Thursday, 11 October 2007

Rules bending with the wind

An email from Alan Beat points out the curious case of the bending rules. Although EU rules state very firmly that exports may resume only when - in the case of non-vaccination - three months have elapsed since the last case -(rules that are agreed internationally by the OIE)- we now see Brazil (using vaccination)facing a 2 month ban only, for the FMD affected region only; while the UK (using slaughter only) can start trading again from unaffected regions just a few days after the latest case on October 12 (And there is of course no certainty that it will prove to be the last case, the bloody firebreak killing that went on around IP8 notwithstanding).
So Alan Beat asks why, if the rules can be broken to regionalise the affected and vaccinated area and restart trading everywhere else, this cannot happen in the UK too and vaccination be adopted instead of merely considered. "Or am I missing something?" he asks.

Oct 11 2007 ~ Dispatches from the front line 2007 October
"I regret that we are finding DEFRA absolutely unbending on almost every issue. We are having the threat of closure waved at us almost every day by jumped up little officials behaving like Nazi prison guards. Somehow they think we can control what clothes farmers wear to come ..... We understand the need for waterproofs but short of having a gate guard who examines each farmer, I am not sure what we can do.
Most of us feel that the continued imposition of the 20 day rule is unnecessary especially since we could not really be further from the source of the (DEFRA cock-up) outbreak but no, they will not budge...."

2001 November (Westmorland Gazette)
"....Come on ministers, surprise me and tell us the way forward for British Agriculture.
You say you want a strong, vibrant agriculture, well you could have fooled me; so come on show me how wrong I have been.
You may remember I told you about the government taking powers to seize one's cattle and sheep with no right of appeal.

If that would not mean we were living in a police state, well you could have fooled me.

I also said that what Elliott Morley (minister) would be better doing, was adopting the test for foot-and-mouth disease perfected by Professor Fred Brown of the United States Research Centre at Plum Island....."
Six years on. And the same frustrations expressed. The same arrogant, jack-booted mentality that "knew best" in 2001 is still goose-stepping over the efforts and advice of those who want to help keep Britain farming. And what was written by the same farming commentator, six years ago in October 2001, on the subject of emergency ring vaccination, makes DEFRA's lack of progress seem even more unbelievable, incomprehensible, tyrannical.

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