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Walking in the UK - Foot and mouth Disease

Walking in the UK - Foot and mouth Disease

Feb 26th, 2001, 09:22 AM
  #1  
ron
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Walking in the UK - Foot and mouth Disease

Anyone planning on doing any country walking in the UK in the next little while - even in Royal Parks, Richmond and Hampton Court Parks are closed - should read this page:
http://www.ramblers.org.uk/newsandma...tandmouth.html
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 03:25 PM
  #2  
Cathy
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Up to the Top, this is getting very serious folks,

Cathy
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 06:19 PM
  #3  
Art
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VERY SERIOUS
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 09:59 PM
  #4  
Ryn
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Special report section in the Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/footandmouth/

Precautions are in place everywhere; UK airports are even setting up to require pedestrians to walk over disinfectant mats in the terminals.
 
Feb 26th, 2001, 10:55 PM
  #5  
PB
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The disease is spreading, with over a dozen farms all over England now involved. The news last night was kafka-esque... They are burning over 7,000 animals in open fields.

Apparently having learned nothing from the BSE situation, their tracking methods aren't very good, and it appears that some sheep that COULD be infected were exported to the continent just before the ban went into effect.

PB
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 01:15 AM
  #6  
Tony Hughes
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A dozen isn't a lot when you look at the number of farms in Britain (or indeed England). Precautions dictate banning ramblers, walkers, closing farms, cancelling horse races/football/rugby matches where large numbers of people are moving about the country etc. Sensible but it's not like the whole of the island is infected.
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 01:21 AM
  #7  
Mike
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PB

That's a sort of calumny-ette. The ONLY crumb of comfort is that every single infection has been traced by the MAFF vets back to a known source. The UK government has been able to inform other European Agriculture ministries of known movements of suspect animals within a day or two of the discovery of infection, and preventative slaughtering is already under way on mainland Europe. MAFF have known about the outbreak for eight days, and the vets must be tracing several thousand animal movements (especially as they believe that the disease has been active at the source farm for a month or more). I'm actually pretty impressed, and wish them well. After all, if they knew where the infection would occur next ...

Another interesting angle: the head of the NFU upbraided the BBC this morning, because he claimed they were flying helicopters too low over farms, which may be spreading the infection. The journos went a bit quiet for a second or two.
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 01:40 AM
  #8  
kate
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PB, it's very easy to be reactionary and blame the government for everything. The fact is, the infection has most probably come from the Middle or Far East, through smuggled food. This is something that could happen to any country, and I think the official reaction, for once, deserves our support. The government has been very quick to react and has, in fact, drawn praise from the European Union for its actions and openness about the situation.

And until this situation is under control then we all need to be responsible and not go rambling around the countryside, spreading the disease further.
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 03:58 AM
  #9  
frank
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The situation is changing daily, the really scary thing is that it is already so widespread - this is probably due to closure of small local abbatoirs over the years, so that livestock are transported longer distances.
The situation has been well handled so far, the Gov did not delay in taking very strong measures but this is an extremely virulent disease.
Last night the BBC reported that investigators "still hadn't ruled out sabotage", though illegal imports remain the most probable cause.
The leader of an animal rights group then came on to deny any involvement!
The UK is one of these places which doesn't vaccinate against foot & mouth
because it has been 100% disease free for a long time.To be suddenly hit with such a widespread epidemic is odd.
IMO it is is modern industrial farming which has caused the fast spread.
Coming on the back of BSE it looks like this will mean big changes to the way we do farming.Joe Public is sick of paying to compensate the industry every time it has a problem, regardless of who is at fault.Farming cuts down public access to land, provides little employment and is the biggest source of pesticides nitrates in the environment.Multiple cropping of meadows has killed our bird population (except in non-intensive crofting type setups) - intensive farming leaves little room for nature.Of course the farmers will allow nature in IF we pay them special grants etc....people are questioning just what we get for all this.Food is expensive in the UK - possibly not the farmers fault but then nobody blamed the steelworkers, colliers, shipbuilders, fishermen etc when we shut these industries down rather than subsidise them.
Still, the farmers have my sympathy.
It will mean restriction of movement in certain areas, but things are developing so fast that we don't know where.I suspect that all UK livestock farms are going to be under some kind of quarantine, if only self-imposed.
One thing we learned from BSE is that disease does not respect national boundaries.Unfortunately the UK is a major livestock exporter to mainland Europe, & one of the farms identified has been exporting recently.
So things could change even more!
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 12:06 PM
  #10  
Alice
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apparently it is an airborne virus which can spread 60 km in damp windy conditions, even further over water, hence the wide quarantine areas
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 12:35 PM
  #11  
confused
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We are supposed to stay at a B and B on a farm in the Cotwolds this summer. Should I cancel? The proprietor is such a lovely woman and I do not want to offend her with this suggestion. What do you more knowledgeable people think?
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 01:21 PM
  #12  
Ann
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I would say wait. I am sure they will contact you if there are restrictions in that area, but if it hasn't been contained by summer, we have total disaster on our hands.
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 01:53 PM
  #13  
Tony Hughes
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Kate is right, not the govts. fault.

Dont blow things out of proportion - in a couple of weeks there will be something else to worry about, foot and mouth is not the black death.
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 03:48 PM
  #14  
medic
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small additional piece of information. although this foot and mouth disease is usually found in cattle and posssibly sheep there is a human form of this disease called hand foot and mouth disease. not many cases are seen but one shoould note that human transmission is possible and does occur. although not fatal is can be quite unpleasant for humans as a rash and blisters on affected areas are quite common
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 05:51 PM
  #15  
katherine
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Less than a week ago I bought 2 tickets to England for a week-long trip in April. My intention was to spend a large portion of the trip walking through the Cotswolds. Are my plans doomed to failure?
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 07:51 PM
  #16  
ron
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Katherine, I think you should continue to hope that the disease will be brought under control. The Cotswold are not currently an infected area. But I think a well-researched 'Plan B' would be a wise move.
 
Feb 27th, 2001, 10:09 PM
  #17  
Ann
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Medic, get your facts right.

I quote from the National Centre for Infectious Diseases web page:

Is HFMD the same as foot-and-mouth disease?

No. HFMD is a different disease than foot-and-mouth disease of cattle, sheep, and swine. Although the names are similar, the two diseases are not related at all and are caused by different viruses.

See for yourself http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/hfmd.htm
 
Feb 28th, 2001, 01:22 AM
  #18  
clairobscur
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"Precautions dictate banning ramblers, walkers, closing farm cancelling horse races/football/rugby matches where large numbers of people are moving about the country etc"

I must say I'm impressed by these measures too. I wouldn't have expected so drastic decisions even if a human epidemy has been involved. It's quite reassuring.
 
Feb 28th, 2001, 01:29 AM
  #19  
kate
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Yes it is. So hopefully this can be brought under control quickly and those who've expressed worries for their trips will be unaffected.

But it is very scary. Apparently no country in the EU has immunised against this disease for years because it was thought to have been wiped out. Just shows you that it could have happened to anyone.
 
Feb 28th, 2001, 05:15 AM
  #20  
mar
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Unfortunately, the disease continues to spread. Races have been cancelled. More public parks have been closed this morning and the government have asked people NOT to travel to the countryside.
 

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