Well, this has shaken my already tenuous faith somewhat, regarding Defra’s ability to track livestock movements in the FMD-affected area to date –
– a plea has been issued by the State Veterinary Service, to anyone who has transported livestock in &/or out of the FMD-affected Zones since 16th July, to advise the authorities of the whys, whens & wherefores of the movement. Had I been involved in monitoring this outbreak virtually the first thing I would have done, would have been to request copies of every single Movements Licence produced during the potentially risky period (& for every animal moved, it now has to be formally recorded on such a licence – in fact the licencing system was introduced as a result of the 2000/2001 outbreak). In theory, the potential spread of the disease from animal to animal could be directly traced as there should be a ‘paper trail’ tracking & linking any & every last animal movement. Occasionally these are not formally logged (for example the emergency movement of a young, untagged animal for treatment at a veterinary surgery); in which case of course the owners should be responsible & inform the necessary authorities (if their vet has not already done so). However, the impression given, is that Defra have absolutely no idea about what moved where, or when – therefore my question is: ‘if not, why not?’ We should be much further forward than we seem to be, at the moment; & it’s worrying.