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This article by Alistair McConnachie was published in "This Green and Unpleasant Land" a Sovereignty Special Report distributed free with the April 2001 issue.

Below: Alistair McConnachie addresses an anti-cull public meeting at The Mound, Edinburgh, on 20 May 2001. Organisers Peter Neilson and Sylvia Loch are on the right of the picture, and Sheila Bell is holding a placard.

"I understand that you're moved by all this, but I live in the city. How does this affect me?"
The abuse of authority affects us all.
If the State can walk onto any farmer's property and destroy his animals, his livelihood, and his life's work then it can walk into your home and destroy whatever you care for. Whether that is your pets, or your own life's work. Whether you have sympathy for farmers, or whether you like, or dislike animals, or whether you couldn't care less about animals, the fact is that the State is engaged in a gross abuse of its authority. It must be confronted, shamed, and stopped.

"Look at all the other people who have lost their jobs. Farmers didn't care when people in this mining/steelworking community lost their jobs, so why should we care when people in the farming community lose their jobs?"
It is the loss of jobs, livelihoods and community on the altar of globalism - regardless of the industry affected and regardless of who and where - which is part of the tragedy. We're all being shafted by the same system. Quarrelling between ourselves over who gets the scraps from the table, is missing the big picture. It's the case that most farmers, as with most ex-miners and steelworkers, don't really understand how their situation fits into the big picture.

Farmers, and their supporters, also need to avoid language or arguments which attempt to make the claim that, unlike agriculture, the mining and steel-working industries were somehow irrelevant, defunct and unnecessary to Britain's future. Similarly, arguments which attempt to make a distinction between "militant" unions and their own should be avoided. Such language is guaranteed, obviously, to lose them the support of the people who could be their friends. It is the similarities between people in the agricultural industry and the people in heavy industry which should be emphasised, not the presumed differences.

Below: Some of the protestors at the Edinburgh demonstration.


"We have to wipe out this disease so we never have it here again."
Presuming that FMD is as highly contagious as it is claimed, and presuming the infection is carried on feet - and there is no evidence, only speculation, that it is carried on feet - then birds will carry the virus.

Birds can migrate and cross the channel and therefore, in effect, it is not possible to contain the virus. These outbreaks can therefore happen at any time, and anywhere, and another outbreak will come eventually, regardless of how we may try to prevent it. You can't fight nature!

"We have to stop it now or wild animals, for example, deer, may catch it and then, oh gosh, we'll never get rid of it."
How do we know that wild animals haven't already got it? And if they have got it, then are we going to start a mass cull of all deer, and anything else in the countryside you can think of, just to make sure! If the disease spreads as easily as some would claim, then we cannot quarantine Britain, and we just need to accept that.

"It would be a disaster if it were to spread"
It couldn't be any more disastrous than the present slaughter policy which will desolate the countryside. In any case, Foot and Mouth is a curable complaint in cattle, sheep and pigs and can be healed by the application of simple basic husbandry techniques.

For example, Henry Hamilton wrote a pamphlet in 1967 recounting how, as herd manager on the Duke of Westminster's estate in the 1922-24 outbreak, he successfully nursed the herd through the outbreak. Those animals afflicted were simply isolated, kept as clean as possible, and treated with both salty water and Stockholm tar, a lotion used on most animal wounds. In other words, they were cured by the application of basic animal husbandry techniques. (See Charles Clover, "Old cowmen's cure saved duke's pedigree herd", The Daily Telegraph, 21-3-01, p. 6) and posted here.

Furthermore, only by letting the disease run its course, will the animals develop immunity. Infections are more serious in man and animals when introduced into a virgin population, that is, one that has never experienced that particular microbe. Normal populations which have been exposed to diseases, even serious ones, are likely to be more resistant to them and better equipped to overcome them. The present policy ensures that we keep virgin populations of animals which, never having met the disease, are always going to be susceptible.

Below: Protestors prepare to join hands for a moment's reflection on the needless destruction and waste.


"The slaughter should have started earlier"
We should have no part in this debate. Such notions are intended to contain the limits of debate within the false "slaughter is essential" notion. Thus, debate can be orchestrated within approved limits. Arguing that "the slaughter should have started earlier" or "is not happening fast enough" is like lemmings rushing towards a cliff and complaining that they're not running fast enough.
"These animals are going to be slaughtered eventually, so why bother about their fate. After all, before the outbreak, we didn't bother when animals were slaughtered."
Just as harvesting a field of carrots is different from deliberately vandalising them while they're growing, so slaughtering an animal for food is different from killing it before it's ready. Indeed, the deliberate wastage of animals without consumption is generally regarded as a "satanic" practice.

Moreover, it is not accurate to presume that many of the animals being slaughtered are going to be slaughtered forthwith. For example, Suckler Beef cows, that is, cows which give birth yearly in completely natural conditions, to calves which are fattened and eventually sold for slaughter, will usually live for around 10 years themselves - although 14 years is not uncommon, and some reach 20 years, giving birth to new life every year. Unfortunately, modern dairy cows, on the other hand, are usually subject to fairly intensive conditions and rarely last beyond 7 years old. Breeding ewes have 8 years ahead of them.

"You need to examine your conscience if you are trying to prevent this slaughter process."
This is a blatant attempt to make farmers confused and guilty. The people who need to examine their consciences are those farming "leaders" who are leading their members, quite literally, and however unwittingly, to the slaughter. Also, those vets who, however unwittingly, are abusing their professional position by collaborating with an economic agenda rather than an animal health policy, and who are betraying their professional motivation which is, presumably, to heal sick animals.

The people who need to "examine their consciences" are those who are destroying the lives, livelihoods and life's work of people throughout Britain.

Below: Clarissa Dickson Wright argues for vaccination and an end to the needless killing.


"But wouldn't vaccination lead to the disease becoming endemic?"
Prof Fred Brown, FRS, of the United States Department of Agriculture, is one of the top experts on Foot and Mouth in the world and he has recently stated (see his letter posted at that infected animals can be distinguished from vaccinated animals by a simple test of their blood. If a vaccinated animal becomes infected, then it can be identified by this test.

He also stated that if a vaccinated animal becomes infected and becomes a carrier then it is extremely unlikely that it would pass on the virus to other animals. Many attempts to infect animals by bringing them into contact with carrier animals have failed and he knows of only one case!

That also bears out the finding of the 1968 Official Report into the 1967 outbreak. That report concurred with the earlier Gower Report of the 1950s that: 'slaughter is a crude and primitive way of dealing with the disease.'

And the 1968 report emphasised that 'the danger of carrier animals had been exaggerated and that carriers in a susceptible population did not constitute a significant risk'.

"After all the pain and anguish the farmers have been through, to introduce vaccination now would be a betrayal of all those farmers who have sacrificed stock, in order to stop the disease without resorting to vaccination."
It is strange reasoning that uses the recent history of "pain and anguish" to justify the continuation of the slaughter. All woefully errant behaviour causes pain and anguish. That is not an argument for more of the same.

It is also a misrepresentation to suggest that farmers have "sacrificed" their stock in order to try to eradicate this disease. A sacrifice is something done willingly. In the face of a massive abuse of state power, the farmers have had no alternative.

"This is a very dangerous disease"
It's not as dangerous as government policy! Whatever the disease may be like, the mass slaughter "cure" is considerably worse!

How many animals have died of Foot and Mouth in Britain in this present outbreak? Not a single one! No animals have died of Pan Asian Foot and Mouth in Britain. However, well over a million have been killed as a direct result of government policy. So, I ask you: which is the bigger killer - Foot and Mouth disease, or government policy?

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