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VEGA News 12 - Cull or cure

 

Although “we believe that the initial policy of eradication of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) by culling was correct,” 10 vets now call attention to their reservations over continuance of the policy (Veterinary Record, 21 April 2001). They explain: “We can no longer defend the justification of this carnage to support the wider issue of FMD control to the public. We also wonder if it will be credible for MAFF to have any role in policing animal welfare in the future.” They continue: “The current policy of eradication is not based on issues of food safety or animal welfare. It is simply an issue of cost-benefit to the agricultural industry. We are unable to reconcile the economic benefits of the current policy against the human suffering and the millstone of social and economic costs that now burden the whole (rural) community.”

The vets conclude: “how far is the profession prepared to compromise animal welfare? How much more social and economic hardship must be borne by the rural and wider community before the profession has enough foresight and courage to say enough is enough?” Further information can be found at www.vets4vaccs.co.uk.

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