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Countryside in crisis

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James Annan

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Mar 6, 2001, 3:34:23 PM3/6/01
to
The advice from MAFF to stay out of the countryside is a politically-
motivated publicity stunt which has no relevance to disease control but
is intended to prove that they are 'on the side of farmers' and 'taking
it seriously'.

I strongly encourage all cyclists to put on their touring gear and head
out on to the country lanes. Even sticking to roads, there's a lot of
wonderful countryside to enjoy in the great weather we've been having.
Stay at a rural B&B, spend some money in village cafes and shops, drink
at the village pub. Because if we don't, you can be sure that no-one
else will, and many rural communities are facing devastation with the
total shutdown of tourism. Unlike farmers, there's no chance of them
getting any compensation or govt handouts because they don't have a
well-organised union and govt department to look after them.

There's no need to lose any sleep over the supposed risk of spreading F&
M. The probability of road cycling spreading disease is right up there
with abduction by little green men, getting hit by a meteor, or
catching AIDS off a toilet seat. Of course individuals are free to base
their actions on such superstitious beliefs, but that doesn't mean that
they should be used to formulate govt policy!

What's more, the roads are particularly quiet at the moment, because
all the ramblers and mountain-bikers aren't driving there...

[Even off-road cycling and walking is safe apart from the risk of a £
5000 fine and public villification, but you won't hear any rational
debate on that subject while the hysteria continues (mainly because
scientists employed by MAFF are generally forbidden from making any
public comments that cast doubt on govt policy, although the Director
of the Pirbright Institute of Animal Health did slip some comments to
this effect into a newspaper interview recently).]

James
--
James Annan
Mediocre web pages at:
http://www.annan93.freeserve.co.uk/

Oz

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Mar 6, 2001, 4:18:52 PM3/6/01
to
James Annan wrote on Tue, 6 Mar 2001

>The advice from MAFF to stay out of the countryside is a politically-
>motivated publicity stunt which has no relevance to disease control but
>is intended to prove that they are 'on the side of farmers' and 'taking
>it seriously'.

Hmmmm.

Interesting.

You are either very stupid, very ignorant or a particularly mindless
troll.

You certainly don't learn anything.

People are stupid through no fault of their own.
Ignorant people can and do learn.
Trolls are just sad.
But people who do not understand how to learn are not worth talking to.


I think it's time I killfiled you.

--
Oz

Dr. Gregory Meyer

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Mar 6, 2001, 4:47:47 PM3/6/01
to

Counting to 10...
O.K. Soapbox time....

James,
You sir are an ASS! And a TROLL!

I am a large animal veterinary surgeon and a research scientist in the
U.S. and have no connection with MAFF or the U.K. government. I deal
with infectious disease everyday and have seen with my own eyes what can
happen when epidemic control measures such as have been established by
the U.K. are not followed. Unfortunately it only takes a few
individuals such as yourself not following containment programs, to
spread an incredablely infectious disease like this through the
countryside. By the way, those cute little furry rats that are on your
web page can become infected with F&M disease. I hope you value their
welfare as much as the U.K. farmers value their herds, and will
reconsider you call to ignore the countryside travel restrictions. It
would be sad for innocent little guys to become infected by you carrying
the virus back home after a nice ride.

Regards,

Greg Meyer DVM (off the soapbox now)

Huw

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Mar 6, 2001, 4:09:51 PM3/6/01
to

"James Annan" <ja...@annan93.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:983hk8$4ou4$1...@ID-72857.news.dfncis.de...

> The advice from MAFF to stay out of the countryside is a
politically-
> motivated publicity stunt which has no relevance to disease control
but
> is intended to prove that they are 'on the side of farmers' and
'taking
> it seriously'.
>
> I strongly encourage all cyclists to put on their touring gear and
head
> out on to the country lanes.

This man really knows it all!

Huw


Nick Maclaren

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Mar 6, 2001, 5:57:18 PM3/6/01
to
In article <3AA55B03...@vetmed.auburn.edu>,

Dr. Gregory Meyer <mey...@vetmed.auburn.edu> wrote:
>
>
>
>Counting to 10...
>O.K. Soapbox time....
>
>James,
>You sir are an ASS! And a TROLL!
>
>I am a large animal veterinary surgeon and a research scientist in the
>U.S. and have no connection with MAFF or the U.K. government. I deal
>with infectious disease everyday and have seen with my own eyes what can
>happen when epidemic control measures such as have been established by
>the U.K. are not followed. Unfortunately it only takes a few
>individuals such as yourself not following containment programs, to
>spread an incredablely infectious disease like this through the
>countryside. By the way, those cute little furry rats that are on your
>web page can become infected with F&M disease. I hope you value their
>welfare as much as the U.K. farmers value their herds, and will
>reconsider you call to ignore the countryside travel restrictions. It
>would be sad for innocent little guys to become infected by you carrying
>the virus back home after a nice ride.
>Greg Meyer DVM (off the soapbox now)

In this case, you are probably correct. But MAFF's record is such
that there are very good grounds for disbelieving everything that
they say until (in very unusual circumstances) it is confirmed by
a reliable source.

For example, after they had carefully created BSE and fostered it
into an epidemic, various countries banned the import of British
beef. What was MAFF's reaction? It was to ban private citizens
from importing meat from those countries "on health and safety
grounds". But it got better.

There was no restriction on commercial importation, because that
would have caused political trouble. And the ban was only against
unwrapped meat - if you got it shrink-wrapped, you were allowed
to import 400 grams. If you can justify THOSE regulations on
scientific grounds, I will eat my hat!

Given that MAFF is encouraging horse racing to continue, there
seem to be no good grounds for not cycling on roads - except, of
course, near the infected areas. But it is at least considerate
to avoid off-road cycling until the situation has stablised.


Regards,
Nick Maclaren,
University of Cambridge Computing Service,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QG, England.
Email: nm...@cam.ac.uk
Tel.: +44 1223 334761 Fax: +44 1223 334679

Hayley Ryder

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Mar 6, 2001, 6:09:24 PM3/6/01
to

-- "Dr. Gregory Meyer" <mey...@vetmed.auburn.edu> wrote in message
news:3AA55B03...@vetmed.auburn.edu...


>
>
> James Annan wrote:
> >
> > The advice from MAFF to stay out of the countryside is a politically-
> > motivated publicity stunt which has no relevance to disease control but
> > is intended to prove that they are 'on the side of farmers' and 'taking
> > it seriously'.
> >
> > I strongly encourage all cyclists to put on their touring gear and head

> James,
> You sir are an ASS! And a TROLL!
>
> I am a large animal veterinary surgeon and a research scientist in the
> U.S. and have no connection with MAFF or the U.K. government. I deal
> with infectious disease everyday and have seen with my own eyes what can
> happen when epidemic control measures such as have been established by
> the U.K. are not followed. Unfortunately it only takes a few
> individuals such as yourself not following containment programs, to
> spread an incredablely infectious disease like this through the
> countryside. By the way, those cute little furry rats that are on your
> web page can become infected with F&M disease.

In that case there is little point in all our efforts as the disease will
spread anyway. Either this thing is very infectious and, therefore, will
spread dispite our efforts or it is not that infectious and many of these
restrictions are just a product of mass hysteria similar to that encountered
after Princess Diana died. I can not believe that a walker can spread a
disease which birds, wild animals and car/tractor tyres can't. I know that
we are supposed to be minimising risk but it seems that if this is
infectious enough for walkers to spread then it will be definately spread by
wild animals so we may as well accept that it will become endemic and
vaccinate cows.

> I hope you value their
> welfare as much as the U.K. farmers value their herds,

It is the economic value placed on herds which is causing the problem.

> and will
> reconsider you call to ignore the countryside travel restrictions. It
> would be sad for innocent little guys to become infected by you carrying
> the virus back home after a nice ride.

How can a cyclist possibly do less damage than a car?

Hayley


Babylon

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Mar 6, 2001, 4:51:44 PM3/6/01
to
>James Annan wrote on Tue, 6 Mar 2001
>>The advice from MAFF to stay out of the countryside is a politically-
>>motivated publicity stunt which has no relevance to disease control but
>>is intended to prove that they are 'on the side of farmers' and 'taking
>>it seriously'.
>
I feel sorry for the continental farmers who have to put up with the
constant threat of disaster from their bumbling British counterparts.
--
N

clive.burt

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Mar 6, 2001, 6:13:38 PM3/6/01
to
I am confused.

I understand that the quickest way to stop this disease is to "cull" the
animals infected, which won't actually die of this disease - merely be
economically unproductive for a time ... i.e can't be slaughtered for meat,
because of the other disease caused by the farming community BSE (for cows
anyway)

Mind you if treated human beings this way, infected with certain viruses,
think of the outcry from certain "pink" communities... how much is being
pumped into a limited number of people who're going to die anyway?

Why cannot we then use use these infected animals as a basis for production
for a vaccine ? as we did for Smallpox & probably quite a few other viruses
.....

Or did our wonderful scientific community not think this financially
worthwhile to do .... what's the compensation package from the govt to be, a
minimum of £170m, how long & how much to get a vaccine ? What's the sales
potential Europe wide ? World wide ?

Sorry to bring monetary reality into this .. but it is about money after
all, not animal welfare or human welfare!

Byee


"Dr. Gregory Meyer" <mey...@vetmed.auburn.edu> wrote in message
news:3AA55B03...@vetmed.auburn.edu...
>
>

patrici...@btconnect.com

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Mar 6, 2001, 7:07:48 PM3/6/01
to

"Huw" <huw.willi...@farmline.com> wrote in message
news:983ngs$jl8$1...@soap.pipex.net...

I bet he does not have the guts to put is money where his mouth is and risk
the fine.

Easy to give rubbish advice.

Pat


patrici...@btconnect.com

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Mar 6, 2001, 7:11:25 PM3/6/01
to

"clive.burt" <clive...@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
news:b6ep6.1887$JS4.3...@news2-win.server.ntlworld.com...
> I am confused.

I noticed.
>
<snipped>


> Mind you if treated human beings this way, infected with certain viruses,
> think of the outcry from certain "pink" communities... how much is being
> pumped into a limited number of people who're going to die anyway?
>

Well we are over populated - it might be an idea to start culling - you
don't sound very well.

PAB


Peter Crosland

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Mar 6, 2001, 5:52:58 PM3/6/01
to
Another nutter for the kill file!

--
Regards from Peter Crosland g6...@bigfoot.com


"James Annan" <ja...@annan93.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:983hk8$4ou4$1...@ID-72857.news.dfncis.de...

Simon Caldwell

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Mar 6, 2001, 8:08:51 PM3/6/01
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On Tue, 06 Mar 2001 20:34:23 +0000, ja...@annan93.freeserve.co.uk
(James Annan) wrote:

<some stuff, some of it possibly true, but put in such a way as to
piss everyone off>

Even I'm not going to bite this time ;-)

S.

--
Nordic Ski-ing in the Jotunheimen - pictures now added to http://www.simon-caldwell.co.uk
--
If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw a small pineapple. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.

Danny Colyer

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Mar 6, 2001, 5:12:05 PM3/6/01
to
Oz wrote:
> You are either very stupid, very ignorant or a particularly mindless
> troll.

I've never noticed James Annan to be either. Actually, I thought he made a
very valid point (though perhaps not necessarily to a wisely chosen
selection of NG's - notice I've removed a couple from the x-post).

James, you may be interested in the letter that I've just sent to my MP.
The text is at http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/misc/FMD01.html

--
Danny Colyer (remove your.mind to reply)
http://www.speedy5.freeserve.co.uk/danny/danny.html
"The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that,
you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

Malarkey Mulligan

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Mar 6, 2001, 8:24:40 PM3/6/01
to
<patrici...@btconnect.com> wrote in message
news:v3fp6.4554$yB6.29077@NewsReader...

> I bet he does not have the guts to put is money where
> his mouth is and risk the fine.

James isn't talking about riding on closed footpaths. He's questioning
the wisdom of avoiding rural areas altogether. There's no fine for
entering a rural area thank god.

--
MM


Derek Moody

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Mar 6, 2001, 10:45:40 PM3/6/01
to
In article <983ql9$g83$1...@lure.pipex.net>, Hayley Ryder
<URL:mailto:hayley...@ukgateway.net> wrote:


> spread anyway. Either this thing is very infectious and, therefore, will
> spread dispite our efforts or it is not that infectious and many of these
> restrictions are just a product of mass hysteria similar to that encountered
> after Princess Diana died. I can not believe that a walker can spread a
> disease which birds, wild animals and car/tractor tyres can't. I know that

Understandable confusion. We have been so bogged with trolls that the
basics were left miles behind.

The point is that -most- (there are exceptions) wild animals have a limited
home range and will not ordinarily spread infection far, likewise their
chance of picking it up naturally is not great. Iirc (someone please
correct me if I'm wrong) many small mammals live their entire lives within
100 meters of their birthplace.

Tractors too have a home range and will not be going off the farm - or if
they do they will be disinfected first.

People travel much farther. A mile walk covers far more territories, farms
and possible sources of infection. An hour's off road cycling or driving
much more. Some sports would be ok except for the problem that participants
have to travel to and from the venue. You might think that an angler (I am
one) would cause little harm staying within a few yards of bank all day but
as he goes home he carries a nice layer of fresh mud on his boots and his
wheels and passes all those other farms.

Now it's not long until migrating birds are due to pass through the UK.
That must be scaring more northerly farmers.

Cheerio,

--

>> de...@farm-direct.co.uk
>> http://www.farm-direct.co.uk/

Oz

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 2:39:00 AM3/7/01
to
Hayley Ryder wrote on Tue, 6 Mar 2001

>I can not believe that a walker can spread a
>disease which birds, wild animals and car/tractor tyres can't.

Cars and tractors certainly can. That's why we are all busy disinfecting
all incoming vehicles and our own that go off-farm.

Birds and wild animals probably can transmit it (for birds would be
described as 'windblown) but there are very practical and ecological
reasons why they cannot readily be excluded from farmland. Fortunately
most do not wear well-cleated boots. Certainly people moving in infected
farms have very severe restrictions on them and extreme cleaning
regimes.

Whilst I'm on I will make a comment on the walkers and those in tourist
areas where we are talking about unfenced areas. I don't live near any
of these but of course I have walked and stayed in several. There is
little doubt that where there are significant numbers of cloven-footed
animals (including deer) that these are at a truly huge risk. If FMD
gets into these areas (particularly the more wild ones in wales and
scotland) where it's virtually unheard of that all animals can be
rounded up then we really are talking about a catastrophic scenario.
Vaccinating twice yearly would be virtually impossible (doing the deer
probably would be impossible) and I suspect a total cull may be the only
alternative. Certainly no western country could accept a large area with
endemic fmd. I suspect bans may be extreme whilst mass culling and
cleaning up are in progress.

I can also see reasonable cause that providing people don't leave the
unfenced areas and are properly sterilised on entry that walking could
be allowed. The problem is that I cannot see how you would police that
outside islands or very isolated areas (not any in england, few in
wales). If people from outside came in regularly to walk they would
certainly take dung out on their vehicles and in numbers certainly pose
a significant risk of bringing it in. Frankly it's something that would
have to be organised by local councils taking advice from maff.

However I am seriously concerned at the walkers here who, despite
protestations that of course they would never dream of walking where
they should not, none the less try very hard to persuage themselves and
others that they should be able to walk where they like. There is no
doubt that the disease is transmitted on vehicles and people and I am
pretty stunned that a few weeks restriction on a leisure activity is
considered so burdensome.

I am also quite astonished that a minority happily (even
enthuiastically) consider the bankrupcy, loss of livelihood and complete
elimination of the UK beef, sheep and pig industry with such casualness.
To suggest that this will not permanently alter the british countryside
is quite incomprehensible. I rather suspect that at least some of these
have a different agenda that they are not being honest in stating.

--
Oz

Jonathan Mock

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Mar 7, 2001, 4:03:07 AM3/7/01
to
In article <983hk8$4ou4$1...@ID-72857.news.dfncis.de>,
ja...@annan93.freeserve.co.uk (James Annan) wrote:

As much as I don't really have much sympathy for the mess farming has
gotten itself into in the last few years, I totally concur with MAFF's
advice regarding access to the countryside while this crisis is going on.

Do You live in the countryside? I do and the last I want to see are stupid
townies crawling all over the place because they think like you.

A case of foot *in* mouth as far as you're concerned...

--
Jonathan Mock

³Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice, and fear, walk hand in hand...²

James Annan

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Mar 7, 2001, 4:24:34 AM3/7/01
to
"Dr. Gregory Meyer" wrote:
>

> James,
> You sir are an ASS!

Ok, it's obviously much easier to insult me than to address the issues.
As I said, it's hard to get any rational debate on the issue.

But back to the point:

Many lay people have a huge problem with handling infinitesimal
probabilitites. Like large numbers, they simply don't understand what
they mean. So I'll try to make it simple with some examples, and
encourage you to share your specialist knowledge with us.

If a cyclist rides to a village shop and buys a lottery ticket, are they
more likely to win the lottery, start an outbreak of F&M, get hit by
lightning, or get run over by a car?

Two of these things happens many times a year, one happens a handful of
times and I've never known the remaining option to occur. Can you link
the probabilities to the events?

(I know people inside the farming industry appear to find it impossible
to empathise with anyone who isn't a farmer. For these people, try
pretending that the cyclist is also a farmer or relative of one).

Using your skill and judgement as a qualified vet, how many cases of F&M
do you think have been spread by cyclists riding along open roads in the
UK, in the whole history of cycling? DO you think it's ever happened?

Remember, I'm only talking about open roads, which carry many
`essential' car journeys every day. How would you rate the risk of a
bicycle versus a car? Motorised vehicles tend to travel futher, faster,
throw up MUCH more spray, and can't dodge mud so easily. They have 4 fat
tyres and lots of bodywork to spread infection.

If a bicycle is a threat, then how about the thundering motorways with
lorries hurtling along at 70mph? Are we going to see corridors of
infection alongside these major transport routes?

If you can't answer all or any of these questions, then just insult me
some more instead.

James
--
James Annan jd...@pol.ac.uk
Proudman Oceanographic Lab,
Bidston Hill, Bidston, Prenton, CH43 7RA, UK

James Annan

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Mar 7, 2001, 4:30:50 AM3/7/01
to
Oz wrote:
>

> Cars and tractors certainly can. That's why we are all busy disinfecting
> all incoming vehicles and our own that go off-farm.

Shame the same can't be said about farmers round here - on Sunday
morning there was a lot of fresh mud on the A540 (main dual carriageway)
leading straight out of a field of cows. I was cycling so could avoid
most of it, but clearly the cars hadn't.

> Whilst I'm on I will make a comment on the walkers and those in tourist
> areas where we are talking about unfenced areas. I don't live near any
> of these but of course I have walked and stayed in several. There is
> little doubt that where there are significant numbers of cloven-footed
> animals (including deer) that these are at a truly huge risk. If FMD
> gets into these areas (particularly the more wild ones in wales and
> scotland) where it's virtually unheard of that all animals can be
> rounded up then we really are talking about a catastrophic scenario.

Except for Dartmoor, where the `nightmare scenario' has probably
happened, but we are assured that it won't really matter much if it
does. That's what I take the news to mean, anyway.


> I am also quite astonished that a minority happily (even
> enthuiastically) consider the bankrupcy, loss of livelihood and complete
> elimination of the UK beef, sheep and pig industry with such casualness.

Not me, I think the whole situation is a tragedy and will certainly
support any reasonable claims on the govt to provide some support to
help you through the difficult times. Any person losing their job is a
personal tragedy, but that happens everywhere (including where I work).
The govt still ought to make rational decisions about how much to
protect one sector at the cost of another.

--
James Annan

Eamonn

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Mar 7, 2001, 3:37:36 AM3/7/01
to
some disjointed points...

"Oz" <O...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:NPwG+fCU...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk...

>busy disinfecting all incoming vehicles and our own that go off-farm.

More sad than amusing, but my next door neighbour tells me that his
agri-chemical company (working at 6x normal capacity to supply
ministry-approved disinfectant) has had reports of farmers being conned into
buying 'cheap' disinfectant - which turned out to be citric acid! Also, as
opposed to pig and poultry farmers (I was told), sheep and cattle farmers
were often negligent in maintaining 'clean' conditions.
>
> However I am seriously concerned at the walkers... [snip] persuade


> themselves and others that they should be able to walk where they like.

Absolutely agree. There seems to a lack of any 'community' responsibility.
Restrictions are not to prevent people having the 'right to roam' in theory,
just in practice while FMD is dealt with.


>
> a minority happily (even enthuiastically) consider the bankrupcy, loss of
> livelihood and complete elimination of the UK beef, sheep and pig industry
> with such casualness.

While there remains a notional separation between town and country there
will be a lack of understanding (on both sides). After all, however 'rural'
you are, you still head for town when necessary, shop in its supermarkets,
watch television, use the phone, internet and email... you are still
'connected' to the global community. The idea that rural people live in
'Merrie Olde Englande' and pop into the pub before dancing round a maypole
while townies nip in to a postmodern cafe for a sushi before heading for a
club is patently ridiculous. We're all in this together. But then...

> To suggest that this will not permanently alter the British countryside

from what to what? From prairie to parkland golf courses? Or from farm to
forest? I doubt it.

> some of these have a different agenda

Of course, and why not?

Regards
Eamonn
--
eam...@byronABCave.fsnet.co.uk
remove ABC to reply


James Annan

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 5:20:07 AM3/7/01
to
Apologies if I upset anyone with what might have been an inapproriate
cross-post. But there's a fair cross-over between cyclists and walkers,
and road cycling is one way that you can all enjoy the coutryside at the
moment!

James
--
James Annan

Andy Woodward

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Mar 6, 2001, 6:23:10 PM3/6/01
to
>> countryside. By the way, those cute little furry rats that are on your
>> web page can become infected with F&M disease.

>In that case there is little point in all our efforts as the disease will
>spread anyway. Either this thing is very infectious and, therefore, will
>spread dispite our efforts or it is not that infectious and many of these
>restrictions are just a product of mass hysteria similar to that encountered
>after Princess Diana died. I can not believe that a walker can spread a
>disease which birds, wild animals and car/tractor tyres can't. I know that
>we are supposed to be minimising risk but it seems that if this is
>infectious enough for walkers to spread then it will be definately spread by
>wild animals so we may as well accept that it will become endemic and
>vaccinate cows.

I'm afraid you are thinking rationally. This is NOT allowed under
the new Parliamentary Emergency Generic Panic Act and you can be fined
5000quid for it.

Nick Kew

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 4:46:38 AM3/7/01
to
In article <983q0e$pj4$1...@pegasus.csx.cam.ac.uk>, one of infinite monkeys
at the keyboard of nm...@cus.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) hath written:

> But MAFF's record is such
> that there are very good grounds for disbelieving everything that
> they say

I think that sums up this whole argument rather well. The track record of
the MAFF is one of consistently defending the UK farming industry, often
flying in the face of commonsense, distorting scientific evidence, and even
getting them special exemptions from EU pollution directives from
about 1982-99 (dates probably inaccurate, but early 80s to late 90s).

They've cried wolf far too often. They've lost our trust,
sympathy and goodwill.



> Given that MAFF is encouraging horse racing to continue, there

And has re-started long-distance movement of vulnerable animals,
for heavens sake! Dr Meyer - since you're an independent expert,
tell us whether the animal excrement slopping out of a truck
onto a perhaps-busy road is a bigger or a smaller overall risk than
a walker on a footpath?

--
Nick Kew

Myra Van Inwegen

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Mar 7, 2001, 5:40:05 AM3/7/01
to
James Annan's post wasn't worded in the most careful way. In fact in
his initial post, it wasn't made clear that what he was advocating is
*road* cycling in the countryside.

Now that he has made his point clearer, I have to agree with him.

Evidently the MAFF has asked cyclists to avoid riding in rural areas,
even on the road. As far as I know, there has been no suggestion that
people should avoid driving in rural areas.

This really annoys me, as it seems that all cycling trips are deemed
unnecessary, while all motoring trips are deemed essential.

If I cycle to my favorite cafe in the little village of Hare Street,
then I'm risking spreading F&M, but if I drive there instead it's
suddently OK? Cycling around for exercise is wrong, but driving to go
to a my favorite gym in the village of Landbeach is OK?

This is ridiculous. I won't ride off-road while there is this problem
with F&M, but I won't even contemplate altering my road-riding habits
until the MAFF comes out with a statement suggesting that drivers
should avoid all trips to the countryside, unless it is absolutely
necessary.
--
Myra VanInwegen mv...@cl.cam.ac.uk
Myra's Bike Pages http://simon.trinhall.cam.ac.uk/bike/
GoFar magazine : UK XC MTB http://www.gofar-mtb.com/

James Annan

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 6:18:15 AM3/7/01
to
Myra Van Inwegen wrote:
>
> I won't even contemplate altering my road-riding habits
> until the MAFF comes out with a statement suggesting that drivers
> should avoid all trips to the countryside, unless it is absolutely
> necessary.

To be fair to MAFF, I think they have indeed advised EVERYONE to stay
out of the countryside for non-essential purposes. But it's only the
cycling organisations that have really taken much notice, because of
course all car trips are essential and bicycle trips non-essential by
definition.

While my leisure ride in the countryside could certainly be considered
non-essential for me, the owner of (for example) the Ponderosa cafe on
the top of Horseshoe Pass where I bought lunch a couple of weeks ago
might disagree on the value and importance of my trip (as it happens, I
was there just before the F&M blew up, it has probably since been closed
as there are sheep roaming free outdoors).

As I mentioned elsewhere, some youth hostels have already closed, and
they have put off recruiting their seasonal staff until this blows over
- that's after 10 days of panic, and the restrictions could well last
for several more weeks/months. Of course the YHA is probably a big
enough organisation with the reserves to last it out, but many small
B&Bs with mortgages to pay will soon be in serious trouble.

--
James Annan

David

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 6:30:42 AM3/7/01
to

Derek Moody <de...@farm-direct.co.uk> wrote in message
news:ant07034...@d4m7.fsbusiness.co.uk...

> In article <983ql9$g83$1...@lure.pipex.net>, Hayley Ryder
> <URL:mailto:hayley...@ukgateway.net> wrote:
>
<snip>

>
> Tractors too have a home range and will not be going off the farm - or if
> they do they will be disinfected first.
>
<snip>

Tractors are still coming out of fields and covering the roads with mud,
this mud could be picked up by any car and transported anywhere in
britain.(I have lved in the countryside all my lfe and I don't have a
problem with mud on the road normally)

There are still people going fishing on the tweed and there are still people
out shooting. The only thing that I have not seen, but the day is still
young, is the hunt. I can just imagine it, the gormless twits out there a
hunting, totally oblivious to everything. (and I am not an anti)

<snip>


>
> Now it's not long until migrating birds are due to pass through the UK.
> That must be scaring more northerly farmers.
>

<snip>

The whole of the farming industry is not worth one single Swallow.
During this last week our Swallows have started to leave South Africa they
will spend the next 40 days covering on average 200 miles per day to visit
our land. Lets not have any farmers even thinking of harming one of these
birds.

OR ELSE

Mike Clark

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 6:54:02 AM3/7/01
to
In article <3AA55B03...@vetmed.auburn.edu>, Dr. Gregory Meyer
<URL:mailto:mey...@vetmed.auburn.edu> wrote:
[snip]

> Counting to 10...
> O.K. Soapbox time....
>
> James,
> You sir are an ASS! And a TROLL!
>
> I am a large animal veterinary surgeon and a research scientist in the
> U.S. and have no connection with MAFF or the U.K. government. I deal
> with infectious disease everyday and have seen with my own eyes what can
> happen when epidemic control measures such as have been established by
> the U.K. are not followed. Unfortunately it only takes a few
> individuals such as yourself not following containment programs, to
> spread an incredablely infectious disease like this through the
> countryside. By the way, those cute little furry rats that are on your
> web page can become infected with F&M disease. I hope you value their
> welfare as much as the U.K. farmers value their herds, and will
> reconsider you call to ignore the countryside travel restrictions. It
> would be sad for innocent little guys to become infected by you carrying
> the virus back home after a nice ride.
>
> Regards,
>
> Greg Meyer DVM (off the soapbox now)
>

As an academic immunologist, also with no connection with MAFF, I would
suggest that you have over reacted to James Annan's post.

It is true that FMDV is a very infectious virus and that quarantine
measures are needed to contain the spread of the disease. However even the
government's own risk assessments have not called for road closures except
in confirmed infected areas and some areas of national parks. James was not
advocating off road cycling over agricultural land. He was suggesting that
road touring and use of facilities such as village shops, pubs and guest
houses would alleviate some of financial hardship currently experienced in
these areas. The current measures are certainly demonstrating the valuable
income that rural areas receive from tourism. I think the public in general
should cooperate with the farming community in trying to restrict the
spread of FMDV but there is a place for conducting risk assessments and
comparing these with other social and economic factors.

The major risk of spread of the infection is through movement of animals,
or direct contact with animals followed by agricultural equipment and
transporters. Nearly all of the reported affected farms so far have been
able to indentify a direct livestock link with a previous infected farm.

There is a small potential risk of spread by walkers and cyclists crossing
agricultural land and coming into close contact with animals or their food
and waste. The estimated risk from travelling on roads is, I would suggest,
very very low. It would require contaminated material being transfered onto
the road and then being picked up by the cyclist, transferred to a new
location, picked up again by some other means and transferred into direct
contact with uninfected animals, thus causing a new focus of infection. If
farmers are properly isolating their animals and carrying out their own
disinfection procedures as they enter and leave their own farms this should
minimise this risk of spread from the road to the farm.

I think that there has been a general over reaction in some areas and
indeed there is a degree of hypocrisy in the actions taken over FMDV in the
UK. For example many urban parks, public gardens, river and canal paths are
closed even where there is no direct contact with susceptible animals.
Horse racing was firstly taking place, then suspended, and now taking place
again. In Scotland you can go skiing in the mountains (and travel there by
car, possibly through infected areas of Northern England) but not go
climbing or walking in the same areas. Gillies are being allowed to take
their clients fishing and to cross farmland (adopting disinfectant
procedures), but qualified mountain guides and instructors cannot take
their clients to go climbing even if they adopt the same cautionary
procedures (and they are also less likely to come into contact with
livestock). I have also come across reports where beach access, by some
footpaths which cross golf courses, have been closed to public access, even
though the beach is not restricted and golfers continue to play on the same
courses.

There are many such anomalies and I doubt if they would stand up to serious
risk assessment. The farming community has asked for support in tackling
this serious outbreak and I think we should oblige. However if the demand
is for unreasonable and scientifically unjustifiable restrictions then I
think the public support for the measures will sway. I appreciate that many
farmers livelihoods are at risk but does this mean we should also
needlessly (and that is the key word) sacrifice other economic industries
(principally dependent upon tourism) in the same areas?

Mike <URL:http://www.path.cam.ac.uk/~mrc7/>
--
o/ \\ // || ,_ o M.R. Clark, PhD. Division of Immunology
<\__,\\ // __o || / /\, Cambridge University, Dept. Pathology
"> || _`\<,_ // \\ \> | Tennis Court Rd., Cambridge CB2 1QP
` || (_)/ (_) // \\ \_ Tel.+44 1223 333705 Fax.+44 1223 333875

Nigel Wade

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 8:49:12 AM3/7/01
to

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Original Message <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

On 07/03/01, 03:45:40, Derek Moody <de...@farm-direct.co.uk> wrote
regarding Re: Countryside in crisis:


> Tractors too have a home range and will not be going off the farm - or if
> they do they will be disinfected first.

Well, what did I see yesterday morning whilst I was waiting for the bus?

Travelling down the main road in convoy:

A large tractor towing a muck-spreader.
A large tractor towing a trailer containing a small agricultural
bulldozer
A large tractor towing two large empty trailers which looked as though
they had
contained the "product" which the muck-spreader had presumably been
spreading.

From the state of them they looked like they had just been used and none
of the tractors
or trailers had been disinfected as they were still covered in the sh**
they'd been spreading.
They most certainly were not travelling within the confines of one farm
as they were on the
high street, and at a roundabout turned heading towards the centre of
Leicester.

If they had wanted to actively spread F&M I don't think they could have
found
a better way.

And the general public are supposed to avoid the country so as to reduce
the risk of spreading
F&M?

--
Nigel Wade


Dr J.C. Hargreaves

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 9:28:02 AM3/7/01
to
James Annan wrote:
>
> The advice from MAFF to stay out of the countryside is a politically-
> motivated publicity stunt which has no relevance to disease control but
> is intended to prove that they are 'on the side of farmers' and 'taking
> it seriously'.

Really, James, this is a rather stupid thing to say when you are
trying to make a serious point. A lot of what MAFF advise is quite
sensible. You make it sound like you want to break all their "rules",
when I think all you are trying to do is to advocate road/touring
cycling.

It is quite amazing how many people normally drive into the
countryside just to walk the dog on a footpath. I had no idea
it was so many until I, like you, experienced the empty roads
last weekend. Now road cycling has more of the outdoors feel
of mountain biking....the roads are ours all ours!! All cyclists
should just get out there and have fun.

However, lots of people who live in the countryside have become
dependant on the income from those weekend trippers. Road cyclists
are one of the few groups of people who can still enjoy their
outdoor sport...and what's more it has been improved by the crisis!
So we have a duty not to be scared off by the vague impression that
we must all keep away from the countryside. At least if we want
to be able to stay at our favourite B+B next year.... Supporting
local enterprise is a natural talent of the cyclist.

OTOH perhaps it doesn't matter. The B+B owners and other elements
of the tourist industry are all comersin anyway. Filling up our
roads, putting useless flashy shops in our villages, turning the
footpaths into dual carriageways.... Time to wind back the clock,
indulge in a little ethnic cleansing, and bring back that wonderful
nutritious milk containing both products of the cow...


jules.

Nick Kew

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 10:20:57 AM3/7/01
to
In article <984s0q$6t6$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>, one of infinite monkeys
at the keyboard of "Eamonn" <eam...@byronABCave.fsnet.co.uk> hath written:

> some disjointed points...
>
> "Oz" <O...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:NPwG+fCU...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk...
>
>>busy disinfecting all incoming vehicles and our own that go off-farm.
>
> More sad than amusing, but my next door neighbour tells me that his
> agri-chemical company (working at 6x normal capacity to supply
> ministry-approved disinfectant) has had reports of farmers being conned into
> buying 'cheap' disinfectant - which turned out to be citric acid!

Citric acid is on the MAFF's list of approved disinfectants, so perhaps
your neighbour's compaints may have been mildly disingenuous? According
to scientific background information linked from the MAFF website, any
acid will disinfect. That would include any peat moorland or forestry
commission land.

> While there remains a notional separation between town and country there

There seems to be a rather effective political lobby trying hard to
incite hatred between the two. An unholy alliance of urban journalists
and 'countryside' spokesmen.

>> some of these have a different agenda

Different to what? The unsustainable and discredited policy of
intensive over-farming on every acre of non-built-up land to
generate chronic food surpluses and serious environmental degradation?

> Of course, and why not?

Exactly.

--
Nick Kew

Eamonn

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 10:58:28 AM3/7/01
to

"Dr J.C. Hargreaves" <ju...@pol.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:3AA64572...@pol.ac.uk...

> ....the roads are ours all ours!!

> All cyclists should just get out there and have fun...
(Oops, what a giveaway! :o)
But roads aren't really for bicycles or fun, are they? Well are they???
>
> ...comers-in.... Filling up our roads, putting useless flashy shops in our


> villages, turning the footpaths into dual carriageways.... Time to wind
back

> the clock, indulge in a little ethnic cleansing...

Just who, exactly, is us? (see my previous posting) Do you really believe
all that 'merrie olde Englande' twaddle then? Perhaps you'd like everything
else that went with a so-called seventeenth century rural idyll -
conspicuous wealth next to grinding poverty, tithes, copyholders, manorial
courts, parvenu gentlemen farmers, a third of the economy in smuggled goods
... (hmm, I think I'll stop there!)

Regards
Eamonn
--
eam...@byronABCave.fsnet.co.uk
please remove ABC to reply


Eamonn

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 11:09:36 AM3/7/01
to

"Nick Kew" <ni...@fenris.webthing.com> whose finger slipped briefly from the
pulse to write in message news:pkj589...@fenris.webthing.com... noting
that in article <984s0q$6t6$1...@news7.svr.pol.co.uk>, one of the (only twelve)

monkeys at the keyboard of "Eamonn" <eam...@byronABCave.fsnet.co.uk> hath
written:
> > some disjointed points about...
> > "Oz" <O...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk> who wrote in message

> > news:NPwG+fCU...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk...
> >
> >>busy disinfecting all incoming vehicles and our own that go off-farm.

> > 'cheap' disinfectant - which turned out to be citric acid!

> According to scientific background information linked from the MAFF


> website, any acid will disinfect.

What, lemon and lime juice? Naah! Don't believe it! :O)

> > While there remains a notional separation between town and country
>

> There seems to be a rather effective political lobby trying hard to
> incite hatred between the two.

you don't mean those 'urban' journalists who work in town and live in the
country? surely not? Why would they do that? <guffaw>

> >> some of these have a different agenda

(Oz wrote this, not little old me)


>
> Different to what? The unsustainable and discredited policy of
> intensive over-farming on every acre of non-built-up land to
> generate chronic food surpluses and serious environmental degradation?

Er, well, what should we use the land for? BMX tracks?

> > Of course, and why not?
>
> Exactly.
>

I thank you.

Huw

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 10:50:27 AM3/7/01
to

"Eamonn" <eam...@byronABCave.fsnet.co.uk

> More sad than amusing, but my next door neighbour tells me that his
> agri-chemical company (working at 6x normal capacity to supply
> ministry-approved disinfectant) has had reports of farmers being
conned into
> buying 'cheap' disinfectant - which turned out to be citric acid!
Also, as
> opposed to pig and poultry farmers (I was told), sheep and cattle
farmers
> were often negligent in maintaining 'clean' conditions.

Your next door neighbour is not up to speed on this.
Citric acid BP is an approved disinfectant at a dilution rate of 500/1
to kill F&M virus. Perhaps it is his company that is conning farmers
to spend more money than they need to.

Huw


Huw

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 10:59:09 AM3/7/01
to

"Mike Clark" <mr...@cam.ac.uk> wrote >

> There are many such anomalies and I doubt if they would stand up to
serious
> risk assessment.

I agree with this absolutely and no doubt these anomolies will be
sorted out as the picture of spread becomes clear. Pretty soon
hopefully.

The farming community has asked for support in tackling
> this serious outbreak and I think we should oblige. However if the
demand
> is for unreasonable and scientifically unjustifiable restrictions
then I
> think the public support for the measures will sway.

Agreed again, which is why the anomolies should be sorted as soon as
possible. Over the first ten days or so, surely the severest action is
the only action possible to trace and contain the virus. As each day
passes, the risk assessment will probably/hopefully identify more and
more low risk areas.

I appreciate that many
> farmers livelihoods are at risk but does this mean we should also
> needlessly (and that is the key word) sacrifice other economic
industries
> (principally dependent upon tourism) in the same areas?

I can only agree as one who is exposed to losses from both industries.

Huw

John Buckley

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 11:36:15 AM3/7/01
to
Jonathan Mock wrote:
>
> In article <983hk8$4ou4$1...@ID-72857.news.dfncis.de>,
> ja...@annan93.freeserve.co.uk (James Annan) wrote:


> > There's no need to lose any sleep over the supposed risk of spreading F&
> > M. The probability of road cycling spreading disease is right up there
> > with abduction by little green men, getting hit by a meteor, or
> > catching AIDS off a toilet seat. Of course individuals are free to base
> > their actions on such superstitious beliefs, but that doesn't mean that
> > they should be used to formulate govt policy!
> >

> As much as I don't really have much sympathy for the mess farming has


> gotten itself into in the last few years, I totally concur with MAFF's
> advice regarding access to the countryside while this crisis is going on.


Then perhaps you have a closed mind to reality in the business world.



> Do You live in the countryside? I do and the last I want to see are stupid
> townies crawling all over the place because they think like you.


I live in a rural area too and KNOW what the 'farmers' get up to.
Everything is revolving on the protection of meat farmers' income.
Those who are suffering the restrictions - and possibly being put out of
business as a result - receive nothing. A big zilch, just so big farmer
boy [1] can maintain dividends for the shareholders.

[1] = usually an insurance company or the like who are the _real_ owners
of many of the country's farms.
The actual _real farmer_ on the ground is often simply an employee of a
national or multi-national company with responsibilities towards
shareholders only.

The whole scenario stinks of hypocrisy and double standards.

When my business becomes threatened, will I receive compensation?
Like h*ll I will.


John Buckley

MikeF

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 11:31:56 AM3/7/01
to
"Eamonn" <eam...@byronABCave.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message
news:985lra$5lv$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk...

> Just who, exactly, is us? (see my previous posting) Do you really believe
> all that 'merrie olde Englande' twaddle then? Perhaps you'd like
everything
> else that went with a so-called seventeenth century rural idyll -
> conspicuous wealth next to grinding poverty, tithes, copyholders, manorial
> courts, parvenu gentlemen farmers, a third of the economy in smuggled
goods
> ... (hmm, I think I'll stop there!)
>
> Regards
> Eamonn

I suspect if you read closely the previous post, you may detect a certain
element of tongue in cheek in the last paragraph. If not, I find it quite
worrying that you are more offended by a rosy view of past centuries than
you are by a suggestion of ethnic cleansing.


Eamonn

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 11:48:32 AM3/7/01
to

"MikeF" <M...@nospamformikef.com> wrote in message
news:985nq2$rn5$1...@oyez.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk...

>
> I suspect if you read closely the previous post, you may detect a certain
> element of tongue in cheek in the last paragraph. If not, I find it quite
> worrying that you are more offended by a rosy view of past centuries than
> you are by a suggestion of ethnic cleansing.
>

Frankly, I was horrified by the reference to ethnic cleansing, but I chose
not to rise to that particularly unsavoury bait. As to a rosy view of the
past, it's sad that people make judgements about the future based on a
false view of the past - all the while ignoring the reality of today.

Regards
Eamonn

eam...@byronABCave.fsnet.co.uk
remove ABC to


Dr. Gregory Meyer

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 11:41:57 AM3/7/01
to

From a purely epidemiological standpoint, with no consideration given to
any of the other needs of the population of the U.K., I would say that a
total ban on the movement of humans or livestock would be in order until
this epidemic is under control.

But we know that an imposition like that is not very realistic. So then
what is left? Evaluation of the truly needed movements are in order.
Coupled in with that unfortunately is a tremendous amount of pressure
that is placed on government agencies by all the effected special
interest groups. The walkers, the horsey people, the skiers, the kite
flyers, the pigeon racers, and the list goes on... Of course if your
world is totally wrapped up in kite flying, and your prohibited from
going out on the dales for a few weeks to fly your kite, then your life
as you know it has is trashed during that time. But in the big picture,
is kite flying high up on the list of priorities? For the kite flyer it
is. So how are priorities determined? In my experience in the past in
working in the public sector when situations such as F&M are faced,
priorities are determined by some government offical(s) that is/are
pretty far removed from the government scientists who are actually in
the know and on the front lines. Those lowly government officials are
then put in the position of trying to be all things to all people. In
almost every instance they fail to satisfy everyone. (It is one of the
great short comings of a system that is tied to politics, but is a
necessary evil when you live in a "free" society.) But in their
attempts to satisfy everyone, inconsistencies in implementation of
policy develop. Unfortunately very often the squeakiest wheel is the
one that gets greased. So if the upset kite fliers are the ones
squeaking the loudest then quiet often, right or wrong, they will get
their way, even if it is not in the best interest of the masses, and
even if kite flying is not central to function of the U.K.
So then the argument arises that are the U.K. farmers really needed
because of the availability of cheap imports, and if not, then sod the
U.K. farmer. My counter is that the stability of a nation is tied
directly to its diversity. Look at how terrified the U.S. gets when
ever there is even a remote threat to the supply of middle east oil. So
if the U.K. rids itself of its agriculture system what happens when the
winds of political change blow against the U.K. and that supply of cheap
imported agricultural products disappear??? Think about for a moment...

So all this long winded soap boxing avoided your original question...

I think both the walker and the manure on the roadways can both present
a very serious and real potential threat. The actual threat would be
based on if the manure on the roadway contained viable virus or if the
walker came in contact with viable virus while out in the fields. If
the answer is no to both questions then the point of transmission is
mute, but the point is how do we know if we have come in contact with
infected material. You can't tell just by looking at it or smelling
it. You can only tell if animals are infected by clinical signs in
combination with evaluation of body fluids or tissue samples. So what
if the walker or cyclist or car tyre trods on some infectious material
that has come from an animal that is not displaying overt clinical
signs? Then they unknowingly carry the disease elsewhere. and elsewhere
could mean across the country.

With my quite distant observation of the problems there, and with my
daily conversations with my wife who is in East Sussex, I do find it
distressing that motorway traffic is being allowed through what appears
to be areas of F&M outbreak, and reports that some farmers are not
following good sanitation procedures before venturing out on the
roadways with farm equipment. (Please correct me if I've not got the
whole picture on this part) But again the allowed movements near these
sensitive areas are probably a function of squeaky wheels getting
greased and I'm sure involves a calculated roll of the dice by some
government officials who are under a lot of pressure from those who do
not have a lot to directly lose as a result of this crisis. If the
calculation is wrong there will be grave results.
But with what we do know about this virus and its ability to persist in
the environment, especially during winter conditions, is it too much to
ask of the cyclists, kite flyers, horsey types ect ect ect to give up
their hobby for a short while? If everyone could cooperate with one
another just a little more, and quit forcing the government agencies
involved to make less than good choices, then this epidemic could quite
realistically be contained in a short period of time and life could get
back to normal.

And when this is all done, maybe a strong review of import regulations
and the practice of feeding swill needs to be reviewed??? Just a
thought.

greg

Dr. Gregory Meyer

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 12:20:38 PM3/7/01
to

Mike Clark wrote:
>

snip

> As an academic immunologist, also with no connection with MAFF, I would
> suggest that you have over reacted to James Annan's post.
>

Dr Clark,

Thank you for your response. I do agree with that the actual potential
for transmission by bicycle, car, or lorry tyres is small. But I would
also like to point out a segment from Mr. Annan's original post...

>Even off-road cycling and walking is safe apart from the risk of a £
>5000 fine and public villification,

this segment is what really got my back up! Here Mr. Annan is advocating
ignoring ALL the prohibitions that have been put in place. I think that
you would agree that foot path traffic through areas that are also
frequented by cloven footed animals could present a very real
possibility of transmission of the virus if the walker or biker came in
contact with infected material. Granted some if not many of the pathway
limitations placed on walkers and other off roaders are not needed, but
how is one to know, especially in the early stages of the outbreak,
which areas are affected. As I understand it, the closure of foot paths
has been left up to the discretion of the local councils, and that after
the "dust has settled" and the extent of the outbreak were realized,
that reopening of these paths that were not near affected areas would
occur.

I apologize if my strong language was insensitive and offended, but Mr.
Annan and those like him are being very insensitive and threat to us
all.

Regards,

Greg

Gordon Harris

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 7:49:49 AM3/7/01
to
In article <9856f2$7hc$1...@newsg2.svr.pol.co.uk>, David <da...@nospam.com>
writes

>
>The whole of the farming industry is not worth one single Swallow.
>During this last week our Swallows have started to leave South Africa they
>will spend the next 40 days covering on average 200 miles per day to visit
>our land.

Stupid birds!
--
Gordon

Nick Kew

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 1:17:16 PM3/7/01
to
In article <3AA664D5...@vetmed.auburn.edu>, one of infinite monkeys
at the keyboard of "Dr. Gregory Meyer" <mey...@vetmed.auburn.edu> hath written:

> So then the argument arises that are the U.K. farmers really needed
> because of the availability of cheap imports, and if not, then sod the
> U.K. farmer. My counter is that the stability of a nation is tied
> directly to its diversity. Look at how terrified the U.S. gets when
> ever there is even a remote threat to the supply of middle east oil.

Indeed - the 'wartime' argument. Yes, there is some significant
benefit to the UK in having the capacity to feed itself. But instead,
we have chronic overcapacity. So farmers suffer the effects of
overcapacity (low prices), while the environment suffers the effect
of intensive farming (elimination of habitats for non-economic species,
pollution, loss of natural defences against erosion and flooding, etc).

> So what
> if the walker or cyclist or car tyre trods on some infectious material
> that has come from an animal that is not displaying overt clinical
> signs? Then they unknowingly carry the disease elsewhere. and elsewhere
> could mean across the country.

I think that rather tends to confirm my view that my walking to the
supermarket poses a vastly lower risk than long-distance transport of
animals, by roads that will certainly cause traces of their excrement
to be carried far and wide by other vehicles.

So which of these two activities do the powers-that-be permit?
You're clearly not so naive as to be surprised by the answer.

> But again the allowed movements near these
> sensitive areas are probably a function of squeaky wheels getting
> greased and I'm sure involves a calculated roll of the dice by some
> government officials who are under a lot of pressure from those who do
> not have a lot to directly lose as a result of this crisis.

Thank you. People call me a cynic when I express such thoughts.

> If the
> calculation is wrong there will be grave results.

There ARE grave results!

> But with what we do know about this virus and its ability to persist in
> the environment, especially during winter conditions, is it too much to
> ask of the cyclists, kite flyers, horsey types ect ect ect to give up
> their hobby for a short while?

1. Agreed, but ....
2. But it's not just hobbies that are affected. My going to the
supermarket certainly isn't a hobby.
3. And it's not just hobbiests that are affected. Leisure and tourism
- catering for cyclists, kite flyers, horsey types, etc -
is of course an important business.
4. And in any case, the gross inconsistencies in the handling of
'squeaky wheels' tend to damage the credibility of the argument.
And there's the track record of the people presenting the argument...

> And when this is all done, maybe a strong review of import regulations
> and the practice of feeding swill needs to be reviewed??? Just a
> thought.

No - that would be to apply sticky tape and hope the problem goes away.
A more fundamental review is needed.

> greg

Thanks for taking the time.

--
Nick Kew

Oz

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 1:57:14 PM3/7/01
to
Eamonn wrote on Wed, 7 Mar 2001

>some disjointed points...
>
>"Oz" <O...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:NPwG+fCU...@upthorpe.demon.co.uk...
>
>>busy disinfecting all incoming vehicles and our own that go off-farm.
>
>More sad than amusing, but my next door neighbour tells me that his
>agri-chemical company (working at 6x normal capacity to supply
>ministry-approved disinfectant) has had reports of farmers being conned into
>buying 'cheap' disinfectant - which turned out to be citric acid!

Citric acid is indeed an approved disinfectant for fmd.
Biodegradeable too :-).

>Also, as
>opposed to pig and poultry farmers (I was told), sheep and cattle farmers
>were often negligent in maintaining 'clean' conditions.

??


--
Oz

Oz

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 1:59:02 PM3/7/01
to
Nick Kew wrote on Wed, 7 Mar 2001

>According
>to scientific background information linked from the MAFF website, any
>acid will disinfect. That would include any peat moorland or forestry
>commission land.

That would depend upon it's pH. Most of the quoted acids seem to be
significantly more acidic than moorland soils to put it mildly.

What is a maximum pH for moorland soils?

--
Oz

Oz

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 2:13:03 PM3/7/01
to
John Buckley wrote on Wed, 7 Mar 2001

>[1] = usually an insurance company or the like who are the _real_ owners
>of many of the country's farms.

No, they sold up 5 to 10 yrs ago.

Banks may own quite a few, but not by design.

--
Oz

Oz

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 1:49:28 PM3/7/01
to
Nick Kew wrote on Wed, 7 Mar 2001

>I think that sums up this whole argument rather well. The track record of
>the MAFF is one of consistently defending the UK farming industry, often
>flying in the face of commonsense, distorting scientific evidence, and even
>getting them special exemptions from EU pollution directives from
>about 1982-99 (dates probably inaccurate, but early 80s to late 90s).

It's strange that farmers view maff as supporting their political
masters pet schemes, many of which are not very helpful. reams of
paperwork for one.

--
Oz

Oz

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 1:55:22 PM3/7/01
to
Nigel Wade wrote on Wed, 7 Mar 2001

>From the state of them they looked like they had just been used and none
>of the tractors
>or trailers had been disinfected as they were still covered in the sh**
>they'd been spreading.
>They most certainly were not travelling within the confines of one farm
>as they were on the
>high street, and at a roundabout turned heading towards the centre of
>Leicester.
>
>If they had wanted to actively spread F&M I don't think they could have
>found
>a better way.
>
>And the general public are supposed to avoid the country so as to reduce
>the risk of spreading
>F&M?

I sincerely hope you took numberplates and reported them to both the
police and maff. We really could do with members of the public assisting
all of us by reporting these sorts of operation.

Note that tractors on arable units (ie NOT muck carts) may not need to
be as cautious but certainly anyone carrying muck onto public roads
needs talking to. With a hammer.

<sigh> Might be poultry muck I suppose, but still worth reporting.

--
Oz

Oz

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 2:03:43 PM3/7/01
to
Mike Clark wrote on Wed, 7 Mar 2001

>There are many such anomalies and I doubt if they would stand up to serious
>risk assessment. The farming community has asked for support in tackling
>this serious outbreak and I think we should oblige. However if the demand
>is for unreasonable and scientifically unjustifiable restrictions then I
>think the public support for the measures will sway. I appreciate that many
>farmers livelihoods are at risk but does this mean we should also
>needlessly (and that is the key word) sacrifice other economic industries
>(principally dependent upon tourism) in the same areas?

As far as I can see all farmers here have requested walkers to keep of
grassland and land where animals can reasonably be expected to be
(farmbuildings for example).

I cannot remember a single post requesting banning of walkers on other
land.

Unfenced roads are a big problem in themselves which has to be handled
by government, they are clearly a huge potential risk to wildlife and
farm animals in these wilder areas.

--
Oz

Mike Clark

unread,
Mar 7, 2001, 2:23:21 PM3/7/01