Monday, May 12, 2008

Car Tax

Having just watched an advert regarding the DVLA and car tax evasion,
it did leave me wondering,
If, according to the DVLA, there is "no way out" for car tax evaders, then it is not a problem.
So why do they need to advertise this?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Welsh farmers view!

A letter from a Welsh farmer that sums up the general feeling amongst smaller farmers and smallholders, with regard to the idiocy of the Defra policy on Bluetounge.
(Thanks to

Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 AM
Subject: Re: Concerns about Bluetongue
Dear ----

Thank you for your reply.

DEFRA seem to have accepted that there is an acceptable risk of exposure to Bluetongue for sheep in Wales, given the fact that vaccine will not be available until April/May, when the risk of Bluetongue begins in the middle of March.

Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire stated yesterday that the 2.5 million doses of vaccine ordered for Wales would only be enough to treat 70% of susceptible animals in Powys and Monmouthshire - what about the other 30% of animals in those two counties, and the other 13 or so counties in Wales?

So there is inadequate provision for vaccine in Wales, along with late delivery for the inadequate amount of vaccine ordered.

As a farmer, I am happy to accept a duty of care for my animals, where I ensure that they have every protection that is available to them. I vaccinate my stock regularly to ensure that they have immunity against clostridial diseases (Heptavac - P), drench them regularly to prevent fluke/worms, and use pour ons to protect against flystrike. Why is it now that we are 3 days from a point where there is a potential risk for my animals to contract Bluetongue and I am powerless to prevent them from the possibility?

We are now on the brink of another potential disaster for farming here. While DEFRA and the EU discuss zones and funding, and who should have the vaccine first, the disease will not respect borders to counties, and could feasibly come to Wales more quickly than expected.

It is not good enough. While you can get Anderson to write another 'independent' report at the end of this year which will soft soap any Government responsibility, I could be looking at having lost a flock of 1st class pure Welsh Mountain sheep, a flock which has taken generations of farming to bring to the standard that they are now. I think it is dereliction of duty, and it is more than disappointing to me.


(Name supplied)

The Anderson Whitewash

Well, what a surprise, yet again no blame attaches to anyone:
Thanks to
March 13 2008 ~ ".. ignorance of virology and cutting-edge technology, idiotic and unscientific opposition to vaccination, institutionalised secrecy.."
Our own "Lessons Not Learned report" would look somewhat different from that of Dr Anderson.
As in 2001, vaccination was opposed at every stage - in spite of the eminent voices calling for it on August 4th including that of Bernard Vallat, not to mention Peter Kendall. Never before had conditions been so entirely favourable: We knew the strain, we knew the source, we had supplies of the exact match vaccine to hand, we knew the timescale.The virus could have been stopped in its tracks within days by ring vaccination from the outside inwards - Instead, it reappeared in September. (Blog (new window))
As in 2001, the available rapid on-site RT-PCR diagnosis was not used. It has now been used to track and eliminate pathogens globally for nearly a decade. Apart from UK commercial jealousy - what can be stopping its use here?
As in 2001, healthy animals were killed en masse. On the Emerson's free range farm, for example, even the two pet goats were killed. The killing of the pigs and cows continued well into the night under arc lamps. Not one of the animals was subsequently found to have been infected. In fact, only a handful of the 2000 or so animals killed turned out to have been infected.
As when Gordon Brown was at the Treasury, lack of funding into animal disease caused the head of Pirbright to say just months before the outbreak, "Year on year, we are able to do less science or we are able to employ less people, and this is an area of work that spans from foot and mouth through to bluetongue virus.."
Simple failures to understand farming needs, such as lack of cattle handling eqipment, led to distress and delay. Communication with ordinary people was poor. Country-wide over regulation led to massive losses. The UK reputation slid further into the mire. In 2002 the official inquiries, anxious not to whisper criticisms too loudly at those great ones who had made such an unholy, bloody, fiasco of things, listed some gentle recommendations. They were the lessons to be learned. DEFRA did not learn them. Blog (new window) Reading Dr Anderson's "we found much to applaud.." review , we can hear the hollow laughter of despair all over the country.

Yet again a succinct and accurate view!

Friday, November 02, 2007

DEFRA, arrogant stupidity & the news organisations

Again, borrowed from WARMWELL:

It is a measure of how docile the public will be if glaring facts are kept quietly away from them with the collusion of the media. The whole country should be up in arms at the utter idiocy of the situation. But DEFRA continues to pursue its crazy path and its edicts are obeyed as if it were acting in the public interest.It is Orwellian.

"Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?"
Well, if the decisions were made by the virologists, by the vets, by the farmers and by the decent people all over the country we would have a policy that protects instead of one that kills.Animal Farm's Squealer can turn black into white, day into night, suffering farmers can be turned into hypocritical whingers, and a Department incompetent to the point of gibbering lunacy can somehow still be taken seriously. And now farmers are to help pay for the policies that are forcing them out of business and causing them such grief. But they will be as helpless as ever. They will not share in the decision-making. That is for the "core stakeholders", some of whose trotters, one suspects, are cosy warm.
"We should use the word killing not the euphemism..." The farmer and vet Carl Boyde, in yesterday's BBC report from the killing fields of Surrey, said that "culling" is far too soft a word to describe what goes on.It was one small step towards giving the public a glimpse of the the sheer misery of the situation in Surrey when DEFRA's FMD policy wrought its havoc. Carl Boyde:
"We should be looking at the whole situation - vaccination - is that not a better way?" As that kindly farmer/vet reminded us, in 1923, the 2nd Duke of Westminster had a herd of Dairy Shorthorns at his Eaton Hall estate in Cheshire. He sidestepped the draconian killing regulations, successfully nursed the herd back to health and several of the cured animals went on to win prizes at The Royal Show the following summer. But in the 1967 outbreak no such permission was received and the 300-strong Eaton herd of pedigree Dairy Shorthorns dating back to 1880 and containing champions, all were slaughtered. This is the policy that against all scientific and ethical considerations persists to this day.
Foot and Mouth is indeed a Manufactured Plague - as Abigail Woods so cogently explains in her book. Arguments backed by knowledge of disease, understanding of modern vaccines, availability of state of the art on-farm diagnosis - in short, all pleas for sanity - fall on the defra ears and closed mind of the authorities. The EU regulations are mad and bad. They are not founded on scientific knowledge. Their proclaimed precautionary principles are nonsense. Far from existing to protect the health and safety of animals and people, they protect the trading profits of the few. The victims are the rest of us - and the many decent farmers who care about their animals. This BBC clip shows the continuing distress in Egham of the couple whose misery was recorded on on September 21st.
Carl Boyde is their local vet and what he says rings with the authentic tones of one who sees that the Emperor has no clothes:
" If we can buy and eat meat from countries which practise vaccination why on earth shouldn't we do it here with our own animals? It seems to me a great anomoly that even now in 2007 we still have the same mid-Victorian killing policy which has persisted in successive Ministries of Agriculture and persists in DEFRA to this day."
The BBC interviewer obediently trots out the mantra that Defra "have to abide by European law which states that to keep the highest level of international trading status we cannot routinely vaccinate" and the non-sequitor that vaccination "wouldn't protect against all the different strains of foot and mouth." Give us strength, oh Lord. No one is arguing that it would. Vaccine protects against the strain for which it is designed - and in Surrey that strain was known (hardly surprising but accidents happen especially when government funding and regulatory care is so abysmal) There were, of course, supplies of the exact match vaccine to hand. Nor is anyone arguing at this stage for routine vaccination - although it will undoubtedly come one day. The escape of virus is one thing. Turning that accident into a national disaster when the application of vaccination could have contained and eradicated the problem within days is utter, staggering insanity.Until the public at large realise the miserable absurdity of our current policy and raise their voices against it, the big players of the meat industry, with the dead-eyed collusion of DEFRA and the EU protectionism, will continue to stamp out and stamp on people like the Hepplethwaites.
The horrors and terror and waste of 2001 cost the country £8 billion. The costs this time are still being calculated. Meanwhile, Rob Lawrence, the Hepplethwaites and all those others like them in Surrey, mourn the untimely deaths of their animals, the lonely fields, the changed landscape. They contemplate the future with bewilderment and grief. We contemplate it with anger and a determination that things can will and must change.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair

It seems that the above person wants to extend the detention period for suspects to 50 or 90 days, even though he has said that there have been NO cases where extension has been needed beyond 28 days!

""The number of the conspiracies, the number of conspirators within those conspiracies and the magnitude of the ambition, in terms of destruction and loss of life, is mounting, has continued to mount year by year," he said."

Yet we still have NO PROOF, only his words, and this from the head of a force that manages to shoot an innocent man SEVEN TIMES and then says its not a crime.

And we pay this almost unacountable Oligarch!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sign To Vaccinate

A good petition on the PM's website.
I think its worth signing, if you do too then please sign it.
Either click above or below:

Monday, October 01, 2007

Quotes from DEFRA (Deathra?) that they have conveniently forgotten!

The following was borrowed from the excellent, and is from the DEFRA website in 2003. It is obvious that they have still not learned the lessons!

Disease control and restrictions: Disease Control (Slaughter) Protocol

1. The Lessons Learned Inquiry on the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak recommended that provision should be made for the possible application of pre-emptive culling policies, if justified by well-informed veterinary and scientific advice, and judged to be appropriate to the circumstances. Such powers for pre-emptive (or preventive or "firebreak") culling of animals not exposed to FMD infection are included in the Animal Health Act 2002. It adds to the armoury the Government has to fight FMD by getting ahead of the disease and stopping it spreading.
2. Section 32B of the Animal Health Act 1981, as amended by the Animal Health Act 2002, requires the Secretary of State to have a disease control (slaughter) protocol for the use of the new slaughter power in the Act (Schedule 3, paragraph 3(c)) to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). This would be a pre-emptive or firebreak cull.
3. This power cannot be used unless the protocol has been published and vaccination has first been considered to prevent the spread of disease (Section 14 of the Animal Health Act 1981 as amended). The reasons for notusing vaccination would be published. The factors to be considered in deciding on the measures to be used to tackle an outbreak of FMD are set out in a separate document - FMD Disease Control Strategies, referred to as the FMD Decision Tree. The purpose of this disease control (slaughter) protocol is to identify criteria to be considered and procedures to be followed should it be considered necessary to call on this new slaughter power.
Purpose for which the power would be used
4. This power would be used only where this is justified by the circumstances of the possibility of disease spreading and on the basis of sound veterinary, epidemiological and scientific advice. Emergency vaccination would have been considered first and if not used the reasons would be published.
The principal factors to be taken into account
5. A major factor will be to get ahead of the disease. It could apply in particular to protect areas of dense livestock population. The cull would include those animals which, should they become affected, would present a significant risk to the farming and livestock community more generally by contributing to onward spread. It is in such circumstances that effective preventative action may be necessary to safeguard the wider public interest. Species, geographical area and, if appropriate, type of farming would be relevant. Any decision to use the wider powers of slaughter would be taken in the light of an overall assessment of the risks, costs and benefits in a given situation. This could include not only risks of transmission but also social and economic risks that would arise if effective and timely action were not taken.
The procedure to be followed in reaching a decision
6. Such a decision could not be made until the use of emergency vaccination had been considered and, if not used, the reasons published.
7. The steps to be taken would then comprise:
the identification of a group of animals that are likely to contribute to spread of disease, based on epidemiological modelling, veterinary advice and local factors;
the determination of which species are involved;
consideration of exemptions on the basis of husbandry or other criteria, for example, rare breeds or genetic value;
the determination of the geographical area involved;
the determination of the rules for inclusion or exclusion of animals at the boundary of that area;
analysis of risks, costs and benefits;
the publication of an outline of the reasons why such a cull is needed.
The procedure by which animals on a premises will be deemed to be included in a slaughter
8. Premises believed to contain animals to be slaughtered to prevent the spread of disease would be identified. A Veterinary Inspector would visit and ascertain if animals meet the criteria and are to be slaughtered.
9. The Veterinary Inspector would be required to explain the reasons to the owner and give him an opportunity to provide evidence if he believed the animals should be exempted. To ensure the reason for slaughter is clear to the owner a slaughter notice would be issued. The slaughter notice would state the powers under which slaughter is required and the reason why the owner's stock is included (with reference to the criteria for slaughter to prevent the spread of disease).
The means by which a particular decision to slaughter can be reviewed
10. Both as part of the slaughter notice and during explanations the owner must be made aware that they can ask the DVM to review the decision that their stock meet the criteria for the cull and be advised how and by when this can be done.
11. The DVM, or a suitable alternative, must be available to hear such reviews. The following action would be taken:
They will consider the views of the owner as to why they believe the decision is wrong.
They must ensure that the veterinary inspector has carried out a full and fair inquiry to establish if the animals meet the appropriate criteria.

DefraMarch 2003

Page last modified: 3 March 2003