FMD 2007 – the latest at 8th August

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The Health and Safety Executive released a disappointingly unclear report last night. The short document confirmed the FMD strain found at the first farm was the same one being worked on at both IAH and Merial during July. However they did not confirm absolutely that either IAH or Merial are the outbreak source.

The HSE judged the chances of the possible release from one or the other of the laboratories being caused by flooding or aerial transmission were “negligible” … and yet it said that they still need to investigate the integrity of the drainage systems.

They are now following lines of enquiry on the possibility of a deliberate or accidental transmission by human carrier. Selected employees are helping the HSE investigators to explore this.

Large-scale virus production at Merial dealt with volumes of about 10,000 litres, and a series of small scale experiments (fewer than 10 millilitres in each case) also took place at the IAH site.

Let’s Vaccinate!

Why do we cull infected and non-infected animals in the UK to ‘protect the industry’ while we also import meat from countries that have not eradicated FMD? For example, Brazil has FMD and the UK happily imports beef from that country.

We believe it’s high time the UK had a vaccinaton strategy for FMD.

Another outbreak? Defra made new announcements at about 15.45hrs today:

  • Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds has today ordered culling on suspicion of Foot and Mouth Disease on one farm adjacent to the second infected premises in the protection zone confirmed yesterday.
  • Test results show that the strain of the virus found on the second infected premises is 01 BFS67-like strain – the same as the strain identified on the first farm on 4th August.
  • Defra have relaxed the livestock movement ban slightly, to allow certain limited transport. Livestock will be allowed to go to slaughter, under a General Licence from Defra.
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