|SOME ISSUES AT STAKE
Alistair McConnachie examines the issues at stake in the Foot and Mouth Scandal. This article was published in "This Green and Unpleasant Land" a Sovereignty Special Report free with the April 2001 issue.
For example, Sovereignty has been passed photographs (right and below) of over 60 cattle killed with a rifle from the back of a moving pick-up at a specific farm in Cumbria. The bodies litter the fields and the tyre tracks are clearly visible around the animals' bodies. It's hard to believe these circumstances can possibly be legal. But then again, it's hard to believe that any of this is happening, today, in our society.
THE LOCAL ECONOMY
If we have a draconian slaughter policy we cannot expect people to feel comfortable moving about the countryside.
If there were no death sentence there would be no fear of the disease, or of it spreading.
If there were no slaughter there would be no scare. It would be just like any other livestock disease - which the public never hears about and doesn't care about.
OUR RIGHT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY
ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Below: Alistair McConnachie and Carolyn Hoffe, who attempted to shelter her 5 healthy Zwartble pet sheep in her living room. On the evening of 4 May 2001 they were killed after police and MAFF forced their way into her house.
ABUSE OF STATE AUTHORITY
ANTI-GLOBALISATION and PRO-LOCALISATION
Anyone who wants to see a move to localisation, that is local production for local consumption, could use this issue to highlight the risks of globalisation such as the dangers of dependence on the export markets, and the problems of increasing corporate control of the land and the food supply.
Anti-globalisation protestors could advocate the development of Farmers Markets which can exploit domestic demand as an alternative to relying on the export markets.
OUR RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
- Restrictions upon livestock movement mean animals are
floundering in legally imposed conditions which would normally be
regarded as cruel.
However, it's not really the disease itself which we're afraid of spreading, it's the death sentence which is imposed upon any animals with, or near, the disease. If there were no slaughter then there would be no scare, and we would all feel free to move normally again. The countryside would truly reopen for business.
Furthermore, if the virus is spread by humans then that's proof that we should not be slaughtering, because if it's that easy to spread, then everything is going to end up dead - if we continue this slaughter policy.
TIME TO TAKE THE GAS MASKS OFF
The lead character in the back of the van becomes suspicious. He pulls off his gas mask and takes a deep breath. In a second, he realises the air is clean, and there's nothing to fear. The whole set-up is an elaborate hoax to prevent people from entering the area and finding out what's actually happening around the mountain. So, he bursts out the van and makes his break for freedom.
Well, it's time to take our gas masks off. It's time we lost our fear of this disease. It's time to face the facts, which are these: this is a disease from which almost all animals would recover; after recovery the animals would be immune to that strain of the infection; there is no risk to human health from the disease itself; the meat is fit to eat; and vaccination can be used to hasten the end of the disease.
Therefore, the very least we should be demanding is :