View Full Version : Foot and Mouth

07-29-2001, 05:07 AM
As so many of you were interested and concerned when I was talking about foot and mouth disease in past weeks I thought I'd update anyone who is interesred.

Although mainly out of the headlines the disease is still marching through our farms.

There have been 1901 cases of foot and mouth now and we are still getting one to three new cases every day. The RSPCA has warned that the situation will explode again in the Autumn.

Some 4,000 sheep have been tested on the Brecon Beacons in Wales due to fears the disease has spread onto the huge area of open land. 400 of these sheep have now been slaughtered.
A nationwide testing is now underway to find the pockets of infected animals that have no symptoms (carriers) or those that have recovered from the disease and are still able to infect others.
It seems we are no nearer seeing the end to this nightmare and those farmers that have been able to restock are living in fear that it may all happen again.

07-29-2001, 07:52 AM
I just heard on the news yesterday that Wales was being hit hard, with many new "carriers" diagnosed. :( There isn't a day when I don't think about the gravity or scope of this horror. Our thoughts and prayers are with all this more, unfortunate creatures, with you Carrie and all your fellow countrymen and women.

07-30-2001, 05:29 AM
Oh God Carrie, and I thought things were getting easier. I was in the UK recently but what I read in the papers did not make me suspect that it could blow up again.

07-30-2001, 03:17 PM
I had no idea. I thought things were calming down. There has been no news here about it, so I thought things were ok now. This is horrible news. I'm so sorry.

07-30-2001, 04:17 PM
Hi Carrie, it seems the press does not consider this important news anymore as we haven't heard anything about it out here.
Actually I thought the danger was pretty much over. I feel terrible those poor farmers are continuing under this black cloud. I just hope and pray that an outbreak will not happen this fall.

07-31-2001, 04:11 AM
There has been 4,000 sheep slaughtered on the Brecon Beacons in Wales as Foot and Mouth traces were found. Further tests showed the disease has spread deeper into the Beacons and the Welsh have called back politicians from their summer holidays to deal with the crisis. It looks likely that at least another 2,000 sheep will be killed.

80,000 sheep in Cumbria are to be tested today amid fears of a second cluster there. This part of the country has already been ravaged by the disease.

The Government has also stopped the clean up operation in farms (livestock that are infected are still being slaughtered and disposed of but the disinfection of premises that takes around six weeks and allows farms to restock as long as the surrounding area is free of disease has been stopped) due to the costs.

Foot and Mouth is thought to have started in this country through infected pig swill. Infected meat was fed to pigs before it was treated to eliminate disease risks - this is highly dangerous and totally against the law. Pet foods and commercial animal feeds are of no risk at all of carrying this infection.

BSE is another thing all together. No dogs have been infected with spongiform, not even hunting hounds that are fed highly suspect meat. There has been several pet cats infected and several big cats in zoos and wildlife parks have also been infected.
Restrictions were put in force to stop the infective parts of animals, the brain and spinal column, being used in animal feeds and since then there has been no further infection. Pet food is now safe - but it may be worth writng to a few companies to check that the rules in the USA are the same as the UK laws.

08-02-2001, 05:38 AM
We had some fantastic news yesterday!
Devon was declared free of Foot and Mouth! This means that Cornwall, Devon and Somerset are now free of the disease and restrictions have been lifted. The farming community and the tourist industry can start to rebuild shattered lives and businesses. At the height of the disease 15,950 premises were affected in this area alone.

Sadly we have another seven cases elsewhere in the country bringing the total number to 1921. There are still 48,366 premises under restriction country wide.

08-02-2001, 07:25 AM
Carrie, in the midst of all the bad news, I am so happy to hear you use the word "fantastic"! That's been long time coming. I am thankful that you have gotten a bit of good news and hope more will be coming. Our prayers continue.


Daisy's Mom
08-03-2001, 01:34 AM
I had also been under the impression that the situation was getting better. So sorry to hear that it isn't. I wish there was something that I... or ANYONE for that matter, could do to help.

At least there was a little bit of good news! That is great. And until all of your news is good, we will continue our prayers.

08-03-2001, 04:28 PM
So glad to hear at least a little good news. I hope the worst is over.

08-03-2001, 06:09 PM
Carrie, I was glad to hear you talk a little like you feel something positive is happening. That is good news! Hopefully it will continue with the rest of the countryside. You all have been through so much.

08-06-2001, 11:08 PM
Plans have been anounced today to test a further 60 to 100 thousand sheep in the Brecon Beacons after the slaughter of around 6,000 that were shown to have antibodies to Foot and Mouth. The final decision will depend on the results of the latest blood tests, due at any time.

The tabloid press is having a field day at the moment complaining about the compensation that has been paid to farmers who have lost their stock. Around 35 millionaires have been created in the farming community. What the papers and thus the general public fail to understand is that the people who get that sort of money have invested 25 to 60 years in the pedigree stock that has been lost. It sickens me and must turn the stomach of every farmer the length and breadth of the country to see such small minded and short sighted "newsmen" at work. Do they not realise that the very heart of the British flock and milk and beef herds is at risk and the very people they are waging war against are the defenders of our heritage!

08-07-2001, 07:44 PM
North Yorkshire and Cumbria have reported more new cases of Foot and Mouth - the total is now 1931 confirmed cases.

The number of premises where animals have been or await slaughter - 9,015.

3,690,000 animals have been slaughtered..
..575,000 cattle
..2,967,000 sheep
..139,000 pigs
..2,000 goats
..1,000 deer
..6,000 other animals

22,000 animals are awaiting slaughter.

Of those slaughtered there are19,000 bodies awaiting disposal....

NB. These are Government figures that now have a note on them that they may not be accurate as the rate of slaughter and disposal is variable....(yeah, OK)

4 feline house
08-07-2001, 09:38 PM
Carrie-apparently those small minded reporters also don't understand the value of livestock - those farmers were likely already millionaires - except that what was livestock before has now been liquidated into cash. And it will take all that money to rebuild their stock, whenever that can be.

08-09-2001, 07:55 PM
The latest news is that the Government has announced three different inquiries into the Foot and Mouth outbreak (FMD( not an epidemic, you will notice!)).
All three will be independent of the Government and centre on it's handling of the outbreak, a scientific review and a commission on the furure of farming and food.

It falls well short of the public inquiry the opposition, and the public involved, have been calling for.

A further 2 - 4 thousand sheep are to be culled on the Brecon Beacons.
Evidence of FMD has been found in two further flocks and they will be slaughtered along with neighbouring flocks - a total of around 2,000 animals.

08-10-2001, 07:43 AM
I am so sorry you and others in the UK are still struggling with the problem of foot and mouth disease. :eek: Thank you so much for keeping the rest of the world up to date about this terrible situation. We will keep you and your country in prayer.
All of us should be more aware of the limitations of the press (natural or self-imposed) in keeping people worldwide informed of important news. Gone are the days (if they ever existed!) when we could simply accept as worthwhile and complete the things we read in the papers or saw on TV. Now more than ever, we need to think through everything that we read and view, and teach our children to do the same.

08-11-2001, 06:32 PM
MAFF - Ministery for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food was relinquished of responsibilties several weeks ago due the handling of Foot and Mouth. The new agency is DEFRA - Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

As far as I can tell this means the official enquiries can put all the blame on MAFF for almost anything and then say that it's all sorted because a "NEW" agency has control. (This is my own opinion and funnily enough it is not endorsed by any Government department!)

New cases continue to appear, between two and six every day, journalists continue to ignore the misery and the real issues and complain about compensation payments, when the whole situation is not being ignored.

Friends of my sister, who live in Somerset and had all their stock culled about six months ago, have been told..off the record and very quietly by someone from the, now obselete, ministry, not to even think of buying in stock until, at the soonest, next summer.

4 feline house
08-12-2001, 10:22 AM
I enjoy crop circles - I don't know or care how they get there, I just enjoy looking at them because they are so mathematically and artisitically fascinating to me. Anyone who doesn't know, the majority of crop circles are found in England. It's been a few months since I visited any crop circle websites. I did yesterday, and was struck by how many reports this summer have no picture, only the picture of the red hoof and mouth quarantine sign, or how many have the warning "this circle has not been investigated because it is not accessible due to foot and mouth restriction".

08-16-2001, 09:09 PM
Very sadly the whole countryside shut down, places that people couldn't imagine being affected were suddenly out of bounds.

The latest news is that the European Commision is to pay 224 million as a starter payment until the whole cost is known. This is to the UK alone - Holland will get 24.7 million and France and Ireland smaller amounts.
It is now estimated that before this financial year is out the cost of secondary clean up (making farms safe to be restocked) will be at least 3 billion!!!
Ummm....wonder what the papers will make of this....

The RSPCA has again, along with other animal welfare organisations, expressed concern about animals, especially sheep, caught in restricted zones as grazing depletes as we head toward Autumn.

Daisy's Mom
08-17-2001, 10:10 PM
Carrie I am so sorry that this out-of-control nightmare is still plaguing your country. I wish there was something I... or anyone, for that matter... could do to stop it. I guess all I can offer are my prayers, and I hope they help. My prayers and thoughts are with you and everyone else that this horrible disease has hurt.

08-24-2001, 08:03 AM
Tom Robinson is a hill farmer in Lancanshire and has a flock of pedigree Swaledale, Dalesbred and Lonk breeding ewes. He wrote to one of the national papers to try and highlight the fact that for many farmers the Foot and Mouth crisis is getting worse, not better. Here is some of his letter;

As a hill farmer who's been living on the edge of foot and mouth disease since the start, our problems are just starting to escalate with the onset of autumn and what would of been our busy sales period.

While we understand the need for movement restrictions, we and others like us are at our wits' end over what to do.

We shall struggle to move any of our animals this year, affecting our farming enterprise for many years to come. Movement restrictions mean that our farm will carry an unsustainable 50 per cent more stock through the winter. This will lead to a major problem in spring when there's scarcely any grass for the animals.

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 1,971.

[ August 24, 2001: Message edited by: carrie ]

4 feline house
08-24-2001, 02:45 PM
My favorite author, James Herriott, was a vet in the Yorkshire Dales from the 30's. He wrote several books about his experiences. Some of the stories that stand out after decades of reading his books are the foot and mouth horror stories - how farms, in the family for centuries, and even entire villages, could be wiped out in a season. All it took was one case, and mandatory slaughters and quarantines would mean financial ruin. It's too bad that, with all the medical and scientific advances made since the 30's, the grim outlook has not changed a bit for the foot and mouth situation.

08-26-2001, 06:03 AM
A third case has been confirmed in Northumberland.

08-26-2001, 05:21 PM
Three more cases in Northumberland bringing the total, in an area that has been clean for nearly three months, to six.

08-26-2001, 05:28 PM
Do they know where the new cases are coming from? Have infected animals been brought in, somehow, or is it just reappearing from the ground or something?

Awful awful, awful.

08-26-2001, 08:27 PM
The first three can all be connected to the same market but as yet they have not established if this is a new infection or disease that has been overlooked or underlying in sheep showing no symptoms. It seems this will never end.

08-26-2001, 11:23 PM
The Red Cross called me on Wednesday...seems they needed some of my type of blood. I went in Thursday morning to let them "take" it :eek: and one of the questions, for the first time ever, was whether I had recently visited the UK! Surely this was because of the Foot and Mouth...you think?

Carrie, I am just so very sorry that this whole thing can't be stopped. It has been so horrible for your country and others.

08-27-2001, 06:13 AM
This is cetainly to prevent any possible risk of FMD. Your blood would not carry the disease but you may carry it on clothes, skin or hair. I imagine this is more an excersise in public peace of mind rather than containing any real disease risk.

08-27-2001, 01:05 PM
There are now eight confirmed cases in Northumberland with two more "highly suspicious" cases being investigated.
Hexham market has now been ruled out as the source of infection so that remains a mystery.

08-27-2001, 07:15 PM
Northumberland has just confirmed their eleventh case!

08-28-2001, 03:59 AM
Four farms in the Borders in Scotland are now under close supervision as a farmer from an infected Northumberland farm visited them last Thursday. Scotland will be clean for three months on Thursday and exports can then resume.

08-31-2001, 02:02 PM
Northumberland has three new cases of FMD today and the Army have now been called in to oversee logistical operations.

Daisy's Mom
08-31-2001, 10:29 PM
Carrie I am so sorry. I keep expecting a post saying that it's all suddenly over... but I never see it :( My thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone affected by this.

09-05-2001, 02:00 PM
6,100 square miles of the North of England now have to face a ban on animal movement. This "red box" is an effort to stop the spread of FMD that has now infected 19 farms in Northumberland.

Dixieland Dancer
09-05-2001, 02:14 PM
Dear Carrie,
I hope this does not effect you directly. We have not heard much on our news lately about this so I just assumed the threat was over. Our prayers go out to all those effected. Please continue to keep us posted since the new media won't. This is just a terrible situation!

09-05-2001, 07:08 PM
Thank you all again.

I have just sent an email to you DixielandDancer to tell you how much your concern and interest matters.

There have now been - can't believe it! - 2,004 cases of confirmed Foot and Mouth disease in this country.

That is terrible enough when you actually think of the animals and the people who have suffered. Take into account the farms around those infected that also have to see all their animals die. Farms where the Spring stock that should be sold on now have to keep an excess of animals that they have no means to feed or house through the Winter.

There are so many issues and problems and fears for the future....farming in this country may never recover.

09-10-2001, 07:19 AM
There are two suspected cases of FMD in Leicestershire today. (The last cases in this county were in April.) 37 cattle have been slaughtered after blood was taken for testing and emergency restrictions are in place.
We will all keep our fingers crossed that this is a false alarm.