IN THE UK - January 23, 2002
The number of animals slaughtered in the foot-and-mouth outbreak could be as high as 10 million.
The total is more than twice as high as official Government figures which stated just over four million animals were culled.
The Meat and Livestock Commission says more than six million animals had not been included in the official slaughter toll. It claims the total should be 10,849,000.
The Daily Telegraph says official figures do not include two million animals slaughtered for welfare reasons such as dwindling feed and space. The National Farmers' Union did include those in its estimates.
Jane Connor, economic forecaster at the Meat and Livestock Commission, says many more animals were overlooked.
She says many calves were killed with their mothers and were only counted as one animal, while others were killed by farmers once markets closed due to the outbreak.
For the full story click here.
This should concern ALL Americans!
This should concern ALL Americans!
Please Read and Sign the U.S. Vaccination Petition
We can make a difference!
There is a page of "facts" (?) about vaccination by the USDA. I have addressed some of what they have written at In Response To The USDA.
The U.S. - Once The Land Of The Free, Now The Land Of DenialThe American press has largely ignored the whole Foot and Mouth Disease fiasco in the UK, as well as the threat to the United States. With FMD breaking out all around the world, WHY has the press ignored it? Why have none of the major news story shows picked it up? What is going on? (Well, read this to see what might be the problem. "In the public's eye, reporters will do anything for a story. Fear and Favor in the Newsroom (www.fearandfavor.org) takes viewers behind the scenes to shatter this myth. Narrated by Studs Terkel, Fear and Favor in the Newsroom shows for the first time on film how ownership of the press by a small corporate elite constricts the free flow of ideas and information upon which our democracy depends.")
The the USDA bio-terrorism warning and "Possible Scenario" (www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ep/avma/villard.html) shows FMD would have a major effect on the US. And they expect it will hit the U.S. sooner or later.
Some of the FEW Americans that have read the horrible UK reports and talked to the people effected, still tell me "I keep hoping we're safe now."
This is an ILLUSION. This is what almost no one is accepting. We are NEVER going to be safe again. Those days are OVER. They will NEVER return as long as we leave our livestock unvaccinated. We will ALWAYS be under the threat of either an accidental infection OR a bio-terrorist attack. We will not return to a non-global economy or style of living.
There are breakouts of FMD around the world. In many areas it's endemic. As people travel they risk bringing it here at any time. Currently (5-12-01) outbreaks have been reported in Argentina, Brazil, France, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, Uganda, UK, and Uruguay. FMD remains an immediate threat in Europe and an ongoing challenge in more than 70 countries where it is endemic.
Taiwan was FMD-Free a year longer than we had been UNTIL it hit there in 1997. They proved being FMD-Free for a long time does not guarantee safety.
This is a GLOBAL disease. It is a virus and EASILY spread. It's isn't going to "go away", because it is endemic in many countries. Vaccination is the ONLY way we'll ever be safe.
There are safe vaccines, there are accurate diagnostic tests that can differentiate vaccinated animals from those that carry the virus. Vaccinated animals have been eaten for years. There is no risk to humans from vaccination or from death due to FMD. Click here and read carefully to learn the facts. (www.sheepdrove.com/fb_notes.htm)
According to the UC Davis simulation of a FMD breakout in the South Valley of California, "It must be stressed that from the individual farmer's point of view, infected animals need not be eliminated from the herd, because they will usually become productive again after the acute period."
They later say, "Considering the animal movement between California and other states, it is highly probable that the outbreak will spread to other states even before it is diagnosed in California."
They also state, "During an outbreak, slaughter is equivalent to expropriation of the animals. From the perspective of an individual livestock producer there is no veterinary or economic need to slaughter infected animals since after a short period - between two to three weeks - most would become productive again, even though some may suffer a permanent loss of productivity."
So why is the U.S. government planning ways to "expropriate" and slaughter our animals? Even the ones that are healthy, but near any confirmed case? (Sometimes as far away as 40 miles or more according to some State Vets.) Which part of this puzzle is missing? If many countries already vaccinate for FMD, why aren't we doing the civilized thing and protecting our stock as we do from other diseases (like rabies), most of which are far worse than FMD? And does the USDA really think it can happen here?
The USDA has been EXPECTING it. They say we are not under any more threat NOW than we have been the last SEVERAL YEARS. What that means is that they KNOW this has been a threat for awhile now, but WE have been OBLIVIOUS to it. And frankly, that's how I think our government wants us to stay. They sure don't want us getting vaccination approved because of the ECONOMIC implications. How much do you think the government collects off the 50 (or so) BILLION $$$ from the FMD-Free Export Trade? Do you suppose that could have anything to do with why we are NOT hearing about what's going on around the world and are not being given true facts or vaccination?
NONE of the "action plans for an outbreak" are about the actual disease of FMD. It is not dangerous to humans. It is highly contagious in susceptible animals, but rather mild in effect as far as livestock diseases go (like the flu in humans). Most animals will recover, most will be up to previous production.
The ONLY issue surrounding FMD that is TERRIFYING and 100% FATAL and DISASTROUS is the way our own GOVERNMENT will respond to it.
(By the way, they don't give a flying fruitcake if lamas are not very susceptible or likely to spread it or not. They don't know the long term shedding effects, they want a FAST cull/kill so FMD-Free Trade can be resumed ASAP. They are not going to leave ANY animals around that they think MIGHT shed it later and RESTART an epidemic that would interrupt that FMD-Free Trade again.)
ANY case of FMD (food or non-food animal) will interrupt the FMD-Free Trade. That is the ONLY thing they care to protect. Not you, not me, not American livestock, not our other businesses, not our land or water or air.
Look what a mess the UK has made of their country. It is a literal war zone and police state. Why? Because they are the same as the U.S. in wanting FMD-free Trade Status restored as quickly as possible - NOT CARING what it does to the farmers, the folks in tourism, or any other businesses that go bankrupt as areas are closed off. Not caring what it's done to the heart and soul of their own country. This doesn't even take into consideration the MILLIONS of animals killed - or the pollution that disposing of all those healthy animals has created.
So we are NOT out of the woods and will never be until we demand our rights, demand to protect the MAJORITY of the US citizens (not just exporters making extra cash) from this INSANE FMD policy the U.S. currently adheres to.
Most people are unaware, or will just go back into a cozy case of denial until it actually hits here. And believe me, *new* laws are being set in place daily so none of us will have ANY rights concerning this. They believe sooner or later it WILL hit here. And then all hell will break loose and we'll see the GOVERNMENT take over our lives, kill our stock, ruin businesses, pollute our country, and then it will be too late to do ANYTHING except live with the horror and heartache just like the citizens of the UK are currently experiencing.
Most of this just isn't getting through, people in the U.S. think we live in a bubble and a virus can't cross borders. How naive is that? AND for the sake of those that DON'T believe an airborne virus that can travel on muddy shoes or in nasal passages can show up here (intentionally or otherwise), wouldn't it be nice to know that IF it somehow did, our U.S. livestock were ALREADY protected and there would be no killing? No pollution? No horror and heartache?
NOW is the time to change these archaic policies. Not AFTER the horror hits!
Do you think for one minute that if we didn't have the export law issue that we WOULDN'T be vaccinating for FMD? Of course we would!
This is not, has never been, about FMD. It is about money. Until the people of the US wake up and recognize that, and DEMAND that the OVERALL good of America and her people are considered TOP priority OVER someone else's pocketbook, these laws will not change.
Some people feel "the petition is written in a very aggressive and inflammatory style". I guess we are supposed to be happy our government has the right (and plans on exercising it) to come in and kill our healthy animals. Frankly, I feel our government is the one being "aggressive and inflammatory" in "style".
We have used words. Our government plans on using death.
Since we KNOW our government plans on using death, I feel we have every right and NEED to be "aggressive and inflammatory" in "style".
I think we need to send the message STRONGLY that we aren't going to lay down and accept such a horrendous approach at OUR expense (in all ways). Whose tax dollars do you think will be used to kill our own animals?
We'll be PAYING our government to kill animals we DON'T want killed.
We'll be PAYING our government to drive our tourism and other businesses toward bankruptcy (as MANY in the UK have experienced).
We'll be PAYING our government to pollute our country which will lead to REAL health issues to HUMANS.
How's that for a slap in the face?
Our tax dollars do NOT need to be spent fighting a MILD livestock disease that we can vaccinate for.
Just like Finnie (in the UK) recently admitted, the slaughter routine does NOT work. Professor Fred Brown of the U.S. FMD Center at Plum Island (formerly Deputy Director of Pirbright Animal Virus Research Institute) has said - it makes ZERO sense in a global economy NOT to vaccinate!
It's an out-moded game of economics that leaves the majority of Americans facing a HUGE loss when FMD hits here. And I am just blown away that so many Americans are totally blind to what it's about, and sit by idly waiting to be culled (emotionally and financially) like sheep... somehow thinking the slaughter policy is about "good science".
It is not acceptable in this day and age to continue with a kill policy. Vaccination needs to be a choice and available for purchase as in many other countries.
Willem Schaftenaar DVM, Rotterdam Zoo (and Chairman of the Committee of Zoo Veterinarians of the Royal Dutch Veterinary Association) has written (www.efrc.com/fmd/fmdtext/fmdshaf.htm) "Times have changed. More and more animals are being transported all over the world. The risk of spreading FMD has increased. The solution seems so simple: vaccinate all FMD-susceptible animals as the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) has advised. This means vaccination twice a year will help stop the virus spreading. Infection trials have shown that vaccinated animals do not transmit the virus to non-vaccinated, susceptible animals. This simple solution is every epidemiologist's dream." And he goes on to say, "Those who have been trained in veterinary science know how the FMD virus behaves. They are supposed to know the epidemiology of FMD. They are supposed to know that a non-vaccinated herd is a ready prey for the virus. These people are trained to guarantee the welfare of animals."
And that is what we SHOULD expect in the U.S., that those in authority will protect the welfare of our animals, not kill them to protect the income of exporters.
Nothing less is acceptable.
America is no longer the "land of free, home of the brave", just the land of denial. How can anyone read/see/know what has gone on in the UK and think it can't happen here? The USDA believes it CAN, laws are being changed in one state after another to take MORE of our rights away so we cannot fight when it does hit. And the majority of Americans are chewing a cud and totally ignorant to what can fall on their heads at any moment.
Let's not be "culled", let's fight for our rights.
Please Read and Sign the U.S. Vaccination Petition
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Chelle Rogers © 2001 * All Rights Reserved