They probably would have been slaughtered anyway - in that you’re right, berdellos.
From where I’m standing, the tragedy is suffered most by the farmers. I’ve seen many TV reports of them weeping openly - not about the monetary loss (they will be compensated) but because of the need to cull. I know there’s an implicit illogicality here (i.e. they were mostly at some point destined for slaughter) but there it is. The other side of the coin is that all their hard work and labour is going up in smoke, quite literally. I’ve lived on farms in the past but I was shocked when I saw fleets of huge diggers scooping up maybe 20 pig carcasses at a time and loading them into huge trucks for incineration.
Actually some slaughtered herds were rare breeds, bred not so much for meat but their rarity.
As an aside, the police in the west country (Devon/Cornwall) have asked some farmers to voluntarily (and temporarily) relinquish their shotguns, to prevent suicide. All, from what I read, complied.
I’m not quite sure how to take this. I’d be very surprised if we (in the UK) consume a significantly higher amount of animal products than continental Europe or the US. I don’t know where you’re from, berdellos, but I think I’d like a cite for (a) your assertion that we’re eating less animal products now than say 10 weeks ago and (b) that if we are it will have any long-term effect on our longevity.
Well, another element of poignancy is about to be added to the mix; now that farmers are going have to cull animals who don’t have F&M. Many pregnant ewes will be slaughtered just as the lambing season begins as the farmers can’t move the sheep from field to field so the sheep haven’t anything to eat. Its better this way then letting the ewes and lambs starve to death, but it ain’t pretty. re the confiscation of shotguns, one farmer has already committed suicide.
Uh, berdollos? Posting everything in capitals is considered bad netiquette. It’s the written equivalent of shouting. Words or maybe short sentences all in caps are used sometimes to show emphasis but they’re like salt: great for adding flavor but not when taken straight.
This isn’t a SDMB rule, just common online courtesy. It makes posts hard to read, especially catching sentence breaks in longer posts, as well as conveying loudness. Just giving you a hint, here. People will react to you and your posts better if you use the shift key a bit.
Thanks TVeblen for setting Berdollos straight on the shouting thing. I generally won’t even bother reading posts written in caps.
I read this one though because my mother in Scotland has about 300 head of sheep; raised for wool only. She has spent 30 years breeding & refining her flock for premium wool, and has named many of the sheep. Her working collie Ben also knows “his” flock. So far she hasn’t been affected because she is in the Hebrides on an island (Skye), but she is worried sick that she’ll be ordered to destroy her entire livelihood, and entire bloodlines of sheep she has spent decades raising. So, Berdollpos you may want to rethink your position. I will add here; my mother is a vegetarian.
A friend of mine has gotten back from Great Britain,
he changed my view when he told me that the sheep dogs and other dogs in the countryside had to be put down. A pall hangs over the countryside - like a Biblical plague.
I havent heard of one incident where they put the dogs down, and belive me, the news would love to jump all over that. we heard enough about fluffy sheep being killed but a dog, there’d be public outcry.
I did a search on the BBC news web site for dogs and foot and mouth and all I could find were stories about dog walkers getting fined for walking in the wrong area and sheepdog trails using ducks instead of sheep
"Foot and mouth disease
3 March 2001
Implications for dogs
Any dogs in an area infected with foot and mouth disease must be kept under control by their owners. This means that they must either:be kept in a kennel or enclosure from which they cannot escape or be effectively secured to a fixed object by a collar and chain or they must be accompanied by and under the effectual control of the owner or a responsible person authorised by the owner.
If you are in an area declared to be infected with foot and mouth disease you must not let your dog run free; if you do, it may be seized by the local authority or the police and treated as a stray. In addition, an inspector may serve a notice on anyone in the infected area to keep a dog under specific controls.
Dogs which are kept under proper control are not prevented from being moved. Certain sporting activities involving dogs are not allowed in areas infected with foot and mouth disease.
Grr as if we don’t have enough problems over here.
• I have an elderly friend who lives in Shropshire, the tenant of a farmer. He THOUGHT he was going to get electricity this year, but now the farmer is in such financial straits that my friend still has to rely on his electric generator . . . Which just died, leaving my poor old friend with no lights, heat or telly. Very third world.
• Why ARE the animals being slaughtered? From what I’ve read, foot-and-mouth does not effect humans; and most animals recover from it, like a bad cold. Only very old or very young animals actually die from it. I see where mad cow disease is dangerous, but why this fuss over what seems to be a minor illness?
It isn’t that minor - the animals suffer pretty nasty debilitiating effects. They recover, but it takes time, and they suffer lasting damage. But, to put it bluntly, an animal damaged by foot and mouth has its value severely reduced - and may well still be a reservoir of infection. This being the case, farmers do not want their healthy stock jeopardized by exposure to recovering animals… so, yes, in the end, the cull is based on economic factors. Well, a policy of mass slaughter isn’t going to be in the best interests of the animals themselves, of course…
I really wonder whether a mass-slaughter policy is in the best interests of the farmers, though. Obviously, if you’re a farmer and the disease appears on your neighbor’s farm, you would want those animals slaughtered and burned before it spreads to your farm. However, right now, it seems that efforts and containing the disease haven’t worked. I’ve heard one estimate saying that as many as 50% of Britains livestock may eventually be slaughtered. Is the price of such a slaughter really worse than the price of letting the disease run its course? With the double blow of foot-and-mouth and BSE, prices for live animals will have to rise dramatically. Thus, even if animals that had been infected are worth less than those that escaped infection, they would probably still be worth a decent amount once the disease went away. As it is, it will have to take a huge amount of money to compensate all the farmers.