FMD Quotes
Quotes  Foot and mouth (FMD)

(Emphasis added)

"FMD first appeared in 1839 yet despite initial reaction was largely ignored for the next 30 years. The disease was common, extremely mild in relation to other prevalent diseases and provoked few efforts at control....
    FMD control by the state occurred almost as an afterthought. Attention was primarily directed to preventing importation and spread of highly fatal livestock ailments such as cattle plague. FMD control by movement restrictions was merely tagged on to legislation aimed at controlling these much more serious diseases......
    Many veterinarians, farmers and MPs rejected the need to control FMD, upon the basis that firstly the disease was not severe enough and that losses due to legislative 'cure' would outweigh those inflicted by the disease itself. Secondly they doubted if it were possible, stating that FMD could spread by wildlife and people, which could not be controlled as easily as infected livestock.....
    Influential breeders, often MPs and Royal Agricultural Society representatives, led the lobby for FMD elimination. They suffered most economic losses due to the disease - their valuable young livestock suffered higher than average mortality and occasional abortions and mastitis also inflicted losses....
    Slaughter of FMD was introduced almost by default in order to rapidly eliminate new outbreaks, and again by default was extended to the control of already-raging epidemics. Pressure for the continuation of this policy was not driven by far-sighted, intelligent men but by an influential group who manipulated their political power in order to preserve their personal economic interests......
    It is important to realise that animal welfare arguments were never part of the discussions upon FMD control. This was always purely and simply an economic issue. However, given the draconian methods of control and the fact that under slaughter, none were able to encounter the disease at first hand it is unsurprising that the disease came to be viewed as a terrible event, largely divorced from its biological effects. The present argument upon welfare grounds was merely to make slaughter a 'politically acceptable' move given the wider criticisms brewing against highly intensive, economically efficient farming systems. It is now exposed as a fallacy given that many sheep have supposedly suffered the disease without drawing notice to themselves.....
    MAFF has grown powerful through its past elimination of FMD and through repeated victories against the critics of slaughter. Tradition plays a huge role in its approach to this disease problem and in the current critical situation, historical success is possibly the only certainty MAFF has left to cling on to. Here I have attempted to undermine that certainty."--"---Abigail Woods MA MSc VetMB MRCVS

"This calls to mind a personal interview I conducted with A. Kalokerinos, Chief Medical Officer at the Aboriginal Health Clinic in Redfern (Sydney), Australia. He related an experience wherein cattle feeding on grass grown on re-mineralized soil, were grazing literally nose to nose--at the fence line--with another herd infected with hoof and mouth disease. Without the benefit of any specific protective measures including vaccines, the uninfected herd manifested total immunity."----Raymond Obomsawin

"The US Department of Agriculture says FMD mortality is usually less than 1% although higher death rates have been reported.  The virology chief of the Israel CVO department told me last week that they routinely treat animals with the disease and they usually recover. "Only rarely" do they have to destroy afflicted animals.  This is all rather academic actually as the current outbreak in the UK does of course come with 100% mortality for sheep that are even suspected of exposure, whether they have the disease or not. This also applies to Llamas, Alpacas, Bison and pet goats."--Jonathan Miller

"In southern Africa domestic stock and wildlife encounter foot and mouth occasionally and there is no illogical slaughter — because Africans have the good sense to realise that it serves no purpose other than inciting panic and disgust. In southern Africa the disease is controlled by quarantine and disinfectant alone. Wildlife build up an immunity afterwards and domestic stock can live to see another day."--Dr Tanya Ritchie

"The very idea of disease-free animals and disease-free people fuels the appetite for genetic engineering. It decreases our levels of tolerance and resilience. It breeds fear, anxiety and paranoia - the kind of fear that is moving the military might of Britain to declare a war against its hoofed inhabitants. This paranoia suits the genetic engineering industry perfectly. By exterminating farm animals, the option of small organic farms is eroded. By creating a fear of disease, a new market is created for Dolly, and Polly and Tracy and all their clones.  We should stop this war against farm animals. Without them we will never be able to build a sustainable farming future."---Dr Vandana Shiva

"FMD is not a fatal disease under normal classification methods. It is akin to flu in humans... yes, people can die from it but usually only the weak, elderly and undernourished. In other words those people whose immune systems are low. Simplistically, the same applies to FMD... those animals with very weak immune systems may die. Those with weak immune systems will suffer the symptoms and then recover. Those with strong immune systems will not even exhibit the symptoms. This being the case the obvious LONG TERM answer to the problem is, build the immune system of the animals. And this is done by practising good husbandry. This doesn't mean we have to go back 50 or 100 years. No, it is about using what we know of the old, and combining it with the new. For example, it is well know in some circles that most agricultural soils have been depleted of certain minerals and humus... both of which are necessary for healthy and nutritious crops. There is a quick and economic answer to this. It involves applying mineral-rich volcanic rock dust and organic carbon to the soils. Two companies I know of in Australia are involved in this, there are probably more in other counties: 1. International Mineral Consultants Pty Ltd: 2. Sustainable Agriculture & Food Enterprises Pty. Ltd. "---Trevor Osborne, NDA

"Sir Albert Howard, working in India during the 1920’s, experienced how important healthy humus-rich soil is for plant and animal health. In his book Farming & Gardening for Health or Disease, he showed how, through caring for livestock in the best possible way, providing them with healthy, natural food grown on the farm and without using any artificial fertilisers, his animals could be resistant to many of the prevalent diseases including Foot and Mouth. Indeed, so convinced was he of their resilience and health that he allowed his animals to come into contact with infected animals and contaminated pasture. This experiment was repeated 13 years running during which time none of his animals became infected. In his own words, "This long experience of foot and mouth suggests that an important factor in the prevention of animal disease is food from humus filled soil."---Bernard Jarman

"When the disease was diagnosed on Nov 2, 1923, the duke, who was opposed to the slaughter policy, told the ministry that his farms were almost isolated because so many of the surrounding farms had had their stock slaughtered. ...Hamilton and his staff fell back on simple remedies recommended by old men who remembered what was done before the slaughter policy was introduced. These consisted of syringing the feet and mouth with a solution of salt and water. When the blisters burst the feet were dressed with Stockholm tar and the tongue recovered without further treatment. To prevent the cattle standing in manure or urine which could re-infect them, a round-the-clock watch was kept and their droppings removed.
    Hamilton said: "That was the answer. Keep the cow's feet clean for two to five days after the blisters burst until the sores healed up and all our troubles were over."  He wrote: "Among the milking cows we did come up against blisters forming on the teats. They sealed the end of the teats over and when we did have to draw any milk from the udder we had to break the blisters every time to get the milk out of the end of the teat." Nature provided an answer to this problem, as the animals were so ill for the days the fever lasted that they produced almost no milk, and they did not return to their previous yield until the following lactation.
    The cows were off their food for a few days until the blisters on their tongues burst, but recovered swiftly and within two to three weeks were back to normal, except for the few that got septic feet. Two cows did die during this period, but neither death could be put down to foot and mouth.
    An indication of the success of the cure was that several animals that had had the disease in November and December were exhibited at the Royal Show on July 1 and won several prizes.
    When Hamilton wrote up his recollections 44 years later, during the 1967 outbreak, he said: "The treatment of the disease is quite an easy matter if good accommodation is available for the animals being treated, and sufficient experienced labour is available during the first week of the outbreak, during which time keeping the feet clean is most essential."---Charles Clover

"During the last major outbreak of Foot & Mouth in 1967, anecdotal evidence indicates that those farms using Borax escaped, even when their neighbours were infected with this contagious disease. Now there is actual evidence from farms in various parts of the country that are using Borax are still uninfected, despite their neighbours losing all their stock in the present epidemic."--- JOHN GOURIET

"I recently spoke to a 92 year old farmer whose grandfather had successfully treated cattle with FMD in the mid-19th century.  This did not involve any medicines but a new diet whilst the mouth ulcers were painful.  The food was a form of porridge and he said that all the cattle recovered well and the milk yield only fell about 7% when the animals were infected.  There was no long-term adverse impact on the condition of the cattle."---Ken Prichard Jones

"The creator of the Pippi Longstocking books forced Sweden more than a decade ago to abandon the farming methods that have brought hellfire to the fields of Europe. Thanks to her, Anders Olsson, a 43-year-old stocky man who tills 325 fertile acres in southern Sweden, is raking it in. While farmers across Europe watch their livestock being consumed by flames, Mr Olsson's pigs and cattle are untouched and guaranteed to fetch record prices as soon as the EU reopens its abattoirs. The Lindgren Law banished the excesses of modern farming and offered Europe an environmentally friendly model for food production at affordable prices. Bowing to pressure from animal rights activists marshalled by the writer, Sweden introduced Europe's most stringent animal welfare rules in the mid-Eighties. Mr Olsson cursed, remortgaged the family farm to comply with the requirements, and, today, consumers cannot get enough of his pork and beef. .............Anna Tofften of the Swedish Agriculture Ministry, says: "We have intensive farming, but not the kind of animal factories you see elsewhere in Europe." Organic food costs up to 50 per cent more than the standard fare you find in supermarkets. But Swedish meat is only 10 to 15 per cent more, a premium consumers are willing to pay.

"There are three aspects to the reaction of the FMD epidemic that make me terribly uneasy. First, while it is clear that globalisation of trade and increased movement of animals has spread the disease, the UK government continues to support increased liberalisation of agricultural trade in the World Trade Organisation. The half million livestock being killed are a ritual sacrifice to the gods of global markets. Shutting the countryside down while keeping borders open to trade will not prevent spread of disease - either coming in through imports or going out through exports.  Second, the export obsession that is an intrinsic part of globalisation also leads to a blindness to the welfare of animals and farmers. Thousands of livestock can be annihilated, hundreds of farmers ruined to maintain the "vaccine free" status of exports. Neither the farmers nor farm animals count in the calculus of free trade. That is why farmers are committing suicide in thousands in India, and animals are being killed in thousands in the UK. Third, the same agencies that refuse to act in the public interest on issues of food safety related to GMOs are willing to cull farm animals infected by a non-fatal disease. These are double standards. On the basis of the precautionary principle, the UK government should ban GMOs instead of killing harmless animals if it is concerned about safety of food and agriculture."---Dr Vandana Shiva

"He wanted to know why Britain found it so hard to suppress a disease which the Maasai had learnt to control generations ago.....The selective culling of badly infected stock, moreover, is likely to lead to an improvement in disease resistance, which many of our over-developed new breeds are now woefully lacking. Any suffering caused by foot and mouth would surely be offset by terminating the cruel and unnecessary live transport of animals to other countries. .....The benefits of endemic foot and mouth, by contrast, must surely be obvious. It would encourage farmers to develop local markets for their produce, which is the only strategy which makes both economic and environmental sense. It would reduce the number of lorries on the roads. It would persuade breeders to phase out strains with poor resistance to disease and inherent welfare problems, and return to hardier types which don't require such intensive management."---George Monbiot

"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. "--Media

"In our six parishes, 37 farms have had all their livestock killed because of foot and mouth disease on three holdings, and subsequent blood tests haven’t even substantiated those. There is quite a lot of anger about because of so much apparently needless slaughter."-----Prebendary Frank Rodgers, the Vicar of Clodock and Longtown with Craswall, Llanveynoe, St Margaret’s, Michaelchurch Escley and Newton (Hereford).

"What should be done with Maff? Maff should be shot in the head, dumped in a trench, fried to a cinder, sprinkled with quicklime and buried with a stake through its heart, that's what should be done with Maff "----Ian Willmore, media coordinator for Friends of the Earth.

"It is the job of the European Parliament to make rules and regulations - only the British are foolish enough to enforce them"--German Minister for food

"This paranoia suits the genetic engineering industry perfectly. By exterminating farm animals, the option of small organic farms is eroded. By creating a fear of disease, a new market is created for Dolly, and Polly and Tracy and all their clones."---Vandana Shiva

"A virus is a nucleic acid, a chemical chain or pattern. The excuse for regarding it as being alive is that it can multiply itself by getting into a cell and causing it to produce a lot more of the same virus—even a thousand times as much in a few minutes. We can grasp the idea more easily if we remember that a poisonous lie, a mere chain of letters, can get into a newspaper, be multiplied millions of times and spread all over the country in a few hours."--Dr Hadwen

"Dear Steven, as with HIV/AIDS and BSE, the disorder in FMD is in the minds of  the scientists, civil servants and scare-orientated media who are brain-washing the public and even the farmers. I shall be writing something about this myself soon. Meanwhile I compliment you on your energy in  warning everyone of the present and future dangers of the policy adopted and exported by the Government."    Gordon Stewart MD, Emeritus Professor of Public Health, Glasgow University

"No other flocks remained alive within miles. His misfortune was to be situated on the very edge of a Maff 3km culling zone. Maff were determined to take his sheep and applied their usual tactics; “Your neighbours will never forgive you. You will be public enemy number one. You have no right to resist and we will stop your compensation if you hold us up. Every other farm has been culled – so why should your sheep survive?” The Maff killing machine is as relentless as Rommel."--John Gouriet