SEPTEMBER 30th 2007
The question of vaccination as a UK policy for each of these diseases is complicated, In the case of Blue-tongue we don't yet have a suitable vaccine. When we do (it may take a year), it might be up to individual farmers to use it. However, a government policy of protection zones would have to be co-ordinated with this, so possibly a national regional vaccination programme would be required.

In the case of Foot-and-Mouth, which is carried by contagion, the vaccination masks the detection of carriers and that complicates the issue irreversibly. However, if the disease cannot be contained and British animals are to be accepted for export to other countries, we are faced with a totally unstaisfacory default position. We have to move to a pathologically and financially controllable situation.

I have no doubt all this and more is well understood by government advisors, but the solution to choose and the steps to take are still optional.