Saturday, 4 August 2007
Oh No, Please Not Again
Emergency post. This is serious. No room for humour on this one. I have just caught wind of a new Foot and Mouth outbreak. I fervently hope it doesn't turn out like the last one. I was very much affected by it. I am currently crying and am finding it hard to see the screen and the keyboard, that is how much it means to me. At the time of the last outbreak I was doing the rural run every working day and so was very much caught up in it. Some owners of farms and small holdings simply banned me from their premises altogether. I didn't take it personally but it did make me feel a bit uncomfortable. Others insisted I drove over or walked over disinfected mats. The worst bit about it was that despite all these precautions I could potentially still have spread the disease, given the nature of my job. The worst case scenario would have been the llamas. Being ruminants they were at risk and even if they had been destroyed, due to no involvement of mine, I would still have been almost as devastated as their owners. Needless to say, I, along with everyone else was banned from entering the premises. They would have been almost impossible to replace. Thankfully the disease did not reach us but seeing the fear of people, some I have known for years, is something I never wish to experience again. Both for them, and myself, I hope the new political regime we have gets off it's butt and acts now. Last time they just sat back and hoped the problem would go away. And what happened? The countryside virtually shut down, tourism died a death, not to mention thousands of animals who might have been spared a similar fate, and the tax payers had to pick up a tab of in excess of £8 Billion. We have finally fully withdrawn from Northern Ireland after the longest campaign in British military history. So we have some spare troops. Unlike last time, when it was left far too late to get them involved, get these guys in there now.