Foot and Mouth: UK to adopt measures used in Russia

An official enquiry lends support to Pravda.Ru, which reported during the last Foot and Mouth crisis which swept across the United Kingdom, that if the methodologies used in the Russian Federation had been adopted, then the crisis would have been brought under control far sooner and far more easily than was the case using the slaughter method.

The official report by the Royal Society recommends a three-pronged approach to similar situations in future: early vaccination (as is the practice in the Russian federation), measures to ensure that party politics does not interfere in decision-making policy and improved disease surveillance.

The wide-scale slaughter of livestock in the UK, which saw over ten million animals killed in a policy which cost 12 billion USD, is described as being “untenable” in future, according to the Royal Society report drawn up by Sir Brian Follett, who also pointed out that in future, measures would be taken to ensure that party politics did not feature in the decision-making process, since sometimes unpopular measures are necessary to guarantee success.

“A key finding is that to beat the disease one must act fast and decisively” claims the report, which pointed out that in the Netherlands, the vaccination policy similar to the approach used in the Russian federation brought the outbreak of foot and mouth disease under control within eight days.

A major obstacle to vaccination was the fear that it would be impossible to differentiate between animals which were found to have antibodies to the disease through contact with infected animals and others which had gained their antibodies through vaccination, therefore declassifying the quality of the meat and causing a reduction in selling price.

However, recent rule changes by the French-based Office International Epizooties, the international animal health bureau, have validated the application of a test, the Chekit-FMD-3ABC, which can tell the difference between animals infected through contagion and through vaccination. John ASHTEAD PRAVDA.Ru LONDON UNITED KINGDOM

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