Monday, August 06, 2007

Pirbright Leak, it wasn't me gov!

Somewhat unsurprisingly both laboratories on the Pirbright site are confident that they followed procedures and it was not their facilities that leaked foot and mouth. I am not surprised because these people are not stupid or careless. Whilst there is a link to the site, due to the strain of the virus, I would still be surprised if it came from there.

However if it did not come from there, then where did it come from? The strain is the same one that was responsible for the 1967 foot and mouth outbreak and as far as I know has not been seen in the wild since. Once you have excluded the impossible, what ever remains, however improbable must be the answer. It will be interesting to see what the Health and Safety Executive makes of it.

The newspapers are going heavy on the Pirbright link with this from the Telegraph here, the Guardian here and the Daily Mail, never wishing to over dramatise a story goes with the headline "Plume of foot and mouth virus casts 30-mile shadow of fear" presumably in an effort to comfort its readers.

The interesting thing about the Daily Mail story is that Iain Dale has posted a theory that foot and mouth could have been spread by wild deer, here, which would be of far greater concern, because if wild deer had the disease and were spreading it about, we would need to be hunting with mass packs of dogs to eradicate it, which has of course been made illegal by a bunch of lefty class warriors in the commons who don't like toffs on horses even if they are not toffs.

If it does turn out to be from Pirbright then how it hits the fan will depend on whether it was the government lab, which has had funding cut and was (and still is) in need of major refurbishment to keep it safe, or the nice private facilities on the same site. (For funding and refurbmishment issues see here and here)

Politically, it could get interesting.


Anonymous said...

The papers need to go hot on it.
They remember the stench of corruption from the last FAM leak from ****************premises, and the fall guys and the deliberate perps, and the ones responsible who have now been promoted.
How to succeed in politics.
Make a complete bollocks of everything you touch, blame everyone else, find a fall-guy, create his fall, create lots of fog, get promoted for handling the problem for the benefit of the department/party.
For fucks sake, it goes round again.
Get your caravan moving, horse face.

MJW said...

Why would we need to hunt the deer with packs of dogs, track them with one tracking hound perhaps, but surely a more efficient way would be to shoot them rather than set a pack of dogs on them?

Marquee Mark said...

As they are a stone's throw from Aldershot, home of the British Army, the Army should be out shooting all the deer in the exclusion zone. Just in case. Or do we have so few soldiers left who can shoot a gun? I'm sure the Duke of Edinburgh and some of his chums can help out if they need people to make up the numbers.

Seems extraordinary that the footpaths are open around the infected area. And now apparently another outbreak being confirmed this evening - if this disease jumps the exclusion area, it won't surprise me one little bit.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous, at 10:59. 6th of August. Got any links for that?

MJW, Why would dogs be needed? Because you can't surround deer then start shooting as people will get caught in the cross fire.

You would also need dogs to hunt, as they have a better sense of smell.

You could well get quite a few deer shot, but some would also be taken by dogs.

Marquee Mark, I am not sure that soldiers would be suited to hunting deer, but as you say, they are not available as an option.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, at 10:59. 6th of August. Got any links for that?

Of course.
Many went to link heaven.
Some still around.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous at 10:59 PM, well any chance of some of the ones that are still around?

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll give you three.



and here

Most of the prime sources are gone, and I speak from memory.
If you google around, - official secrets act, Foot and Mouth 2001, New Zealand, gagging, etc, and of course the gov't fuckwit who was in charge of ag. and food, they'll perhaps be something.

I presume you are aware of how many questions of mine remain unanswered

Anonymous said...

Ere, - there'll probably be something.

Anonymous said...

I get it.
The links are too long for your attention span!
And your readers, who you say, have a short attention span, they can't be bothered either.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous, at 8.00 AM 7th August.

No, I read it, I just have not responded to it yet, mainly because it looks like the jottings of a swiveled eyed loon.

That does not mean he is, or that he is wrong, it is just how it looks.

Therefore it would need quite a lot of checking into.

Anonymous said...

typical politician response.
Damm the messenger.
I tell you the prime links are gone, and to google.
The "swivel-eyed-loon" gives references that could be checked in a library, - that is if you are serious, - - which I doubt.
My time can be better spent than dealing with a silly dildo.
Go back to your betting, that's really gonna make a difference.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous at 6.44 PM, 7th of August:
"typical politician response.
Damm the messenger."

I did not damn the messenger, I said it looked that way.

Yes I could have resigned my day job, let my family starve, just to get an instant scoop on a 6 year old story, but the reality is that it takes time to think about angles of inquiry, and to get answers.

I write a blog, and am a member of a political party, who has stood in one election, not a full time research machine with limitless resources.