals were sick from something else.

In areas near the German border, farmers now need to obtain official permission before transporting livestock. Many farmers have set up special disinfection procedures and sealed off their barns.

Bernhard Bonekamp, who raises 5,000 pigs in Dulmen, Germany, 22 miles from the border, said the disease appeared to be heading south rather than east. "I think the chances we can avoid this are about 50-50," he reckoned.

Regardless of whether the virus crosses the border, European farmers face a huge policy battle over vaccination. Like the United States and Japan, the European Union has a general ban on foot-and-mouth vaccine, because vaccinated animals have the same incriminating antibodies as those that are infected. Meat from vaccinated animals cannot be exported to the United States or Japan. So the decision to vaccinate essentially prohibits exporting.

In Brussels, the European Commission remains opposed to vaccination in general. Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain came close to allowing vaccination a week ago, but backed away when new evidence suggested that the epidemic's spread in Britain was slowing.

Dutch farmers and political leaders here have come out strongly for vaccination. They have begun vaccinating in the clearly contaminated region, although they are slaughtering as well. But Dutch farmers argue that Europe should vaccinate generally and use "genetic markers" that make it easier to distinguish between the vaccine and the virus.

"The trade between countries is so much higher than it was 10 or 12 years ago," Mr. Roemaat of the farmers' group said. "The liberalization of trade has to be combined with instruments that can be used to provide protection."

A growing number of German farmers supports vaccination, but as a group the farmers are more ambivalent. Some worry about losing valuable exports. Others say the wider spaces in Germany make isolation and preventive slaughtering workable.

"Pigs are one of the few agricultural products in Germany that are not subsidized," Mr. Bonekamp said. "We have the capacity to compete in the export market."

In the absence of policy changes, Dutch farmers remain cloistered and are preparing to slaughter as fast as they can.

"I just found out that my sheep will be destroyed tomorrow morning," Mr. Horstmann said. A lean man who works as a government farm official, Mr. Horstmann raises just a few dozen sheep a year that he sells to farmers for breeding rather than for meat or wool. Males sell for as much as $2,000, about 10 times the price of regular sheep.

For practical purposes, Mr. Horstmann's prize breed is now extinct. He is not even allowed to preserve semen or eggs. "I will have to find a farmer who is willing to let me have one or two of his best sheep his very, very best and start again."



-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 06, 2001.


April 5, 2001

Zoos, Farmers in U.S. Fear Disease

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 2:51 p.m. ET

Fear of foot-and-mouth disease has friendly Midwestern farmers pulling up their welcome mats. Zoos and theme parks around the country are posting warning signs. Some universities are canceling overseas exchange programs and even quarantining foreign students.

Around the nation, Americans are closely examining their own cows, hogs -- even giraffes -- while also watching for anybody or anything that could carry into the United States the highly contagious disease ravaging Britain's livestock.

And just in case foot-and-mouth strikes this country for the first time in more than 70 years, officials are drawing up worst-case scenarios, from destroying entire herds of cattle to mobilizing the National Guard.

``I wake up nights thinking about it,'' said Gene Eskew, a veterinarian for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. ``This particular virus is the most contagious in the world.''

Foot-and-mouth is dreaded because it can be transmitted so easily -- by dirt on vehicle tires, clothes, shoes, even in the air.

The virus is harmless to humans but destroys animals hooves and causes mouth blisters that ruin their appetite. The United States has not had a confirmed case since 1929.

In Britain, more than a million animals have been condemned to slaughter in an attempt to contain the outbreak, and restrictions have been imposed on tourism events and the movement of animals.

The United States has already banned imports of livestock and raw meat from Europe. Now, many of the precautions are aimed at international travelers.

Zoos from New York City to Chicago are posting signs asking visitors who have been overseas recently to avoid petting zoos or other areas where they can come in close contact with animals. At the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa, Fla., visitors step into a disinfectant shoe bath before boarding buses for tours where they can feed giraffes and get close to other exotic animals.

Many farm states are canceling agricultural tours that bring in visitors from out of town or overseas.

In Illinois' Rock River Valley, farmers are redirecting foreign tours to livestock-free attractions such as the John Deere home. Agriculture officials in Wisconsin advised farmers to stop the tradition of inviting visitors to tour the farm and have breakfast in celebration of dairy month. Officials suggested gatherings instead be held in town this June.

Phil Klink, who had 4,000 people on his farm for last year's breakfast, said that this year the fun just isn't worth the risk to his 140-cow herd. ``We were looking forward to having it, but it's better to cancel it now,'' Klink said Thursday.

Leading agriculture universities across the Midwest are isolating students who have been abroad until the risk of contamination is over and restricting access to school farms.

Seventeen foreign students who came to the University of Minnesota began their training on farms this week after cooling their heels for eight days at a suburban St. Paul hotel.

``We had the students wash their clothes so there would be no fear of that. The host farmers were going to purchase new work shoes for them. We asked them to blow their noses quite often. Evidently the virus can reside in the respiratory system,'' said Steve Jones, director of the Minnesota Agricultural Student Trainee program. ``By the end they were a little bored, but they understood the potential threat.''

At Illinois State University, officials posted a big sign outside the university farm in Normal that reads: ``STOP. Bio-Security Area. If you or an immediate family member have been out of the United States in the past 14 days, do not pass this point.''

From the nation's farms to meatpacking plants, livestock handlers are double-checking to make sure the animals they deal with are disease- free.

In Kentucky, officials are inspecting cattle trucks along the interstates, checking papers for the animals' origins or any signs of foot-and-mouth. At an auction barn in Galesburg, Ill., this week, employee Rick Grappe dodged the tossing heads and flying hooves of cattle to study each animal before its sale, looking for telltale blisters on their noses.

``I don't want to see them. It would scare me and scare the whole country,'' Grappe said.

State officials are working with U.S. agriculture officials and law enforcement personnel to plan for any outbreak. In most cases, the state veterinarian would quarantine the affected farm and consider stopping the movement of animals within the state's borders. The herd would almost certainly be destroyed, and people, equipment and vehicles would have to be disinfected before being allowed out of the area.

West Virginia plans to call out the National Guard if an outbreak occurs there because the guard has heavy machinery that could help quickly bury the large numbers of animals likely to be slaughtered. Workers disposing of the animals would have to be quarantined until the job was done.

^------

On the Net:

U.S. Department of Agriculture: http://www.usda.gov

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture: http://www.nasda-hq.org

American Zoo and Aquarium Association: http://www.aza.org

Illinois State University: http://www.ilstu.edu



-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 06, 2001.


April 5, 2001

Foot & Mouth Treatens Rare Species

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 5:02 p.m. ET

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- Several rare breeds of cows, goats and sheep -- familiar from 16th century paintings by Dutch masters -- are threatened with extinction by the foot-and-mouth epidemic that has struck the Netherlands.

For some breeds, the few remaining specimens could be caught up in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals in efforts to contain the virulent livestock disease. On Friday, the last 100 Schoonbeker sheep left in the world are due to be destroyed.

Only a handful of these varieties still survive on protected national parks and farms, Some have already been slated for ``preventive clearing,'' or the killing of healthy animals to build a firewall against the ailment.

``We have been struggling for years to keep populations up. This would be a fatal blow,'' said Robert Moens of the Society for the Preservation of Nature. The society said it would ask a judge to prevent the killing of special animals. Protection groups say 19 endangered breeds are threatened by foot-and-mouth.

The rare cows are usually named for their markings, which distinguish them from common dairy or beef cattle. Names such as Lakenvelder, Brandrood and Groningen Blaarkop -- Dutch Belted, Burned Red and Whitehead -- have come to have come to symbolize more than just a farming heritage.

``It's a piece of our culture,'' said Anno Fokkinga, author of books on rare Dutch livestock. ``It would be a real shame if they disappeared, only to be seen in paintings.''

The animals were common in the famed landscape paintings of 16th and 17th century Dutch artists, such as Pieter Brueghel, Paul Potter and Albert Cuyp.

The Netherlands has uncovered 15 cases of foot-and-mouth. The disease is not a danger to humans. But it can cause great economic damage since it lowers animals' milk and meat production and spreads easily.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 06, 2001.


Here is the current information on what disenfectants to use.

Vicki

--- From the USDA office in Harrisburg: FMD is an hypophilic virus, not a lipophilic virus, hence the phenol disinfectants like Lysol and One Stroke Environ and O-Syl are not as effective as the basic sodium hypochlorite treatments like household bleach at 5.25%, or pipeline sanitizer at about 9%, which are very effective.

US ports of entry are using a concentration of 3oz. of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (Chlorox) per gallon of water on any suspected persons coming into the US.

--- Disinfectants for Foot and Mouth Disease:

Authority Product Dilution Mixing Instructions Sources USDA Sal Soda 10% 5.1 oz/gal H2O Local USDA Sodium carbonate (soda ash) 4% 1 lb/3gal H2 (5.3 oz/gal H20) Local USDA Na(OH) (lye): Sodium Hydroxide 2% 2.7 oz./gal H2O) (add lye to water, NOT water to lye) Local USDA Sodium Carbonate 4% 1 lb sodium carbonate plus 0.4 oz sodium silicate per 3 gal H2O Local NVSL Tested Oxine 500 ppm 3.2 oz/gal H2O Plus citric acid activator, 0.32 oz/gal Bio-Cide International Inc. (405)329-5556 NVSL-Tested Virkon-S 1% 1.3 oz/gal H2O Farnum Livestock Products (817)561-7516 USAHA NaOCl: Sodium Hypochlorite 5.25% 0.1% 1 oz/gal H2O Household Bleach USAHA NaOCl for heavily contaminated areas 0.3% 3 oz/gal H2O Household Bleach

--- USE 3 OZ OF 5.25% SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE PER GAL. OF CLEAN WATER TO DISINFECT WHERE ORGANIC MATERIAL MAY BE PRESENT.

Here is the USDA-recommended protocol:

Procedure for Disinfection After Being on Premises Which May Be Infected with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

Although FMD does not pose a serious risk to human health, humans can act as vectors for the virus and can spread infection among animals or between farms. The virus that causes FMD can be inhaled by humans and survive in the human respiratory tract for up to 5 days post exposure. Infectious virus particles can be exhaled with each breath and infect susceptible animals. The FMD virus can also be carried on clothing, shoes, and other items, and remains viable for up to 9 weeks on these surfaces, especially if the surfaces are soiled.

Recommendations have been published for travelers that have recently visited countries infected with FMD, and have been modified for use as preventative measures to be taken in the United States in the event of an investigation of a suspect FMD case.

To prevent accidental spread of infection when investigating a suspect case of FMD, the following measures should be followed:

1. One entrance and exit site should be maintained at the premises, and strict security at that site should be maintained. Other entrances and exits must be closed. Equipment and supplies for cleaning and disinfection of personnel, equipment, and supplies should be maintained at the chosen site. Supplies should include:

a. Personal protection: Disposable boots, coveralls, gloves, hair covers, face masks, eye protection b. Cleaning and Disinfecting Equipment: Sponges, brushes, buckets, soap, water hose, disinfectant (household bleach is recommended), spray pumps, mixing containers

2. Vehicles should be left outside of the entrance unless it is absolutely necessary to have them on the premises. Any vehicle that enters the premises must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the C&D station before leaving the premises.

3. Equipment carried onto the premises must be kept to a minimum; only essential equipment, such as a penlight, thermometer, pen and paper, etc., should be taken onto the premises. These items must not leave the premises, and will be destroyed at the end of the investigation.

4. Sample collection kits will be used for collecting laboratory samples. These kits will not leave the premises. After sample collection:

Samples will be placed in screw cap containers with a tight sealing gasket, and the rim of the tightened cap must be sealed with waterproof tape or sealing wax. After the containers have been sealed, before being removed from the area of collection, the outside of the containers must be disinfected. The disinfected containers must be moved to a non-contaminated area for packing in non-contaminated packing material. Each container must be wrapped in absorbent material (enough to absorb all liquid present in the event of breakage) The wrapped container should be placed in a waterproof plastic bag and sealed The sealed bags will be placed in a secondary container that is padded with additional absorbent material and contains a sufficient quantity of dry sodium carbonate or other decontaminant to inactivate the virus in the event of leakage. The second container will also be sealed. The sealed secondary container will be placed inside a tertiary container. The tertiary container will also be sealed. The entire package will be placed inside a USDA, APHIS insulated box or a similar commercial shipping container, with a suitable refrigerant, and the lid sealed with waterproof tape. Sample information documents will be placed inside the package in a plastic bag. The package will be properly labeled with delivery address, return address, and proper biohazard stickers and will be hand delivered or will be delivered by courier (ie Federal Express) in cooperation with the USDA for delivery to the Plum Island Laboratory for testing.

5. Anyone entering the premises should have outer clothing sprayed with disinfectant before going on to the property.

6. At the end of each visit to the premises, all outer clothing will be removed and must remain on the premises. All personnel that went onto the premises must shower before leaving the C&D station.

7. Street clothes are not to be worn on the premises. Any non- disposable clothing, such as that required during inclement weather, that is worn on the premises may only leave the premises after being soaked in an approved disinfectant for 12 hours, placed in sealed container for transport, and then washed. (See Attachment A for a list of approved disinfectants).

8. Records must be maintained to account for every piece of equipment that enters the premises to ensure that nothing that has been contaminated will leave the premises.

9. All contaminated equipment and supplies will be burned on the premises after use.



-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), April 06, 2001.


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