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   WOLVES AND FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE 

Cow Calf Weekly 5/23/05

                                        
A 500 page manuscript is now at the publisher that is the compilation of a century of Russian and Eurasian wolf biology.I have had several conversations with the author. Russian biologists have been able to study 2 to 3 million wolves on that continent for many, many more decades than North American wolf biologists, in much more diverse habitats and circumstances. 
 
 A primary carrier and transmitter of Foot and Mouth Disease in Russia/Eurasia is the wolf. American scientists are operating on a false premise/theory that American wolves will self regulate their numbers and limit their range with epizootic disease. Russian biology debunks this theory and instead instructs us that diseased members of a wolf pack are pushed out of the pack by healthy members. This is another way the wolves studied by Russian scientists disperse and expand their range, as diseased wolf packs are formed and establish new territories. The linguist who translated the Russian wolf biology into English is being "blind copied" in this e-mail . He was originally turned down by countless American university text book publishers who refused to publish his scientific work because his volume concluded that lethal wolf control was of paramount importance, and that was  "politically incorrect" in the opinion of the publishers he approached.The American cattle industry has not aggressively vaccinated against Foot and Mouth Disease since about 1930 , which coincidentally ,is when wolves, were for the most part removed from the American landscape.
 
 
http://www.pbm3.com/trk/ct.aspx?x=1e50.16be.4932264
A Primedia Property
May 20, 2005
 
Our Perspective
Facing Threats Of Agroterrorism
An FBI official told a Senate committee this week that environmental and animal rights extremists have become the nation's top domestic terrorism threat. Groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty are "way out in front" in terms of damage and number of crimes, says John Lewis, FBI deputy assistant director for counterterrorism.

ALF and ELF are underground movements with no public leadership, membership or spokespersons. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the Senate panel's chairman, said he hoped to examine more closely how the groups get assistance in fundraising and communications from tax-exempt organizations and mainstream activist groups.

One of ALF's stated goals is to take direct action against "animal exploiters" by using weapons designed to damage and destroy property. The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) scare last week in New Zealand demonstrates how unsettling and expensive even just threats of agroterrorism can be to a nation's economy.

No evidence of FMD has so far been found among 12,500 susceptible livestock on New Zealand's Waiheke Island. And a second anonymous letter, presumed to be from the same source as the first, claimed the original threat was a hoax. Thus, New Zealand was to remove legal restrictions covering the movement of animals and other goods off the island on May 17.

But the incident underscores the need for preparedness in addressing threats of FMD in the U.S., let alone fighting an actual disease outbreak. Meanwhile, the Canadian and Australian governments are gearing up to address agroterrorism threats.

A former Australian intelligence analyst says his government needs to establish a disease alert system across Asia to address increasing threats of agroterrorism. University of Queensland's Carl Ungerer says Australia, like New Zealand, could easily face an FMD scare -- at a potential cost of more than US$30 billion. "I think the threat is real and I think the threat is growing," he says.

In Canada, among other biosecurity moves, the federal government will spend US$1.89 million this year to link animal health labs nationwide to ensure a swift response to agroterrorism.

In the U.S., the consensus is FMD is the foremost terrorism threat to agriculture -- not just the cattle industry, says Terry Knowles, deputy director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. For more, read "Cattle Enemy #1" in the Feb. 15, 2005 issue of BEEF. It's available at http://www.pbm3.com/trk/ct.aspx?x=1e50.16be.4932264.

"An outbreak of FMD, either by intentional introduction or by accident, would bring our nation's economy to a virtual standstill," Knowles says.

A recent Harvard School of Public Health survey found most rural states largely unprepared to handle an agroterrorist attack. It also pointed out federal antiterrorism planners tend to provide more financial support to urban areas than rural areas, based on presumed relative risk of terrorism.

Ruralists' complacency, along with federal inattention, makes us doubly vulnerable. We all gasped last December when Tommy Thompson, upon departing as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, said: "For the life of me, I can't understand why terrorists haven't attacked our food supply because it's so easy to do."

He's right -- perpetrating an act of agroterrorism, especially using the FMD pathogen, would be an easy thing to do. And, as was clearly illustrated in New Zealand, a threat alone can create havoc.

The U.S. livestock industry should heed the advice of antiterrorism specialists like Rocco Casagrande, director of homeland defense at Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA, and a former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq. He says agroterrorism against the U.S. should be regarded as a "high-consequence, high-probability event" -- and should receive the attention it deserves as a grave national security risk.

Do you think you're doing enough to protect yourself and our livestock industry from threats of agroterrorism? Is your community? Is your government?
-- Clint Peck

 

 

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