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Foot and Mouth

Posted by Emma Constantine, Sunday, April 1, 2001

I apologise if I sounded a little harsh when I posted my reply to your comments the other day, but as a student of agriculture I am watching my future industry go up in smoke, (no pun intended). By walking in the craggs you are providing a meeting place for people to converge, and animals, from god knows where to cross paths. You have no idea where these people are from, and what infections they carry with them. Simply disinfecting them before they enter and leave only reduces the chances of deisease spread by around 20-30%. Its no guarantee. The craggs are surrounded by farmland. This is also a windborne virus, one that can be carried in the upper resperitory tract of humans and animals alike, and walking in that land provides access to farm land for the disease.

I too object to the "killing fields". It makes me sick to watch and I have given up watching the news, I just listen to hourly bulletins on the radio, and observe the Maff web pages. You cannot force people into vegaterianism, they will always want meat, myself included. The farming community has supported this country for hundreds of years and the least we can do is support it. The real people to blame (if blame can be laid) is the consumer, you and me. We demand good quality meat at cheap prices. This means intensive farming. This equals a perfect place for disease to spread. Also animals travel much further these days, to abbatoirs specified by supermarkets, the stress alone can decrease an animals immune system.

What we need to do is vaccinate around infected areas, and stop this dreadful illness before it gets any further. Yes the reason for slaughter is economical, but isn't everything these days. Animals who are infected are low yielders and have poor quality meat its that simple, and we will never regain our export market if we don't stop this now.

It just galls me when people are so inconsiderate towards their fellow man by just dismissing this as an over reaction, it is not I can assure you. We all have to make sacrifices, I for instance have not been home since Christmas, ( I am at university in Aberystwyth) and probably will have to remain her over the holidays until the summer. I don't complain, I just get on with it, surely sacrificing walking in the craggs is not that hard for you and you will rest safe in the knowledge that you have not contributed towards the killing that you hate so much.

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