may I commend to you Edward Spalton's letter pasted below.

The story of Phoenix the calf bears out Himmler's dictum. "One death is a
sorrow, a hundred is a tragedy but a million is a statistic."

The following letter has appeared in at least two of Edward's local papers.


NONE of the main parties are telling the truth about the reasons for the
chaos in dealing with foot & mouth disease.  They must all know it.

Tony Blair can pose in front of military maps and set up a dramatically name
committee, called COBRA, but he is not running the show - neither is the
Minister of Agriculture.

The British government is tied to every full stop and comma of EU Council
Directive 85/511/EC (as amended) and is also subject to minute weekly and
sometimes daily direction by the EU Commission.

But the EU Commission can only act on the advice of the Standing Veterinary
Committee (SVC) , set up under Council Directive 68/361/EEC. These vets from
EU member states are civil servants voting at the direction of their own
geovernments. Britain's policy is therefore directed by a committee of
foreign vets, whose governments have every competitive reason to reduce
Britain's livestock industry as much as possible.

Vaccination is attractive on humanitarian and aesthetic grounds but is
generally prohibited under Directive 85/511/EEC (as amended by Directive

Emergency vaccination was sanctioned by Commission Decision 2001/257/EEC of
30 March but is hedged around with heavy restrictions on movement of
livestock from areas where vaccination is practised.

The government would not be allowed to compensate farmers for the lower
prices or unsaleability of their products. It would be illegal under EU
competition law.

Britain's membership of the EU has ensured that farmers who vaccinate could
face irrecoverable losses.

There is only one certain remedy - a British Parliament and government
which is master in its own house..

Edward Spalton"