Why we must stop the slaughter-F&MD

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PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THIS! It is not copyrighted material. It is definitely related to homesteading. Other homesteaders need to read this and decide what they are going to do about it.

Drudge Report today says FEMA is preparing to exercise mass slaughter in the event FMD hits the US. Maybe we should be making our own preperations.....


Normality will return to the stricken countryside when we accept that healthy farm animals should never be killed, sick animals should always be healed, and the disease, wherever it is, should just be left to run its natural course. So long as Slaughter remains the response to FMD then the fear of the disease, and the fear of spreading the disease, will remain. That means the rural shops will stay empty, the parks will remain closed, and people will be afraid to move. If we Stop the Slaughter, we Stop the Panic.

Everyone depends on getting the Slaughter stopped now and letting nature take its course. That means farmers, rural businesses, and all their supporters must unite to STOP THE SLAUGHTER.

Why are most farmers not resisting? Here are the main reasons:

- THEY ARE BEING LED TO THE SLAUGHTER, quite literally, and however unwittingly, by their leadership. Farmers are not receiving the leadership which will allow them to confront and Stop the Slaughter.

- THEY DO NOT KNOW THE FACTS, and are only being told that FMD is something akin to the Black Death. The "gruesome" details of the "horrific" disease are being played up to make the farmer think that it is kinder to fire a bolt through a cow's head than nurse its blistered tongue!


Talk of "firebreaks" and "firewalls" has the effect of dramatising the problem, creating fear, spreading panic, inducing hysteria and stampeding the farmers over the precipice. Imagine the difference if, when the disease broke, the Government had calmly said something like, "We have a Foot and Mouth outbreak. This is not a killer disease. In fact, it is a relatively minor one. It can be healed through the application of basic husbandry techniques. Almost all animals recover. It is, of course, an inconvenience.

Exports are going to suffer in the short term. That's a pity, but we are just going to have to let this disease run its natural course." Life would have continued very much as normal.


When the overall atmosphere is one of general ignorance of the facts - with all the related fear, panic, and hysteria attached - then most farmers, naturally, are reluctant to stand out against the mass slaughter policy for fear of being blamed for making matters worse. Moreover, they look around themselves and see the so-called "experts", the "men from the Ministry", vets, police and even the Army, and they are, quite naturally, intimidated into just going along with the policy.

Here are the main facts you need to know about FMD:

- FMD is curable through basic husbandry techniques such as isolation, and the application of salty water to the infected areas, and Stockholm tar, which is a lotion used widely on most animal wounds.

- FMD does not necessarily affect all the animals in the herd or flock.

- Afflicted animals almost always recover and become immune to that strain of the infection. This builds herd immunity and means they are more resistant the next time the disease strikes. The much-touted "weight loss" is something the animal will get over in a matter of weeks.

The only herdsman in Britain ever to have nursed sick animals back to health was Henry Hamilton, the manager of the Duke of Westminster's herd in the 1922-24 outbreak. He wrote his experiences in 1967 and reported that cattle which had the infection in November 1923 were winning prizes at the Royal Show 8 months later. (See Charles Clover, "Old cowmen's cure saved duke's pedigree herd", The Daily Telegraph 21-3-01, p. 6, and posted at www.whatareweswallowing.com)

- Death occurs only in a maximum 5% of cases and then only in weak animals such as the very young and the very old.

Given these basic facts, it is patently obvious that the alternative to killing healthy animals is not to kill healthy animals and the alternative to killing animals with a curable illness is to help them recover.

The Slaughter is:

- Destroying Family Farming

This is not only an animal welfare concern, it is also a human welfare concern. Already severely threatened by the global financial system, this will be the final blow for many family farms throughout Britain and the land will pass in its entirety to the global multi-national, agri-businesses which have been moving in over the last 30 years.

- Destroying Rural and Tourist Businesses

The entire rural infrastructure depends upon a successful local farming industry. The fear of the disease, and the fear of spreading the disease, is shutting down the countryside.

- Destroying Pedigree Herds

Pedigree herds take decades to evolve and are irreplaceable. Already, several of Britain's most notable herds and flocks have been wiped from the map.

- Destroying Hefted Stock

Many hill sheep have evolved a "hefting" instinct, which means that the flocks have roamed only upon their particular part of the hill or mountain for decades and don't require fences. This instinct has taken, in some cases, centuries, to evolve and is lost forever when these animals are needlessly slaughtered. Some hill farms in Scotland have already had their hefted herds slaughtered. Hefted herds cannot be reintroduced, and the only way to contain any future sheep would be through fencing, which raises environmental issues.

-Destroying Rare Breeds

The cull in the Lake District threatens Herdwicks, Rough Fells and Swaledale sheep. These sheep are also hefted. In Cumbria, sheepdogs, llamas and pedigree alpacas are all being killed. Mabie Farm Park in Dumfries has had all its rare kunekune pigs slaughtered. The 5000 animals which have grazed the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire for centuries are to be slaughtered along with all the rare breeds at an adventure park in the same county. Animal Rights Activists, we need you! RSPCA, we need you! The Slaughter is illogical, unscientific, inhumane, uneconomic, and possibly illegal:

- Illogical

The spread of any disease can occur in 3 stages. Stage 1 is when an outbreak occurs with no secondary spread to other areas. Only at this stage may a policy of "isolate and destroy" make any sense. Stage 2 is when the disease spreads to areas of secondary infection. At that point "isolate and destroy" becomes absurd since the only logic is to keep widening the control areas and slaughtering more and more animals. In this case, the cure is worse than the disease! Stage 3 is when the disease becomes uncontainable. We are presently applying a Stage 1 solution to a Stage 2 problem. - Unscientific Slaughtering animals which have had the disease reduces herd immunity thereby leaving the remaining animals more vulnerable. We are only going to make it worse next time the disease hits. That is because infections are more serious in man and animals when introduced into a virgin population, that is, one that has never experienced that particular microbe. Normal populations which have been exposed to diseases, even serious ones, are likely to be more resistant to it and better equipped to overcome it. The present Slaughter policy ensures that we keep virgin populations of animals which, never having met the disease, are always going to be susceptible.

If the disease is carried on birds which migrate and cross the channel then it is also unscientific to imagine that we can keep the country immune.

However, there is no direct evidence that it is carried this way, or even that it is carried by human beings. The Independent on Sunday (25-3-01) reported on a technical meeting for journalists, which had been presented by MAFF on Friday 23rd March. The journalist Geoffrey Lean wrote: "There was no evidence from anywhere, it was admitted, that walkers passed on the disease, despite the closure of footpaths: indeed, the risk that even the vets who tended the sick animals would pass it on, was 'remote'. By contrast the possibility that smoke from the incineration of animals could carry the disease was now being investigated." (Geoffrey Lean, 'Now the truth is out, it's time for a revolution', Independent on Sunday, 25-3-01, p. 14) It is not even clear if the disease can be spread in wind.

Dr Jim Hutchison, a former director of the Birmingham Public Health Laboratory has written, "It is said that wind may spread the virus. For various reasons I rather doubt it, but has anyone ever done any air sampling for the virus, down wind? If not, why not, and settle the matter? Surely the technology is there, I have used various techniques in the distant past to demonstrate bacteria and viruses in the air." (Letter to Dr. Jim Scudamore, Chief Vet, 11-3-01)

- Inhumane

It is wrong to kill healthy animals, unless for food or clothing. In fact, there are laws against animal cruelty and you can go to prison for it.

Moreover, it is wrong to kill animals which have a curable illness. Animals are being killed in conditions of chaos, while they stampede in panic, and while they witness each other being killed. Even sheepdogs are being killed!

- Uneconomic

A "justification" for the cull is to restore disease-free status in order to protect the export market. However, the money made in meat exports is already outweighed by the massive cost it is taking to deal with the infection, and the billions which are being lost in the rural and tourist industries. The economic cut off point has already been reached. There is no economic point in continuing.

- Illegal

Farmers are within their legal rights to refuse to sign any documentation giving the State approval to engage in a pre-emptive cull. Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister's spokesman, has already admitted that slaughter of animals which do not have FMD can only be done "with the consent of farmers." Alastair Campbell said they are hoping to "persuade" farmers to co-operate. (George Jones and David Brown, "'Firebreak' slaughter in disarray", The Daily Telegraph, 27-3-01, p. 1). There is NO emergency legislation which will enable the government to take compulsory slaughter powers. FARMERS WHOSE ANIMALS DO NOT HAVE FMD CAN LEGALLY REFUSE TO HAVE THEM SLAUGHTERED. IF YOU ARE A FARMER WHOSE STOCK DOES NOT HAVE FMD THEN DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WHICH WILL ALLOW THE STATE TO KILL YOUR ANIMALS. YOU HAVE NO LEGAL OBLIGATION TO SIGN THEIR DOCUMENTS.

Another certainty is that as the months and years go by, reports and books will be written on this period which will demonstrate conclusively that the mass slaughter policy was flawed. At that point the people presently engaged in executing the slaughter policy will find themselves open to prosecution and massive compensation demands. It is therefore essential to collect evidence now.

-- Chamoisee (chamoisee@yahoo.com), April 17, 2001


This makes sense. What they have been doing to the small farms in Europe makes none.

-- mary, texas (marylgarcia@aol.com), April 17, 2001.

As a full-time cattle farmer one might suspect I'd agree with this thread. However, I am 180 degrees opposite. If anything, I don't think the new FEMA coordinated plans are strong enough.

F&MD is a disease with far more economic/world trade impact than animal health since unless it is quickly controlled, a country loses it F&MD-free status and other nations with the status immediately stop all imports of most U.S. livestock-related products.

One thing I noted about this report is the statement once animals have had F&MD they are immune. Not true from what I have read. There are at least seven strains and numerous sub-stains. Once an animal has one strain, they are immune to it for not more than two years, whereupon they are again susceptive, probably more so since likely they have a weakened immune system. Even with an immunity from one strain, they can catch another.

The report also indicates the animal health problems are only temporary. Reports I have read say many are permanent, such as an inability to regain weight, lowered milk production and possible sterility or a tendency to abort.

Vaccinations: Against which strain, they are expensive and must be repeated on a regular basis. Any animal which has been vaccinated cannot be sold in the world trade to any F&MD-free county since it cannot be differentated between the vaccine and actual F&MD.

IMHO, ranting.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 17, 2001.

Foot-and-mouth 'probable' in U.S.

By Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON Federal emergency officials are preparing for a U.S. outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, a prospect they see as highly likely. About 75 federal officials from agencies ranging from the Agriculture Department to the CIA met Wednesday to review plans for addressing an outbreak of the highly infectious animal virus. The group also included officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army's biological warfare office, the Coast Guard, the Interior Department and the Food and Drug Administration.

FEMA official Bruce Baughman said the plans call for treating an outbreak much the same as a natural disaster, in which states take primary responsibility and call on federal resources as needed. "We are certainly treating it like it's a probable likelihood," he said.

Others present at the meeting said the chances that the disease will spread to the United States were described as very high, fueling an intensive planning effort. Until now, the government has focused in its public statements on efforts to keep the disease from reaching the United States.

At last week's meeting, officials described arrangements for earth- moving equipment to bury thousands of animal carcasses, and the drafting of emergency orders that could suspend some environmental regulations to allow quick burial of afflicted livestock.

Inquiries about the government's assessment of the risk of a U.S. outbreak of the disease were referred to Cliff Oliver, who is heading emergency response plans for the Agriculture Department. Telephone calls to his home Monday night were unanswered.

Later, USDA spokesman Kevin Herglotz described the meeting as a standard planning session and said his department does not believe an outbreak is inevitable.

"I was in the military for 10 years. We did mock exercises every month. That didn't mean war was imminent," he said. Herglotz didn't attend the meeting but says he was briefed on it.

Foot-and-mouth disease affects pigs, cattle and other cloven-hoofed animals but is not generally harmful to humans.

The United States has not had a case of foot-and-mouth disease since 1929. In England, the current outbreak began in February and quickly spread.

Cases also have been confirmed in the Netherlands, France and Ireland. Recent outbreaks have occurred in Saudi Arabia, Argentina, South Korea and Taiwan.

The U.S. government has added hundreds of inspectors at airports and ports in an effort to keep the disease out, but the battle is made more difficult because of booming global travel and trade.

-- Lynn Goltz (lynngoltz@aol.com), April 17, 2001.

I have to agree with the general consensus of this posting. It isn't right to slaughter animals that are healthy just because they "MIGHT" get it. Also with the exact vectors of contamination unknown it's stupid to slaughter "just because". The last remnants of rare species are being wiped out...extinct...because of this "bloodlust". If a country's entire economy is destroyed because it looses its F&MD status for a time....then there were lots bigger problems there in the first place. Like any disease some animals will come through just fine and some won't. You cull the ones who are weak and keep the ones that are strong and build a stronger more resistant herd. So, there are 7 strains....how many flu strains are there? We get vaccinations to "help" build immunity, not give us a magic bullet that kills it for sure. Somewhere along the way we have lost our sense of continuity. When all these animals are destroyed...how do you replace them? Genetic diversity is already going down the tubes..this is like greasing the slope. People's lives are being totally destroyed. It's already happened here. Are YOU going to stand by and let the animals that you've loved and raised, depend on for sustenance, be killed because they are ill? It isn't a dead-on fatal disease and animals generally recover from it. This is blatant stupidity, and will lead to our world's downfall. Other countries aren't panicking about this the way we "civilized" countries are. They haven't lost the long view. And yes, if the people in Britain weren't "UNARMED", I don't believe they'd let this happen either. The magnitude of this disaster is astounding....and we shake our heads, say " Oh, how sad", and let it go at that. We can't let it happen in the U.S., and if you think it can't think again. With all the guard and reserve forces in the U.S. all it takes is for a state of "National Emergency" to be declared..then Katie bar the door. Cause this country will be in for it. IMHO

-- Deborah (bearwaoman@Yahoo.com), April 17, 2001.

I preface my comments with the fact that I am not a farmer, nor am I a scientist. The only animal I currently own is a cat. I've been reading the Electronic Telegraph (England) daily regarding F&MD, and comments on this forum.

Much of the discussion on this board and the Electronic Telegraph deals with profit. The lost profit of the farmers, the possibility of the loss of profit (power) of politicians in the next British election. The US 'emergency' plans and other discussion also seem to be revolving around profit (ie. world trade = $$$). Yesterday I heard a radio interview with an American who recently wrote a book about where the food now comes from. I believe he said that more than 80% of the beef in the US now comes from four large 'agri-business' companies. It seems to me that if they control that much of the food market, aren't they pretty powerful? The beef industry, or a company or two, have persuaded Mr. Bush to stop testing school beef for salmonella. Hmm... The Summit of the Americas is about to begin (or has?) here in Canada. Without the citizens' input, they'll be passing trade laws that will allow business to sue a government (read taxpayers) which passes laws that cut into their profits.

Businesses don't want to lose their profits, then CEO's won't get disgusting bonuses. Businesses live only for the day, or the next meeting of shareholders, they have no conscience (just look at Monsanto). Many politicians live only for the next election which secures their income, power, etc. for the next few years. The rest of us are the ones that look beyond tomorrow. Do you think the pricey suits of the agri-business companies care what happens with the company once they've left? Only if they still hold shares....and if they care where their food comes from, they hold the big bucks to get it from wherever they care to, don't they.

I'm sorry, but it appears that this instant cull process is just a business strategy, whether implemented by business or government. They all think alike now, anyway (trade, $$, trade). I'd sure like to know what all the burning carcasses are doing to the lungs of those around them. And what are mass burial pits going to do to gound water and soil? What kind of disease will arise from these measures? And all the animals that weren't diseased, and may never have become diseased...what a tragic waste.

And that's my uneducated rant.

-- Rheba (rbeall@etown.net), April 17, 2001.

Maybe I am simple but please help me understand here. If we HAVE the disease and begin slaughtering, wouldn't that indicate that we had lost our "disease-free" status??? Does England get a disease free status if they slaughter everything that MIGHT get the disease??? If I am staying off everyone elses farm and keeping them off mine, why should my animals be distroyed because someone else a couple miles away with NO isolation practices comes down with the disease??? None of this makes any sense to me at all.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), April 17, 2001.


There are no absolute isolation practices short to confinement in a facility with an extremely elaborate air filteration system. Say the wind is right and an animal with F&MD sneezes. It can be carried for miles on the wind. If a bird feeds on a carcass, sits on a water trough and craps, it can contaminate the water for any cloven-animal using it. F&MD, as far as I know, is the most contageous livestock disease known. That is the purpose of the zone of kill.

Britian seems to be getting the best of it there in that the number of new sites has stopped increasing. They will lose a very small percentage of their total livestock. The owners will be compensated fair market value. Those who want to continue farming will continue farming. Those who don't will find other employment.

In general, yes much of the beef which shows up at your local supermarket comes from only a handful of major processors, which buys from thousands of feedlots and local livestock auctions, supplied by maybe a hundred thousand local producers with small herds.

If it can be contained and eliminated, Britian and the other countries affected, will regain their F&MD status.

And, yes, the almighty dollar, or kuna, or dinar, or pound or Euro- dollar rules the world. It is known as capitalism and free enterprise. I rather like the system.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 17, 2001.

I think I have to agree with Ken on this. Now to give you all something to think about, lets go back to the Vermont sheep. Those sheep were in quarantine for several years, posed no danger to other livestock, showed no signs of disease ( specifically scrapie ) and the USDA seized them all and they have all since been destroyed. Peliminary reports leaking out are that they have found no disease yet with them . That being said, I don't think any livestock owner would be able to stop the federal government from seizing their animals in light of a F&MD outbreak. It is my understanding that most states will be adopting a 5 mile perimeter. Anything within 5 miles of a confirmed case will be destroyed. Some states will be compensating owners , and disposing of carcasses and some are not. From all I have read, we have a 40% chance of its coming here. And has Ken has said, its a very debilitating disease, not always do the animals recover to their pre disease status. Its also a scary thought that President Bush wants to cut the budgets of the USDA now when it is critical that we keep on top of preventing F&MD from entering our country. Some of the international airports have USDA inspectors, but many don't due to budget restraints. Food for thought. Kate Henderson

-- Kate henderson (kate@sheepyvalley.com), April 17, 2001.


Bush's proposed budget adds something like an additional 300 USDA inspection agents plus more sniffer dogs. However, people will try to sneak thing through regardless.

IMHO, all we can do is to try to prevent it from entering the U.S. and then act very, very agressively if it does. Yes, I am very, very fond of some of my cows. However, if F&MD disease happens nearby, I will open the pasture gate for them regardless of the compensation. For the common good type thing - besides, I can probably write it off as a catostrophic (sp?)loss on my federal income taxes. (That damned MBA coming through again.)

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 17, 2001.

Ken, You hit the nail on the head when you said, "For the common good type thing". I also see the preventive measures as a social issue, the good of the majority in society takes precedence. Some lose their animals (probably with compensation) so the majority will not have to suffer through a major epidemic.

-- Lynn Goltz (lynngoltz@aol.com), April 17, 2001.

While I agree with Ken and would report an outbreak (if I had stock!!) I also have to agree that this is all about money and very little else. It certainly isn't based on good ethics (and I STILL feel that the science is questionable at best.). Funny how one little piece of paper can threaten the whole world. ($)

I understand that farmers never have and never will make a killing raising food. But, I also understand that this thing has an awful lot to do with NAFTA and WTO. Both of which should be considered a crime against humanity.

There are several countries with outbreaks having occured within the past year, and some with outbreaks presently who do not kill healthy animals. Some don't even kill the diseased animals. SO - we will NEVER rid the world of this disease, and there will always and forever be the threat of an outbreak.

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), April 17, 2001.


As has been said, farming is probably the only occupation in the world which buys at retail and sells at wholesale. Most cattle farmers in the U.S. have herds of less than 25 head and don't make money off of them. It helps in order to be able to write off taxes and other expenses, such as depreciation, but my guess is 90% or so actually lose money. If F&MD becomes endemic, and animal preformance suffers, it is likely many will simply stop raising cattle. Supply and demand. If demand stays the same and supply drops, prices go up, so expect the price of beef at the supermarket to go up.

... but won't factory become the norm for cattle as it has for hogs and chickens. No, because with cattle you only have one birth cycle a year, versus several for hogs and many for chickens. The supply simply will be reduced. Other than dairy cattle, it simply doesn't make economic sense to concentrate herds and supplement feed them solely for the purpose of producing calves. Feedlots work on the principle of get 'em in, feed them as cheaply as possible for the desired gains and get 'em out.

... OK, we'll import. From where? If the U.S. export market dries up, demand switches to other F&MD-free countries such as Australia. There is a limit as to how much they can produce and export. Retail beef prices go up.

... OK, let's all turn vegetarians. It is estimated by 2050 the area required to raise vegetables or grains to feed the world's population will be larger than the U.S. Many, many areas just aren't suitable for crops production. Take Texas, it may take a number of acres just to support one cow/calf pair. ... OK, irrigate. Just where is all that water going to come from. ... OK, poultry will be allowed. People already decry the conditions under which it is raised. ... OK, fish. Most of the world's seafood producing areas are already being overstressed and pollution is always a concern. Maybe Soylent Green isn't so far fetched after all.

The losses on my cattle herd (and I'm bigger than average) has gotten to to point to where I am very, very seriously considering selling off all but ten cows next spring, which I can carry on about ten acres not suitable for crop production. Then will try to rent out two large pastures and a large hayfield to someone for row crops, or hay or even pasture. If used for row crops, the fields are back into having herbicides, pesticides, etc. used on them.

You cannot look at F&MD in isolation. It it becomes endemic in the U.S., IMHO, it will have extremely severe repercussions on the U.S. livestock industry, as well as consumers.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 18, 2001.

An April 17 "New York Times" article; Cattle Disease Poses Threat to Run Wild,< http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/17/national/17FOOT.html >, describes an exercise conducted Monday by a Federal Catastrophic Disaster Response Group about containing foot and mouth disease which concludes that all federal disaster agencies and the military would be needed. Mass slaughter is the containment strategty yet birds could spread the virus far ahead of containmennt efforts.

Shouldn't the people have a voice in what strategy is to be used? Once mass slaughter of healthy animals starts it will be hard to change methods even when it becomes apparent it isn't working. England is an island and has been trying this for two months yet has new cases every day.

As to exports; isn't the U.S. an importer of meat? Perhaps a global market in meat isn't a good idea for anyone except multi national corporations.

-- Michael Dodge (khakicreek@yahoo.com), April 18, 2001.

Here is a site that details what the slaughter is like in England; go to latest news section. http://www.whatareweswallowing.freeserve.co.uk/

-- Michael Dodge (khakicreek@yahoo.com), April 18, 2001.

The U.S. does import meat. Live cattle from Mexico and Canada, grass- finished beef from Argentina, baby back ribs from Scandanavia, hamburger patties from Australia and South America, and I am sure there is more. Don't know where to go to get import/export figures.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 18, 2001.

Sorry for the extra post. This link goes directly to the Hoof and Mouth stories. http://www.whatareweswallowing.freeserve.co.uk/footandmouthenter.htm This site communicates some of the human side to the slaughter of healthy animals and shows the haphazard and unprofessional behavior of the government slayers.

If Countrysiders who work with animals will not oppose slaughter of healthy animals then who will speak up for them?

-- Michael Dodge (khakicreek@yahoo.com), April 18, 2001.

Thank you Micheal, it seems that the trendy position to take on this issue is "mainstream big picture". Piece by piece "mainstream" is making small family farms and homesteaders obsolete but we are to just believe what is being fed to us and submit to a system that isn't even working on an island. Go figure!!!

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), April 18, 2001.

Evidently, there are stronger protests going on in Britain than I previously thought. One farm for disabled people has blockaded itself.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- srv/aponline/20010419/aponline080840_000.htm

-- Michael Nuckols (nuckolsm@wildak.net), April 19, 2001.

One more article -- this time about protests by veterinarians in the UK.


-- Michael Nuckols (nuckolsm@wildak.net), April 19, 2001.

If the slaughter plan is so bad why is it supported by 2/3rds of British farmers over vaccinations? See the article at www.newyorktimes.com, search under foot mouth disease. Article title is something along the lines of Resistence to British Plan to Vaccinate.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 19, 2001.

Every fall there are flu shots available for the particular flu virus that they expect to be the most prevalent. Since the F&MD virus that is causing such a problem in Great Britain right now is probably what we will get on our doorstep shortly, why can't we successfully vaccinate? I have no intentions of selling my animals for meat (I raise them for my own consumption, not someone else's). Maybe I'm simplifying things, and I realize that this wouldn't work for people selling animals for meat, but why wouldn't this work on a homestead?

-- Sheryl Adams (radams@sacoriver.net), April 19, 2001.


In a limited number of cases, the vaccines themselves can cause the disease. Remember the Swine Flu, where that happened? In this case you stand an excellent chance of starting a F&MD epidemic in your area. The government isn't going to take the chance unless it decides on mass vaccination, which would be a last resort. The zone of slaughter works. Britian now think they have control of the situation.

Some of this discussion where non-players try to dictate policy reminds me of an old joke: The Pope was touring a small village in Italy and for a sermon spoke of the church's opposition to birth control. One young woman stepped forward and said, "You no'a play the game, you no'a make'a the rules."

-- Ken S. in WC TN (scharabo@aol.com), April 20, 2001.

Since U.S. is an importer of meat why should we care about a F&MD restriction on exports. The free trade issue is beyond the scope of this topic but the family farmer is hurt by competition from low cost foreign producers.

The initial post above explains the farmer's aquiesence to the slaughter; poor leadership, lack of factual information, induced panic, and intimidation. The vaccination question is complicated by reports of 7 different strains of H&MD and the loss of F&MD free status for exports.

The "zone of slaughter" strategy in England was reported in yesterday's "Washington Post" to have slaughtered 1.2 million animals with 400,000 still to be disposed of and 575,000 awaiting death. All this from about 1400 positive cases.They say it is working because the rate of new cases isn't as high as predicted. We can only hope that the situation will run its course in England before we have to deal with it here. If this present strain of F&MD is unstoppable without killing the majority of animals maby a different response will make sense. Otherwise, I fear a commitment to killing may become unstoppable even when the spread is obivously out of control and may not stop until family farms and homesteads, pedigree livestock, rare breeds, and wildlife are wiped out. Martial law has been proposed in Minnesota for implementing the slaughter.

We need facts and the truth and should not let a few agrculture department bureaucrats proclaim misguided rules that ultimately serve a few multi-national corporations .

-- Michael Dodge (khakicreek@yahoo.com), April 20, 2001.

Could someone please tell me just how much you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of our country having a FMD disease free status?

Family farming?

Irreplacable bloodlines and genes in our livestock?

Rare breeds that are already on the verge of extinction? When it's gone, it's gone forever.

What about our wildlife? How much of it would be killed off as potential carriers should this disease gain a toehold in our country? The United States has many species that are on the endangered list.

What about the security of knowing that armies are not going to invade your homestead and massacre your perfectly healthy animals, that have not even shown any signs of the disease, in front of your children?

I think most of us would be willing to sacrifice our animals if they showed symptoms, especially if we were surrounded by other farms and in danger of spreading the disease, and if ours was an isolated case. But as we have seen in the UK it doesn't just stop with one farm, at least it hasn't there.

-- Chamoisee (chamoisee@yahoo.com), April 21, 2001.

Sunday's Guardian published a story about foot and Mouth disease in the wild deer:

"The foot and mouth virus has passed into Britain's wild deer population, making the Government's policy of mass slaughter of farmyard livestock futile."

the story is at http://www.guardian.co.uk/footandmouth/story/0,7369,476723,00.html

-- Michael Dodge (khakicreek@yahoo.com), April 23, 2001.

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