Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Possible new cases of Foot and Mouth

I hear that there are another two cases of suspected foot and mouth, one in Surrey and the other in Kent's Romney Marsh. I suspect that after tests have been completed that these will return negative results. Of course this is one of the problems with F & M: animals can be showing some similar symptoms but have some other illness. Now add in the lengthy incubation period and the fact that sheep especially are difficult to diagnose. It is quite a nightmare to deal with.

In relation to movement restrictions what particularly bugs me is the fact that Scotland and Wales (presumably because of devolution) have decided to relax the rules whereas English farmers are much more in a straitjacket. So a farmer say in Northumberland is disadvantaged compared with a neighbour just over the border in Bonnie Scotland. I have blogged before about the Rural Payments Agency and the resulting difficulties for English farmers when the hapless Margaret Beckett instigated the most complex system imaginable. What a mess this whole devolution business has proved to be, and this is largely due to this government's incompetence and lack of foresight.

On a positive note this evening's news showed Hilary Benn at the F & M control centre at Guildford. He's one of the better ministers I feel; certainly he's had a baptism of fire (or should that be water) what with this summer's flooding and now the F & M crisis.

Fingers crossed that the results from the two latest suspect cases will be negative.

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