Monday, 10 September 2007

Foot and Mouth reports put government in the dock

The end of last week saw the publication of two reports into the recent foot and mouth outbreak in Surrey. Now it has to be emphasised that they were unable to provide definitive proof as to the cause of this outbreak. However they were able to describe the likely source of the problem and sequence of events and once again HM Government is shown in an appallingly bad light with no sense of priorities.

In summary it appears that it was the condition of sewage pipes at the government funded Institute of Animal Health facility at Pirbright that led to the virus escaping. There was long-term damage due to displaced joints, cracks and tree roots. At a location such as this where bio-security is of paramount importance this is totally, utterly unacceptable. It seems that the summer flooding added to the problem with effluent leaking out of a manhole. So while Gordon Brown was being praised for the swift and effective action taken to quell the outbreak it was the government apparatus that lamentably failed to deal with these obvious defects in bio-security. Of course no blame will be applied to individuals, meanwhile farmers are again having to bear the cost of a DEFRA cock-up.

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