Victory for 'IoS' in foot and mouth campaign - Environment - The Independent

Victory for 'IoS' in foot and mouth campaign

A A A

In a victory for The Independent on Sunday, tough new European laws will next week force governments across the continent to prepare to vaccinate livestock immediately after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

In a victory for The Independent on Sunday, tough new European laws will next week force governments across the continent to prepare to vaccinate livestock immediately after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

The laws, in a new directive, mark the final vindication of a virtually lone campaign by this newspaper against the mass killing of six million animals in the epidemic three years ago. Yesterday Michael Meacher, one of the ministers in charge of fighting the epidemic, described them as "an enormous tribute to The Independent on Sunday".

Ministers, farmers' leaders and food companies - which all opposed vaccination during the epidemic - now accept that the slaughter should be minimised and that vaccination is likely to be used instead. And in another victory for the campaign, the Government has admitted that its wholesale closure of public footpaths, which devastated tourism, was "unnecessary and inappropriate".

The directive will come into force at the end of the month, and will be incorporated into British law later this year. It places a legal duty on all 25 EU governments "to prepare all arrangements necessary for emergency vaccination" immediately the first animal is found to have the disease.

It still requires a limited slaughter of animals found to have the disease or in immediate contact with infected livestock, but obliges governments to be ready to vaccinate at least within a 10km radius of an outbreak. It also suggests that the immunisation should be used where the disease could become widespread.

The Government, which is next week conducting a two-day exercise across Whitehall departments to test its contingency plans, says that the directive "moves vaccination to the forefront of disease-control strategies". Official documents make clear that it now considers immunisation to be "ideally suited" to dealing with epidemics, and that it would be "effective" in almost every scenario.

Ministers now have more than 10 million doses of vaccine stored in Britain in preparation for another outbreak, and have 50 teams supported by 25 vets to administer them.

The Government now says that in the case of a new epidemic it would aim to select a strategy "which minimises the number of animals that need to be slaughtered ... keeps animal welfare problems to a minimum ... and minimises the burden on taxpayers and the public at large".

The official contingency plan accepts that "there is no veterinary justification for closing all footpaths and preventing all public access to land", as happened during the 2001 epidemic,.

Mr Meacher said last night: "This is an enormous tribute to The Independent on Sunday, which tenaciously proposed measures that everyone now acknowledges to be right. It is a great tragedy that they were not put into operation earlier."

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an SEN Teacher loo...

Teacher

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

Year 2 Teacher and Group Lead

£110 - £125 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Randsta...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Teaching Assistants urgently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week