JOHN GOURIET Whites Meadow
Somerset TA4 4EG
Tel/Fax: 01984 656256
Mobile: 07831 342 909
FURTHER FMD ADVICE
I am attaching an Annex to my revised Legal Advice, for use at your meeting with farmers today. It is very important to get evidence of MAFF behaviour, and this will help greatly.
I believe we have moved into a new and more serious phase in the MAFF campaign. I can see very clearly from reports coming in from all over the country, that MAFF are disregarding the law and their own directives in their extermination policy. Their aim seems to be to clear the countryside of all livestock, regardless of whether animals are healthy or show no signs of FMD.
They often claim to be acting within the law, but in trespassing on private property for the purpose of destroying possessions for no reason other than the animals concerned could have been exposed to airborne FMD virus, is insufficient in most circumstances, unless the animals are downwind and virtually rubbing shoulders over the wall or through the fence.
If farmers want to keep their healthy animals, they must combine to resist. A flying squad, or rapid reaction force of farmers (probably including those whose stock have already been slaughtered) must be assembled in various areas likely to be attacked by MAFF. These squads of 20-30 must be ready to go and form a human barrier, immediately behind the gates of any farm about to be culled, and behind a barbed wire entanglement stretched across the entrance. The gates must be securely chained and locked. Approach lanes should be blocked by broken down farm vehicles, the bigger the better, as far from the farm entrance as possible. Farmers should put barbed wire wherever a boundary fence or gate can be crossed. Only one MAFF official in full protective clothing and properly disinfected, may be allowed to negotiate with the owner. The Farmers solicitor should be present if possible to speak on the farmers behalf. Local Press and media, especially TV should be alerted as soon as the farmer receives telephone notice from MAFF of their intentions.
Members of the support squad should bring notebooks and cameras, camcorders and tape-recorders to show that there is a great deal of evidence being accumulated, that will be used later for claims and court proceedings. However the squad should not use or threaten to use violence, however tempting, and must be on the farmers premises by invitation, properly disinfected.
Finally we are going to start looking at the possibility of launching large claims for damages where farmers have suffered compulsory cull against their wishes and without proven need.
Hope this is helpful, and the very best of luck to everyone. We are going to need to be very firm, but polite, to overcome this obscene policy. Otherwise we will lose all our livestock as the secret meeting of agriculture ministers decided in Brussels in 1998.
NB. IMPORTANT. Digital Dermatitis on feet, cold sore herpes and orf can easily be mistaken for FMD by inexperienced vets. They are relatively minor and easily cleared.