Experts are investigating the possibility that the foot-and-mouth outbreak was caused by sabotage linked to the Pirbright laboratory site. A preliminary report by the Health and Safety Executive concluded there were various potential routes for "accidental or deliberate transfer of material from the site". It said: "We have investigated site management systems and records and spoken to a number of employees. As a result we are pursuing lines of inquiry. "Release by human movement must also be considered a real possibility. Further investigation of the above issues is required and is being urgently pursued."
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn admitted the Government must look at the possibility the outbreak in Surrey was the result of deliberate human contamination. He said: "The truth is, we don't know. We're all very very anxious." Mr Benn has announced that the possibility the strain had been released by human movement will be investigated further as "a matter of urgency", and said he has asked for another report as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown insisted that efforts to contain and eradicate foot-and-mouth disease would continue apace. The Prime Minister praised the "determined" operation to stop it spreading and added there would be a second report from the Health and Safety Executive, following on from the interim findings. Mr Brown said: "The work goes on to isolate, to contain, control and eradicate the disease." (Source)
Yet I see all over the place that public foot paths across infected areas are not blocked off, they have no warning signs, nothing warning that the land a person is entering is or may be contaminated by foot and mouth. During the 2001 epidemic every entrance to any area even suspected of contamination was closed with warning signs but not now in the latest outbreak. It is my belief that the sabotage of these farmers lively hoods runs a little bit deeper that a person who worked in the Pirbright labs, with no proper set exclusion zones, no warning signes, little government action that I can see etc etc. As you can see in the picture to the left there is only a simple red and white tape strung over a gate with no mention that Councillor Diana Lockyer-Nibbs is stood the edge of the foot and mouth exclusion zone. Ordinarily the fields ahead would have been alive with the sounds of animals and farming activity but yesterday they had fallen silent. The digger yet to go to work loading carcasses of culled cattle. (Full Story)