Freedom in Action
Men have sometimes been led by
degrees, sometimes hurried into things, of which, if they could have seen the whole
together, they would never have permitted the most remote approach. The people never give
up their liberties except under some delusion. Edmund Burke c. 1790
32 Addison Grove, London W4 1ER; Tel: 07831 342 909 or 01984 656256
(T/F); Fax: 0208 994 1713
From: JOHN GOURIET psc FRGS Chairman 8 April 2001
LEGAL ADVICE FOR ALL STOCK FARMERS THREATENED BY MAFF
3. - (2) (MAFF) Ministers may authorise in writing any veterinary inspector
or other officer of the Ministry (provided he or she has proof of being properly
qualified*) to inspect animals.
(3) A person so authorised may, for the purpose of any inspection to be carried out by
- (a) at all reasonable times, (after 6 p.m. or before 8 a.m. could be
(b) upon production of his authority, on demand (by the farmer or owner*)
Enter on any land or premises, apply such tests and take such samples as he considers
Schedule 3 Power to slaughter in relation to certain diseases Foot and
- - (1) The Minister may, if he thinks fit, in any case cause to be slaughtered any animal
- is affected or suspected of being affected with any disease to which this
section applies; or
- has been exposed to the infection of any such disease (includes FMD).
(suspicion must be founded on sufficient evidence, proof of
infection or degree of probability to warrant slaughter. exposed is far
too broad a definition and could include all livestock throughout the British Isles as the
virus may be wind borne. Inspectors must act reasonably*) *My italics
63. (2) An inspector may at any time enter any land or shed
to which this Act applies, or other building or place where he has reasonable
grounds for supposing -
- that disease exists or has within 56 days existed; Reference;
Animal Health Act 1981
In our view MAFF representatives may therefore only enter to test animals and deal with
confirmed cases of infection. They may not legally enter private premises for the
purpose of destroying healthy stock, without permission, and farmers may refuse
entry, using whatever reasonable means necessary to defend their property and their
persons from assault and theft (for that is what it is), pending application to the Court
for injunctive relief.
Suggested Steps to Prevent Slaughter of Healthy Stock;
a. Brief robust local solicitor to be ready to seek immediate injunction
(Outline case to follow)
- On arrival of any official(s), politely demand production of all MAFF
representatives authority and qualifications in writing; and verifiable
certification that all such persons have not been in contact with any animals anywhere
during the previous 72 hours.
- Insist on comprehensive Risk Assessment for animals in question. This must
cover all factors eg; distance from nearest case, time elapsed since, tests, wind
direction, habitat, location, exposure to vehicle and human movement, animal resistance
levels, rarity, isolation capacity.
- Insist that all MAFF officials wear clean full protective clothing and boots, masks, and
disinfect themselves fully in the presence of the farmer/owner.
- Insist on independent veterinary inspection if there is any doubt, or suspicion of
- If threatened by MAFF demand that their threats are confirmed in writing.
- Record all contact/discussions with MAFF, preferably with video/tape-recorder,
accompanied by friends to provide eye-witness evidence/support. Refuse entry if the time
- Be prepared to challenge MAFF authority and demands to slaughter, insisting on reasons
in writing if animals healthy. BUT remember it is an offence to conceal or treat symptoms
of FMD, or resist cull of FMD stock. It is not an offence to take precautions to
Hon. President: Earl of Kimberley Chairman: J.P. Gouriet Hon. Treasurer: C.J.K. Arkell
Annex A to Legal Advice for Farmers of 8 April 2001
FMD QUESTIONAIRE FOR FARMERS FACED WITH CULL OR POST-CULL Please complete and send to - Farmtalking, 2, Howpark Farm Cottages, Grantshouse,
Duns, Berwickshire, TD11 3RP
- On what date did MAFF notify you?
.. Was it in
- What was their intention? EXAMINE/TEST/VALUE/CULL* and
written reason for Cull?
PROVEN/SUSPECTED INFECTION/ PRE-EMPTIVE CULL OF HEALTHY STOCK?*
- When were you served with a Notice
. and what
was it? A/B/C/D*
- What does/did your stock consist of?
- Are/were they a rare breed? YES/NO* If so what breed(s)?
- Date of Cull (if applicable)?
- Value of Stock per head by type? ALIVE
Value p. acre
House & Buildings Value
. Total Value
- Were your animals inspected by qualified vet prior to cull? YES/NO/NA*
If so when?
- Did all MAFF reps. produce written authority, qualifications, names on arrival?
- Did they produce certified evidence that they had not been in contact with any infected
animal during the previous 72 hours? YES/NO* If not, why not?
- Did they agree to produce a written Risk Assessment? YES/NO*
- If not/why not?
- Please answer following factors; Distance (straight) from nearest confirmed FMD?
- Date nearest case confirmed?
- Prevailing wind direction in relation to nearest case? Are you UPWIND/DOWNWIND?*
- Habitat/Location? (wood, water or road break between you and nearest case, or is it open
- Exposure to human and vehicle movement?
- How close are you to other farms with stock at risk?
- What is your isolation capacity (housed or unstocked valley?) GOOD/MODERATE/POOR*
- What are your animals immunity levels? GOOD/MODERATE/LOW* Do
you use organic methods? YES/NO*
Biolitan immunity enhancer? YES/NO* Borax 30? YES/NO*
- Do you favour vaccination YES/NO*
Did all MAFF reps. wear clean full protective clothing, including boots and masks?
YES/NO* If not, what did they not wear and why?
.Did they disinfect themselves
in your presence to your satisfaction? YES/NO*
Did MAFF confirm any threats in writing and what were they?
Were the Police present at any time and did they play any part? YES/NO*
What did you do to resist/record? Friends?
Telephone and Fax:
NB: * Delete as necessary, BOLD Did you ask