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Fw: FMD in UK

Given the recent discussions of foot and mouth disease overseas,  I thought
you guys might find this interesting.  The original authors are relatives of
one of the vet students here at Colorado State and she forwarded it to
 the rest of the PVM student body (as there's been a lot of discussion of
 here recently).  So this isn't just one of those cyber urban legend things.
The original post included their address, which I removed in part.  I hope
anyone considering a vacation to the UK will be sensitive to the spread of
diease and how such spread is affecting the lives of the inhabitants.


The Steinbauers sent us this.  The two Pastors writing live in the Lakes
Region of England.

 From:  The Revd Jeff & The Revd Rosie Radcliffe,
 The Rectory, Lilac House, Lowther Newtown, Cumbria


It's hard to describe what it's actually like living here in this group
country villages on the eastern edge of the Lake District at this point
time.  The media coverage doesn't give a picture of the "siege mentality"
which has overtaken us, the news reports seem almost "sanitised" and are
careful to play down the situation.  We understand that it may be
to do so, but in this place the reality is very different.

We are surrounded by a cluster of confirmed cases, the latest within a
 The funeral pyre at Tirril, 4 miles away, has been burning now for over a
week, the column of smoke a constant reminder of the crisis.  The smell
indescribable - not just burning flesh, but rotten burning flesh and the
creosote which is used to keep the fires going. There are thousands and
thousands of carcasses to be destroyed and the burning can't keep up with
all, so a convoy of covered lorries containing some carcasses quietly
slipped south a few days ago, on their way to a rendering plant.
Everywhere you go, and you do try not to go anywhere e unless you must,
 there is straw across roads and gateways, large signs saying Do Not
 roadblocks even.  The smell of anti-viral disinfectant is pervasive.  No
 vehicle of any kind can now come onto the Lowther Estate without
 disinfectant being sprayed up into the wheel arches.  There is no-one
 nothing moves, everyone stays at home except to visit the supermarket and
 the school run. The pubs are empty and local businesses which rely on
 tourism are facing a bleak future.

 We ran out of wood for the fire but there's no more to be had anywhere
 because no-one can get on the land to collect fallen trees, so for now we
 survive with a Calor gas heater. Nothing happens - every meeting is
 cancelled, many churches and some schools are closed because of exclusion

 As Rector of a group of rural parishes, Jeff spends nearly all his time
 the phone to desperate local farmers and their families - either locked
 their homes because they've already got the virus, or desperately pulling
 the drawbridge and living in constant fear that they will be next. A
 neighbouring vicar was called in by a distraught farming family to bless
 their land and stock, but not before his wellies had been thoroughly
 disinfected. The MAFF vet who was called to our latest case even burned
 biro he had used to fill in the form confirming the outbreak.  Humans can
 incubate the disease and breathe it out for 5 days, so we try to go
 do nothing.

Behind us the lambing sheds of the Home Farm should be full of hundreds
ewes about to give birth, but the sheep are all out in the fields and
be brought in because of the movement restrictions within the exclusion
zone. The grass in the fields is all but gone and if the sheep aren't
slaughtered because of the virus they may die anyway of starvation; the
will take months to recover. The Government is now considering the
of half a million pregnant ewes who cannot safely he brought in for
We pray that it will not come to that.
Army marksmen have now been called in to destroy as necessary sheep which
roam free on the fells - many thousands of them. They may also have to
 the deer which range wild across the whole area. Having a split hoof
 too, are vulnerable to this infection and cross land boundaries without
 or favour. One infected deer could turn an outbreak into an epidemic
 Unthinking tourists make us all so angry. Two women with dogs loose were
 stopped trying to climb the stile in front of us into the park farmland
 where there were sheep!  When the notices about the closure of footpaths
 were pointed out they insisted that they had a legal "right to roam".
You still see a few tourists driving about in four wheel drives, and you
 to tell them to go home, although local businesses need whatever revenue
 they might bring in.  The responsible ramblers have stayed away.

 The Government insists the situation is under control but it feels like a
 State of Emergency, in our small corner of the world at least.  Cumbria
 contains one quarter of all the cases to date, mainly in the Penrith
 We almost wish they would call the Army in because they might exercise
 some control over those few people who blatantly flout the disease
 guidelines.   Today we've heard of one farmer who loaded up his
 diseased) sheep and took them to the local abattoir, under the limited
 licence to transport.  He must have known they were infected, but he took
 them through local farmland to reach his destination, with the result
all the 1,000 sheep at the slaughterhouse, including his own, must now be
killed and the carcasses destroyed.  The abattoir is fundamentally out of
usiness and farms on his route are at great risk.
If you're feeling heartily sick of all the news coverage about the
then think again. We're desperate for information and advice on what to
or not do, and the TV and radio provide what little there is. NFU and
briefings on the internet help to complete the picture. The local radio
station hourly gives out helpline numbers for desperate farmers. It can
be a matter of time before the first suicide is recorded.
Those farm families on which the dread news of a confirmed outbreak has
fallen must sit tight in their houses while their life's work is
 Even when the animals are all disposed of, the land and all buildings
be thoroughly disinfected, and they will not be allowed to re-stock for
 to six months, even if they have the heart and the resources to do so.
 Pray for the farmers and the country people who are living with this
daily -
 the fear is palpable.  Many country people will have no jobs because both
 farming and tourism are shuddering to a halt.  Be responsible about your
 movements - we've called off a trip to see our daughter in Leicester
 we couldn't live with ourselves if we transported the infection.  By
 agreement, for the foreseeable future Rosie shall not be travelling to
 her job as Assistant Priest in a parish a few miles away, but will do
 what she can on the home front.

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