Monday, 6 August 2007

Waiting with baited breath

We heard this weekend that there has been an outbreak of the deadly disease Foot & Mouth again.
It appears to have broken out in the Guilford area in Surrey England.
We were supposed to be attending the Agricultural show in Lorn near Oban on Saturday the 4th Aug but we received a call from one of the organisers late on Friday evening telling us that there has been a movement restriction put on all Cattle, Sheep & Pigs because of a suspected outbreak.
Well we watched the news bulletins all through the night to find out what we could, I know we are a long way from Surrey but this disease can spread so quickly if not controlled straight away.
This time all movements were banned as soon as the outbreak was confirmed not like last time when shows and sales were still going on.
Millions of animals were slaughtered needlessly because of panic by the government agencies.
Hopefully it will have been stopped in it's tracks.
I think all the Agricultural sector at this time will be waiting with baited breath to see what happens in the next 10 - 14 days.
I don't think many more of us could stomach another catastrophe like the last one.
It will be even harder this time if it does get out as we are going into the Autumn quarter of the year soon and the animals will require feed and if movements are still suspended that means we will be feeding surplus animals through the winter because we cannot sell them until the movement bans are lifted.
We have been told by the press agencies that the outbreak is suspected to have come from a Government testing laboratory 3-4 miles away from the outbreak.
Isn't that ironic, we are penalised and jumped on from a great height if our quality procedures are not adhered to in any way and the government let the most vicious of bacteria escape from their laboratories who will penalise them I ask myself?
So we are all praying that this is a one off incident and no more outbreaks will show up, but god help us if it gets hold.
I worry about people traveling up on holiday over the border from the south this disease is an airborne virus and can travel for miles.
It all has a knock on effect even to tourism which parts of our area depend on.
In our area most of the livestock is on small farms and crofts, this would mean devastation for our area if it broke out here.
We just seemed to get back on to an even keel and import, exports on the go again when bang we are dropped from a great plateu into darkness again.
If this is our governments fault they will have a lot to answer for by the agricultural industry.

No comments: