REPORT FROM THE FRONT--JOHN GOURIET

Sitting here in the still peaceful setting of the Quantock Hills in Somerset with two telephones constantly ringing with horror stories from all over the country, I am powerfully reminded of military experiences in Borneo 35 years ago, and telephone battles at Staff College. Here are some examples.

Dumfriesshire. A few miles only from where Misty the goat was brutally snatched from her owners, with whom I was in discussion as the Police arrived, a distraught farmer was trying to swill away the blood of his 260 prize Holstein Friesian cattle and 170 calves this morning, 11th April. Yesterday morning at 0830 a posse of MAFF officials, a valuer and armed Police arrived, following a curt warning late the previous evening. None of them wore protective clothing or disinfected themselves and they refused to confirm whether they had been in contact with any infected animals during the previous 72 hours. A vet had earlier described the herd as being unusually healthy and in the pink of condition. The farmer had taken every reasonable precaution to protect them. He had been refused a judicial review in the Edinburgh Quarter Sessions the previous day. These cattle showed no sign of being infected, or any more exposed to the virus than the vast majority of healthy animals that have already been slaughtered, or are still alive. The MAFF vet refused to examine them before slaughter or take tests. Although their behaviour was clearly an abuse of their powers and responsibilities under the 1981 Animal Health Act, MAFF pressed ahead with the cull regardless. They had been told to clear the area of all stock by today in order to fill a local pit.

In another case a MAFF vet told the owner that he would declare his flock infected even if they were not, if he didn’t allow their slaughter. Farmers are being threatened and intimidated into giving way. Misty’s owners were threatened with a fire-bomb attack if they resisted! Local Police have been instructed to take farmers and their families, and anyone else into custody without a warrant if they attempt to resist or delay the cull. MAFF culling teams are now arriving with little or no notice, at most a telephone call late the previous evening, sometimes handing out their ‘A’ notice on arrival. A valuable herd of alpacas, naturally resistant to FMD, has been slaughtered at an agreed compensation cost of 1.3 million.

Cumbria. Boundary gates and locks were deliberately broken on a farm containing a valuable hefted flock. Some sheep were able to escape into an infected area. One exception has been made after much resistance. Four rare pedigree angora goats adjacent to the sea and miles from the nearest outbreak, have been given a reprieve. The owner reports however that she can no longer see Skiddaw 40 miles away, because much of Cumbria is now smouldering under a heavy pall of black smoke that stretches for miles, shrouding the beautiful landscape in which sheep will soon no longer graze.

Anglesey. MAFF have drawn a rough but arbitrary 50 square miles extermination zone on a map with a pencil. One small farmer on the pencil boundary, reports that thanks to a tough letter from his solicitors, setting out the law, and asking MAFF to justify the slaughter of his six sheep, they have withdrawn for the time being. He had earlier received a visit from a senior MAFF vet who was trailing a dead sheep around in his open trailer, and was not wearing protective clothing. The owner rightly refused to allow him near his stock.

Report from the Front (Cont) -2-

One Herefordshire farmer and his wife are grimly hanging onto their healthy sheep, having watched their 50 cattle being slaughtered in a barn with a high-powered rifle from the outside. They had earlier received a visit from a vet who did not know where he had been or whether he had been in contact with any infected animals

Gloucestershire. MAFF ‘Eradication Officer’ called owner of rare breed Cotswold ewes at 8 pm on 4th April to state that he was coming the following morning to cull her sheep and she had no right to resist or appeal. She did resist, as all her sheep had tested healthy and she too has been given a temporary reprieve. However open dumper trucks crammed with carcasses trundled past her gates all that day from a neighbouring farm. A MAFF official who did visit, unprotected had to get all her clothing out of its wrappers, including her boots. She did not know how to operate her disinfectant, yet she had been visiting farms over a wide area from 8am-4pm that day.

Meanwhile down in Berkeley, the worst hit area, farmer John Cullimore, the agent for immunity enhancing herbal Biolitan (Tel 01453 890 747), has received a vet’s report stating that his cattle and sheep were glowing with such health that he had reduced them to ‘low risk’ in a high risk area.

In the Forest of Dean a commune of several farms and 100 people is resisting at Newnham despite a MAFF extermination edict to clear the Forest of Dean of all stock.

Wales. There are reports of MAFF advancing up the Welsh valleys exterminating all livestock. Also that the burial site on the Army training area of Sennybridge is in danger of contaminating several important rivers including the Towy, the Usk and possibly the Wye. It is said to have space for 1 million sheep, although 180,000 is the admitted figure so far. Meanwhile a disturbing report from the USA tells of livestock killed by a hurricane and interred in a mass grave have caused nitrogen levels to rise to such a level within the water-table, many square miles, that local people now bleed brown instead of red. This could have a significant impact on their blood composition and render them susceptible to leukaemia and cancers. Besides this, burning at relatively low temperatures could release BSE/CJD prions into the atmosphere.

The amateur video of the incompetent sheep slaughter at Gilwern (Channel 4 etc 13 Apr) is truly shocking and dangerous. All the Minister (N. Brown) could say "It’s got to be as friendly to animal welfare as such a thing could be … It didn’t look right however I shall read the report and see what the circumstances were!" The man in a white coat was firing at various running sheep and lambs, endangering lives – there was a road concealed behind a hedge into which he was firing and houses in the direct line of fire within range (one mile). There were also bystanders in the vicinity who had called the Police. He was missing or wounding sheep at 20-30yds with a rifle with what appeared to be a telescope, when he was supposed to be using a handgun, and he was claiming "That was a good shot", even when he patently appeared to miss!

Devon. Between 3 and 11 contiguous farms have been culled for every one infected.

News from the Front (Cont) -3-

General Points.

MAFF, backed by Police, are in many cases disregarding the law and their own directives in pursuit of extermination. They are refusing to listen to any reason and appear to consider that they have unlimited licence to kill under ‘Emergency Powers’, yet no such powers have been passed by Parliament. They are careless in using protective clothing and disinfectant and move from farm to farm daily at considerable risk of spreading the virus.

Many farmers are now using Borax 30 and finding that it is an effective preventative. Biolitan improves immunity by 800% in pigs and 300% in cattle and sheep. Both should be widely used together with vaccination and a ban on all animal movement, except within farms for welfare reasons. This is especially important in clean areas. Tourism should certainly be discouraged in infected areas.

IMPORTANT. There are other ailments that could be mistaken for FMD. These include digital dermatitis – blisters inside the cloven hoof, a bacterial infection caused by standing on old sodden bedding; treated with Stockholm Tar and clean straw; cold sore herpes – treated with vitamin C and orf – blisters in the nostrils. As most vets and many farmers had rarely if ever seen FMD symptoms until the present outbreak, it is quite possible that many reported cases of FMD could in fact have been these relatively minor diseases, and easily treated.

There is a definite spirit of resistance and rebellion in the air, especially in the Borders. Farmers and country folk have had enough of this disastrous cull that has destroyed 99% healthy animals for the sake of removing 1% that may have been infected – probably less than 12000 out of 1.3 million so far.

In 1998, EU agriculture ministers secretly meeting in Brussels agreed on a long term strategy that included the removal of the British livestock industry so that Britain would become arable only and a giant theme park for the EU. The EU official who has leaked this information is in fear, and his identity cannot be revealed. Whether the present FMD outbreak was a natural disaster, fortuitous for proponents of this sinister strategy, or was politically inspired, is uncertain. However a MAFF official in an unguarded moment last weekend in a Cumbrian pub, apparently revealed that a phial of virus had gone missing from MAFF HQ. The plot thickens!

LEGAL ADVICE – My view and advice coincides with that of four different barristers and five solicitors. There is however a view that to attempt injunctive relief and run the risk of failure could give MAFF even more excuse to run rampant across the livestock industry. I think in certain cases we have such a strong argument that even the most partisan judge would find difficulty in dismissing! My proposals for resistance on the ground is up to individuals. Personally I believe farmers have every justification in creating maximum delay and inconvenience to frustrate the culling of healthy animals despite, MAFF and Police threats of arrest and the alleged banning of cameras at the scene. We must all recognise that we are now living in a police state, and act accordingly to protect our rights and our possessions. The more the public see of scenes like Gilwern the sooner public opinion will turn against those who are responsible for this accelerating outrage and demand a halt.

INFORMATION. Please send in verified information to add to dossier as evidence against MAFF.

Also send to: Andynash@sheepdrove.com

farmtalking@aol.com

13th April 2001

JOHN GOURIET White’s Meadow

Bicknoller

Nr. TAUNTON

Somerset TA4 4EG

Tel/Fax: 01984 656256

Mobile: 07831 342 909 john.gouriet@virgin.net