We urge the government to:
- Ensure culling is swift, efficient and humane
- Deploy emergency vaccination in high risk areas now
- In the longer term ask the EU to reconsider its policy on routine vaccination
Any culling of the herd of cattle in Egham must be done swiftly and efficiently but also humanely.
The government simply cannot afford to hesitate. We must vaccinate now in the high risk areas to prevent a major disaster for the farming community and farm animal welfare.
Opponents of vaccination fear that if vaccination is used, an EU export trade barrier would be extended from three months to six months, but we believe that in reality it is better for the animals and farming community to vaccinate without further delay.
In the longer term, the EU should reconsider its policy on routine vaccination. Most animals are already routinely vaccinated against a range of other diseases and supermarkets and butchers often stock meat from animals that have therefore been vaccinated.
This latest outbreak surely raises questions about the wisdom of leaving our farm animals exposed to this disease without protection from routine vaccination.
We must not allow EU trade to come before animal welfare. We should not forget that we are dealing with hundreds and thousands of sentient beings, animals that feel pain and can suffer.
CIWF believe that farm animals should not, and need not, suffer. If you agree, please support our work with a donation today.