Hoof and Mouth in English deer~ 1.4 million animals killed for nothing

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

Now this is something that if we were inclined to do so, should be forwarded to all of our esteemed politicians so they can "make the right choice" when HMD reaches us. I really do think it's when and not if. Hopefully I'm wrong on that. I've been wrong plenty of times before;).

Anthony Browne, environment correspondent Sunday April 22, 2001 The Observer

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.

There have been several cases of vets clinically identifying the disease in wild deer, some of which have died from it. There have also been many reports from Devon, Cumbria and Northumberland of deer limping and exhibiting other unusual behaviour linked to the disease.

Veterinary experts say it is impossible to vaccinate or cull wild deer and once infected they will act as a reservoir for the virus, repeatedly re-infecting livestock. It will make it almost imposs-ible for Britain to rid itself of the virus, until it dies out naturally in wild deer, which could take years.

Last week a roe deer was found dead at Kirk House Farm near Penrith, which had already been confirmed as having foot and mouth in livestock. Local vet Matt Coulston, of Frame Swift and Partners, identified lesions on all four feet and in its mouth. 'It had signs consistent with foot and mouth disease,' he told The Observer. 'There have been loads of people round here reporting dead deer and sick deer. People suspect that Maff [the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food] are ignoring it because it is difficult to deal with.'

The British Deer Society has been flooded with reports from deer experts reporting the animals limping and being covered with lumps. Mike Squire, secretary of the society, said: 'We find it difficult to believe that deer exposed to the same pastures as infected cattle and sheep have not been exposed to foot and mouth disease.'

A Maff spokesman said yesterday that government vets had tested nine deer for foot and mouth and none had been found positive: 'So far there have been no confirmed cases of foot and mouth in deer.'

However, the Maff vets use the Elisa test, which was developed on cattle and sheep and is not thought to be so effective on deer. Research from Russia also suggests it is very difficult to test whether deer have been infected with foot and mouth from blood samples.

In 1974 the government Animal Health Institute in Pirbright kept a number of deer in proximity to sheep with foot and mouth for two hours in a controlled experiment. The scientists found all six native species of deer contracted the disease, and several died.

In an outbreak of foot and mouth in California in 1924, the outbreak spread rapidly to deer. Slaughtermen culled 22,000 deer in the Stanislav National Park and found that, of those, 2,279 were infected.

Dr John Fletcher, past president of the Veterinary Deer Society, said: 'It's highly likely the virus has entered the wild deer population - the deer are in abundance and graze in close contact with sheep and cattle. Nothing has been confirmed, but there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence, and it would be quite surprising if it hasn't entered the population.'

Simon Booth, director of the Deer Inititiative, the government advisory body on deer in England, said: 'There have been unconfirmed cases of it appearing in deer.'

Deer experts have been calling on Maff for weeks to conduct a selective deer cull to ascertain the extent of the disease and to draw up contingency plans. However, Maff ignored their warnings until it called an emergency meeting on Friday. It is now considering lifting the ban on deer-stalking to provide the carcasses for tests.

The existence of the disease in Britain's 1.5 million wild deer population means the policy of mass slaughter of more than a million farm animals and the closure of most of the British countryside has been pointless. Wild deer are so evasive and diffi cult to track down that it is impossible to vaccinate or cull them. Shooting at herds of deer will simply cause them to run, spreading the disease further.

The deer population will harbour the disease before building up resistance and it eventually dies out. This could take years. Until then the deer will repeatedly re-infect livestock and, with the disease endemic in Britain, meat exports will continue to be banned.

Squire said: 'We're looking at a huge slaughter and cost to the taxpayer for no purpose. How do you think the public will react when they know that?'

Booth said: 'If it's in the deer population, it will mean the mass slaughter policy will not work.' Confirm-ation of foot and mouth among deer will force the Government to abandon the mass slaughter programme, a move that has been steadfastly resisted by the National Union of Farmers. 'It will force their hand into vaccination,' said Fletcher.

-- Doreen (animalwaitress@yahoo.com), April 23, 2001


Doreen...why couldn't "they" foresee all that coming ? I don't see any end to the disease; especially if rodents can carry the foot and mouth disease. I am wondering now if this epidemic IS indeed a genetically lab altered strain. I can imagine IF we have a case [or two?] here on this land...we will have martial law in HOURS. Not trying to spread panic; but, over 2 million animals have been culled with 1/2 million more slated. I read that from a tally this am.

Just no end to it; and all the methods used so far to stop whatever this virus IS; doesn't make any sense to me. I keep saying we are too smart??? to have anything like that happen here. Yet, when talking to my local vet-she knew very little about the crisis in the UK-just too busy doing her job in the here and now. She is now reading up on foot [hoof?] and mouth, and could not believe what I told her. That may be the problem. Mainstream has no clue what is happening and if something breaks out here...everyone [mainstream] will do as they are told by the authorities. Daily, we seem to be moving closer to that agenda ! I wish I knew the why of it all. Nan.

-- Nan Bignall (jdnabgnl@midwest.net), April 24, 2001.

From what I've read, I'm afraid that we are not "too smart" for anything. Just holding my breath on this one.

-- mary, texas (marylgarcia@aol.com), April 24, 2001.

Wonderful.... Are they sure it isn't CJD (or is that related to Mad Cow and not FMD????)

Still say they aren't doing enough... And now it sounds like just when things start to calm down, another crisis is about to hit....... Greg??? Your idea about our USDA on a global basis?????

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), April 24, 2001.

Nan, you know that there was a vial that came up missing out of Potsdown, or Portsdown labs, right? This vial WAS a gentetically engineered vial, it's from a lab that makes all sorts of fun virus'. This vial went missing about 1 month prior to the first reported outbreak. Yippee.

I just hope that we can all convince our government that when it gets here we will not do what they have done in Britain. I have written my state senator and congresswoman, but I doubt it did any good. I got the standard form reply with the "insert topic here" sentence. Hey, I even tried to be quite polite while I told them we haven't been quite as emasculated as the Brits.

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), April 24, 2001.

This sounds about like the scenario I mentioned in the Why we must stop the slaughter thread, on both the C-side and Beyond the sidewalks forums. In both cases it was essentially ignored. I wonder if we'll be able to ignore it after it hits here? Why are we waiting until then?

-- Chamoisee (chamoisee@yahoo.com), April 25, 2001.

Yes, and hi, Doreen. I remember when the news was released about the missing vial. It seemed to come at a time when the slaughter was being questioned by the farmers and I thought at the time....they need a good valid reason to do all the culling of healthy animals. It seems there are many unknowns. I am not over in the UK, so, that makes it harder to determine if the animals are indeed sick...maybe a cover up for something worse ? Something just doens't add up. I also wonder if the wildlife may be getting ill from the spraying of the disinfectants, etc. Wouldn't that run off into the water ? I dunno. I am watching with alarm and interest. It could happen HERE. I think we have to be ready and alert. Did you hear also that the western US may be hit with a smallpox terrorist attack ? If it is on another thread-I apologize! What I understand is the US has ordered 40 million[hope my memory is right about that!] vaccines from the UK ! I am not sure - but, I read that to make it, they make it from COWpox ! Again, something sounds pre-ordained and an accident waiting to happen....missing vials ?

Yep, not to panic. But, I am trying to inform my own little neck of my woods of what is happening overseas...and of laws being enacted now and here in case they need to do any culling. I hope I worry for nothing ! Nan.

-- Nan Bignall (jdnabgnl@midwest.net), April 25, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ