Mary Critchley reports HERE that some 362 cows, sheep, pigs and goats slaughtered on Wednesday at Hunts Hill Farm in Surrey did not have FMD, tests belatedly having been completed by DEFRA which show this substantial part of someone’s livelihood and way of life was despatched needlessly.

I know not the science of these things but I wonder how much of the budget of the IAH has been applied to improving the detection of and rapid diagnosis of FMD and by rapid I mean such rapid diagnosis that means many more herds can be saved before the nihilistic step of culling is taken.

Mary also reports an email to her from a Cumbria farmer who, upon speaking to DEFRA civil servants about the footpath closure issue was told that keeping them open had been a political decision.

So, the rural museum and playground was to be kept open at all costs so as not to offend the weekend green wellie brigade rather than take the belt-and-braces approach that might actually work to stop the spread of this fell disease.

I think we should be told the names of the politicians who took this step.

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