Compassion in World Farming sincerely hopes that we are approaching the end of the latest foot and mouth outbreak in the UK; however, with an incubation period of up to 14 days, we support the Government's call for ongoing vigilance.
Following our meeting with Defra's Head of Vaccination Policy on Friday 10th August, we are pleased to report that the Government does not intend to resort to the contiguous (neighbouring) culling policy that was implemented so disastrously in 2001. Whilst Defra will rule nothing out at this stage, the focus continues to be on culling at infected premises and following up on locations where animals are likely to have come into contact with animals from an infected premises.
Crucially, we applaud the fact that Defra remains in a permanent state of readiness to vaccinate if deemed necessary and that their "preferred" strategy is 'vaccination to live'. Since the latest outbreak began, Compassion in World Farming has been calling on the UK Government to adopt a policy of vaccination to keep animals alive. This 'vaccination to live' strategy would avoid any unnecessary killing of healthy farm animals and would avoid the horrific scenes of wholesale slaughter witnessed in 2001.
Compassion in World Farming will continue to lobby retailers to ensure that they remain open to stocking meat from animals vaccinated for Foot and Mouth Disease.
Since the start of the foot and mouth outbreak in the UK, Compassion in World Farming has been working to prevent a potential animal welfare disaster. Previous foot and mouth outbreaks have resulted in mass slaughter of animals, resulting in totally unnecessary suffering. For example, during the 2001 outbreak, Compassion in World Farming received many reports of inhumane slaughter methods being used throughout the UK as people struggled to implement such a huge cull in a very short timescale.
We believe that farm animals should not, and need not, suffer. If you agree, please support our work with a donation today.