Foot and Mouth vaccination – should we or shouldn’t we?

When the foot-and-mouth outbreak occurred, independent vet consultant Tony Andrews told Farmers Weekly there were too many issues surrounding whether the government should implement a vaccination strategy.

Speaking this morning after the confirmation of a second outbreak in Surrey, he was adamant the government should still refrain from vaccination.

“Although we now know the strain and are 99.9% sure of the source, that being Pirbright, we don’t know the relationship between the two,” he explained.

“If we were looking at a further case found in the UK some distance from the Pirbright site and one that has no connection to Pirbight in the form of movements off the infected farms, then we could possibly be looking at a case for vaccination.”

However, government must be completely aware of the implications a vaccination policy would have on our industry in terms of trading, exports and whether or not cattle would have to be killed after administration of the vaccine, he added.

“Government is often accused of hiding behind science, but in this instance vaccination decisions must be made on scientific fact, not politics or public perception.” 

Keep up to date with our foot and mouth special report page