FMD News Sites - Most From UK
Yahoo Full Coverage FMD News
Yahoo World Full Coverage FMD News
Ananova FMD News
Guardian Unlimited FMD News
Flash Interactive UK FMD Map of Spread and Other Info
BBC News
Telegraph UK
Independent UK
The Scotsman
Times UK - FMD
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UK FMD Sites By Officials
MAFF - FMD ~ 10 Downing Street - FMD
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FMD Sites By The People
Sign the U.S. Petition
Specialist Information on Bovine Genetics and the Dairy Farming Industry - FMD
Sheepdrove Organic Farm - FMD
Elm Farm Research Centre - FMD
Pig Health - Unprotected pigs = Unprotected taxpayers
Alpaca, Llama and Merino Sheep UK FMD Forum
Soil Association
Campaign Against Unnecessary Slaughter of Alpacas and Llamas UK FMD Forum
Silent Majority - FootInMouth
Dr. Harash Narang - FMD and BSE and Creutfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
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World Sites
Institute for Animal Health (IAH - Pirbright Laboratory) - FMD

Designated the World Reference Laboratory for FMD
by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations
and the Office International des Epizooties (OIE)
The AVIS Consortium consists of a working partnership between the Institute for Animal Health, UK; The Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome; L'Office International des Epizooties, Paris and Telos ALEFF Ltd., UK.
2001 International Joint Conference of STVM/WDA
Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM)
Wildlife Disease Association (WDA)
The European Commission - FMD
International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID)
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US Sites
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - FMD
USDA-APHIS Plum Island Animal Disease Center
National Animal Health Emergency Management System (NAHEMS)
OIE - Weekly Disease Information Reports
USDA - Biologic Warfare or Bioterrorism - Possible Scenario FMD Attack
USDA Emergency Operation Center Notices (EMOC) - FMD
Infectious Diseases Society of America (ISDA)
American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
North Carolina Disease Alert - FMD (lots of great links here)
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What Do Scientists, Experts and Vets Say?
FMD Experts Urge Vaccination
United Biomedical Inc. FMDV Diagnostics Q&A
Professor Fred Brown (Plum Island Animal Disease Center) Visited London
Letter by Professor Fred Brown
Open Letter from Willem Schaftenaar DVM, Rotterdam Zoo - Also Chairman of the Committee of Zoo Veterinarians of the Royal Dutch Veterinary Association
The Federation of Veterinarians in Europe (FVE) Asks for Vaccination
Ruth Watkins, Retired Clinical Virologist in UK
Stuart Renton, MAFF Vet Blasts MAFF
Patricia Doyle, PhD Asks Questions
Did Government Scientists Start FMD Outbreak?
Dr. Harash Narang - FMD
Letters to Blair from Dr. Harash Narang and Ken Bell M.B.E
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How Can FMD Be Treated?
Old Cowmen's Cure Saved Duke's Pedigree Herd

Kenyan Herders Protest FMD Slaughter - This was posted at on March 24, 2001 Web posted at: 1:08 AM HKT (1708 GMT) SUSUA, Kenya (AP)

Cloaked in trademark red shawls with layers of brightly colored beads around their necks, hundreds of Maasai herders converge on this dusty town on the southern end of Kenya's portion of the Great Rift Valley for the twice-weekly cattle market.

Cows are central to the lives of the nomadic herdsmen who have been deeply disturbed by news that hundreds of thousands of livestock have been killed in faraway Britain in a bid to stamp out an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

Tribal tradition holds that these herders are the true custodians of all the world's cows, and the notion of a mass slaughter of otherwise healthy animals is not only horrifying in theory -- they take it very personally.

"If the European people were here in Africa, we could have raided them for this," Nicholas Tanyai said angrily, as he looked over cows for sale at the corral on the edge of town, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Nairobi.

"Just bring those animals that you are killing, and we will buy them."

Foot-and-mouth is endemic in Kenya, as in many other countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America, where an outbreak barely causes a stir. A relatively mild livestock disease which strikes cloven-hoofed animals such as sheep, pigs and cows, foot-and-mouth poses no medical threat to humans.

The Maasai equate it with a human cold -- they use the same word for both illnesses -- treating the sores that appear on the hooves and in the mouths of infected animals with boiled herbs and salt and waiting for the disease to pass.

While the virus can significantly reduce the milk and meat output of selectively bred European cattle, its effects on indigenous breeds are minimal apart from in the very young, which can die, said Brian Perry, a veterinary epidemiologist at the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute.

Kenyan cows are lower-yielding to begin with, and they have also developed greater resistance to the disease, he said.

The panic that has gripped Britain and other Western countries has more to do with international trade than the nature of the disease.

A country that imports livestock touched by the highly infectious virus risks infecting its own herds, thereby jeopardizing its own export business.

British meat and livestock were banned by the European Union, the United States, Canada and other countries after the outbreak was detected February 19.

The virus can be spread by anything it touches, including truck tires, the soles of shoes, or contaminated hay, water and manure. Wind can carry it up to 40 miles (65 kilometers).

Following on the heels of a mad cow disease scare - a livestock ailment that has been linked to a brain-wasting variant in humans - British officials were quick to impose movement restrictions and a slaughter program. More than 200,000 animals have been killed, their carcasses burned, and the ashes buried in deep pits. Many more could be condemned.

Movement by people in the countryside has also been discouraged, with officials closing country footpaths, halting horse racing, quarantining suspect farms and slaughterhouses and shutting down parks and nature reserves.

In the scrubby grasslands around Susua, where zebra and the occasional giraffe mix with the grazing cows, sheep and goats, Nanna Kakatleya's eyes widen in horror at the prospect.

"If the government tells me to kill my cattle, then they will kill me," said the elderly herder, a member of Kenya's majority Kikuyu tribe, who was armed with clubs and arrows as he watched over his animals.

Cows are at the heart of the herder society, representing food, wealth, status, and a source of cash for school fees or the price of a bride.

Slaughter to stave off an outbreak of the disease isn't an option in a country where the government does not have the money to compensate farmers for the loss of their herds. And it wouldn't be effective anyway unless wild animals such as the migrating wildebeest were also culled, Perry said.

When outbreaks do occur in Kenya, the authorities usually impose a quarantine and vaccinate animals in the affected area.

In Europe, however, the injections have been discontinued because they are not 100 percent reliable and can hinder tracking of the disease, as vaccinated animals carry the same antibodies as those infected. (NOTE: With the new vaccines and diagnostic tests this is no longer true.)

An immunization campaign would also cost European countries - apart from Britain and France, which has also now been touched by the disease -- their current foot-and-mouth-free status in world trade markets. (NOTE: Perhaps it's time for the whole world to take a good look at vaccination and avoid ALL future outbreak danger - natural or bio-terrorist in nature.)

That is not a concern in Kenya, where most of the meat and dairy production is for domestic consumption.

Delamere Estates, one of the country's largest beef and dairy producers which operates like western cattle ranches, vaccinates its imported black and white milking cows every four months as a precaution, general manager Renaldo Retief said. (NOTE: Look how simple it becomes.)

He admitted to being as puzzled about Britain's handling of the outbreak as the herders in nearby Susua, where Moses Kaleki contemplated the issue from a bench in front of the town's rickety cafe.

"Maybe the disease is dangerous to you Europeans," he wondered. "Is that why you are killing your cows?" (NOTE: Moses Kaleki has asked the right question. But no, the disease is not dangerous to us. The "modern world" is killing their cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, pigs, herding dogs and more so that a *few* can line their pockets with a few more pennies per pound.)

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Stories of the Slaughter

From Cull MAFF 5-2001
Epidemic Over? Certainly not. Daily cases are still emerging and when unvaccinated cattle are let out for summer pasture (as is already happening) the situation is likely to escalate. Some people also question the official reported figures, which they feel are being "massaged" to make MAFF " the New Labour government look good. For every reported case of FMD ALL surrounding properties are subject to the "contiguous properties" cull. So the apparently diminishing figures hide an unreported purge of uninfected cattle, alpacas, sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, etc. Be it a commercial farm with 5000 head of stock, or an elderly lady with a pet goat, there is no difference in the eyes of the MAFF death squads. These people are LEGALLY ENTITLED to protect their animals until a blood test can prove that the virus is present. This is NOT currently happening. Animals ARE tested, then slaughtered, and then in the majority of cases reprieved. Twenty-first century science or medieval doctrine; you decide. They die anyway!

Public Inquiry Needed!
Past President of the Largest U.S. Farm Group Says
It's Just A Matter of Time Before FMD hits Here

The Scottish Speak Up
Farmers Not The Only Victims
Pot Shots Taken Maiming Cattle - Two Still Loose Believed To Be Infecting Farms
Nearly 30% Of Confirmed Cases In Britain Proved Negative
Slaughter of the Innocents and They Tested Negative
Tested Negative - But Already Killed
Intimidation, Blackmail and Coercion
The Killing Machine
Alpacas Killed
The Horror Seen
Little girl's Pet Cow Destroyed
Unique 700 Year Old Herd to Die (The Wild White Cattle of Chillingham were
used by David Attenborough in his "The Living Planet" series.)
300 Lambs and 200 Ewes killed Due to Maff Mistake
Misty, the Family Pet Who Slept by the Fire, Sneakily Murdered by Maff
Cattle Low Mightily, Then The Thuds Begin
Hector Christie Begs For Vaccine for 9 Highland Cattle and 3 Berkshire Pigs
Llamas Slaughtered
Woman Fights to Save Snowy and Pandora, 2 Pet Sheep
Ms Wilson, 54, Sanctuary Owner will
spend All of Her Personal Savings to Save Animals
Appalling Waste of Life to Kill 980 Healthy Cattle - Owner Fights
Already in Wild Deer - Mass Slaughter of Livestock Futile
Row Has Developed Over Whether Deer Have FMD
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Vaccines and Diagnostic Tests
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Professor Fred Brown from the US FMD Center at Plum Island (formerly Deputy Director of Pirbright Animal Virus Research Institute) visited London and together with a commercial company offered Pirbright a testing kit for the presence of FMD virus to be used on farms at the beginning of the epidemic. It Was Refused! Before the above meeting, Fred Brown wrote, "If it is decided to ring vaccinate, this would the virus load enormously. In addition it would be ludicrous to slaughter the vaccinated animals subsequently. All the rules about moving animals following vaccination are based on the information available before differential diagnostic tests had been devised. These rules need serious debate."
The Green Party in England and Wales has obtained a supply of diagnostic testing kits which they are offering to farmers and smallholders who wish to resist the cull of healthy animals by MAFF death squads.

Dr Richard Lawson, the Green Party's Foot and Mouth Disease Campaign Co-ordinator, has received 20 testing kits from Genesis Diagnostics, a British firm sited in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, and is making them available to animal owners who wish to demonstrate that their animals are not infected by Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD).

The tests can be carried out on site and are similar in shape to pregnancy testing kits that can be bought at chemists. They require a blood sample from the animal, and can give a result in 10 minutes. The Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright is currently evaluating the tests, but they may take weeks to finish their evaluation, and even then may reject the tests. Dr Lawson, a General Practitioner, comments "Time is pressing, and every day animals are being slaughtered unnecessarily. Only 25% of animals suspected of FMD infection are proved to infected by posthumous tests. MAFF's policy seems to be shoot first, ask questions afterwards."

Use of the tests will require the co-operation of a sympathetic vet, veterinary nurse, doctor, practice nurse or phlebotomist. Each test costs 6 to 7.

The Green Party is also awaiting a shipment of 192 tests from UBI Pharmaceuticals in New York State, USA, free of charge, with a generous offer of 10,000 free tests if required. These tests require processing in a laboratory, and the Green Party anticipates that MAFF would try to block such a move.

Dr Lawson, who is the author of a book on public health, comments, "I sincerely hope that Tony Blair is right in his assessment that the disease is over, but the problems caused by his slaughter-only policy are still with us. On Monday 30th of April, Mr Mick Price of Micheldean who suffered a heart attack as a result of MAFF pressure, who had put his few animals on an A notice. This was downgraded to a D notice following his illness. There are many other smallholders who are resisting the mass slaughter of healthy animals who would wish to choose vaccination rather than slaughter of their animals. Rare breeds, particularly the historic Chillingham herd, remain at risk." {The Chillingham Wild Cattle are one of the original herds of emparked wild cattle and still roam in their natural surroundings over about 300 acres of Chillingham Park in Northumberland. They are under threat of culling by MAFF. Please telephone MAFF's local office (24 hours) and make strong objections to the potential destruction of this valuable herd. Telephone 01228 5234000 now, day or night.}

"Nick Brown has refused to impose vaccination against the farmers' wishes. It is illogical to impose slaughter, which is far more traumatic, and causes severe environmental and public health risks, against the wishes of the owners of these animals. They are not intended for the public food chain, so the spurious health scare cooked up by MAFF/NFU does not apply. Animals in this class need special protection. Diagnostic testing kits offers the first line of moral and practical defence: they should also be given the effective defence offered by vaccination."

UBI (United Biomedical, Inc.) of Hauppauge, N.Y. has developed a synthetic peptide vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease virus. The UBI vaccine is effective in pigs and is a practical vaccine for use in countries such as the U.S. that are free of the disease. Unlike conventional killed virus vaccines, the synthetic vaccine is completely safe." It also states, "In five different trials done in government laboratories on three continents, the UBI vaccine protected 45 out of 46 pigs from an intentional exposure to the highly contagious virus. The vaccine is practical as it causes no side effects and can be commercially produced at a cost comparable to conventional vaccines. Dr. Walfield's report will focus on a trial conducted at the United States Department of Agriculture Plum Island Animal Disease Center and is co-authored by Dr. Fred Brown of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Dr. Juan Lubroth of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and others."In response to the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) in the swine population in the Republic of China (ROC), UBI has developed a highly specific series of peptide based diagnostic tests capable of differentiating FMDV vaccinated from infected animals, detecting FMDV infection, and monitoring the effectiveness of FMDV Vaccine program. These FMDV differential diagnostics represent a tremendous advance to the management of FMDV outbreaks, and will provide significant economic benefit to the agricultural industry of the ROC and other areas of the world where FMDV outbreaks occur. The products are currently available for sales outside of the United States, through USDA export certification. Please read United Biomedical Inc. FMDV Diagnostics Q&A.

Intervet has announced its development of a new serological test to distinguish between animals vaccinated against Foot and Mouth Disease and those that have actually been infected with the disease. It will also be able to identify animals that have been vaccinated and subsequently have contracted the disease. The test distinguishes antibodies induced by a field virus infection from those induced by existing modern FMD-vaccines.

The test is being developed by our daughter company Bommelli AG in Switzerland in collaboration with the Institute of Animal Health in Pirbright (U.K.) and the Instituto Zooprofilattico in Brescia (Italy). We expect to bring the test to the market as a ready-to-use ELISA kit from September 2001 onwards. The exact level of sensitivity and specificity of the test can only be determined after all necessary experiments have been concluded, but we hope to reach levels close to 100%.

The test makes it possible to identify infected animals in a population where routine vaccination is used to prevent the clinical symptoms and spread of the disease. In this way, the simultaneous use of vaccination and serological monitoring enables eradication programmes to be carried out in infected areas.

Under a non-vaccination policy like in the EU, the test will be of value as a screening tool to identify animals that have been in contact with FMD virus. Positive test samples should then be confirmed by virus isolation techniques to identify virus carriers.

Chelle Rogers © 1999-2001 * All Rights Reserved
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