Tuesday, 30 October 2007

We have to write

Dr Iain Anderson is once again going to chair a review of the Government's reaction to the 2007 Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak. He has been asked to review lessons drawn from the 2001 outbreak and identify any others arising from the current outbreak. Comments have to be received by 16th November. See also www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk

The decision not to use emergency vaccination was astonishing. The handling by DEFRA illustrates the woeful lack of understanding within the Department of viral disease. All the conditions for immediate success had been met.
We knew the source.
We knew the strain.
We had the laboratory within arms length
and we knew the timescale.
The virus could have been stopped in its tracks within days by ring vaccination from the outside in.

2000 animals in Surrey would not have had to be slaughtered and nor would the obscenely termed "welfare culls" of half a million healthy hill lambs have been needed.

It seems highly likely that the EU would have been sympathetic to such emergency action and would have looked with favour on regionalisation of the immediate area so that the absurd situation of a general country-wide shut down need never have arisen. It could well have led to the outdated regulations receiving critical re-evaluation.

Because rapid on-site testing was not done except for antibodies, only a handful of the 2000 animals killed turned out to have been infected.

If people do not make these points there will be no barriers at all against yet another anodyne report being written and self-congratulation all round.
More at warmwell.com,

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