Thursday, 13 September 2007


Driving back from Exeter yesterday lunchtime in good mood I tuned to Radio 4 and the mood melted away as I realised that the news was all Foot and Mouth related. These days that sort of report has a physical effect on me; I'm sure a heart can truly sink. I get home to messages from farming neighbours and friends, all wondering what will happen next. Plans are swiftly changed - trips to sheep sales are cancelled, preparations for moving livestock are abandoned - and we all hold our breath.
The BBC ten o'clock news doesn't cover as much information as the Defra website which is not reassuring; whatever else you want it is consistency of message.
This morning it seems as if the new outbreak is of the same particular strain as leaked from Pirbright. This gives transitory relief; if it was a different strain the whole farming community would be in an even greater panic of contemplation of unknown quantities. As it is, the ethereal nature of the transfer of the disease will come under greater scrutiny, but how one traps an airborne virus is beyond my imagination. I look at the disinfectant mats laid at the gateways of farms and wonder if they are simply band-aids over mortal wounds.
Looking at the morning papers, I am dismayed that politicians of any colour only think of their own political capital at times of disaster; why this situation should be seen primarily as haunting the government rather than the farmers it actually affects is beyond me and the comments that the Chief Veterinary Officer was pushed by economic reasons to prematurely declare that Foot and Mouth had been eradicated are surely utter foolishness.
The Defra website will be a continually open window on my computer today. If the concern over a pig on the farm in Norfolk is substantiated, farming hell is at hand.


Hannah Velten said...

My thoughts go out to you today, and all livestock farmers...what a complete nightmare. I guess, as you say, there is some consolation if it turns out to be from the same source...

I also think that hearts can physically sink!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Thinking of Mopsa.

What an almight cock-up has been made.

Mopsa said...

Thank you Hannah and M&M.

lady thinker said...

Fingers crossed re Norfolk. HUGs x