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Foot and Mouth Disease — a Harbinger of Biogenetic War and Eco-terrorism

YOWUSA.COM, 03-June-01
Steve Russell

The recent outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) across Britain are having a devastating effect on the nations farmers, as the government imposed destruction of thousands of healthy animals raises critical questions on the government's ability to handle a biological crisis.  But a more pressing question has arisen.  Is this outbreak of FMD a man-made event? 

Eco-terrorism is the purest form of mankind being its own worst predator.  It is not restricted nor bound by a specific geographic area or ethnic group like traditional forms of terrorism.  It is a direct response to a perceived threat against the other species and the environment.  With the declining state of the planet, there is no shortage of extreme environmentalists willing to consider any solution possible in order to "save the planet".

But what about small nation that sees the promise of a last ditch defence in the same kind of biogenetically modified plagues.

Was This Outbreak Too Organized To Be Natural?

Given the scope and rate at which the disease spread, experts have begun to see a pattern that is dissimilar in several ways from naturally occurring events.  While nature can do much worse, it must overcome man-made obstacles, which is why a naturally occurring event such as this has not been seen in a long time.   

Reuters , May 16 , 2001
Eco-Terrorists May Have Planted FMD Plague-Farmers

CANBERRA - British and U.S. farm leaders claim ''lunatic'' eco-terrorists may be behind recent devastating outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain and Europe. 

``I've never ruled eco-terrorism out, that's obviously something you must think of,'' Ben Gill, president of Britain's National Farmers Union, told Reuters.

Gill pointed to a coincidence of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth in Britain's northeast and swine fever in East Anglia within six months of each other. Both diseases were Asian strains.

For this reason, we must consider the possibility that a terrorist attack motivated by an environmental ideology may be responsible for the recent FMD outbreak.  If that is the case, it could also be an act of state sponsored terrorism by a country such as Iraq.   A country with a well documented history of using chemical and biological weapons, and which despises the British for their heavy involvement in Desert Storm, and continued support of American sponsored sanctions and air attacks.   

We Were Warned

In 1999, we were warned that the possibility of an attack from terrorists would escalate in the coming years.  With our progression of advancements in genetic engineering, it is difficult to make accurate predictions.  There is no reason why their five-year window could be reduced to three years. 

Center For Nonproliferation Studies, October 20 1999
Assessing The Threat Of Bioterrorism: Congressional Testimony by Raymond Zilinskas

It is highly probable that biological attacks by terrorists or criminals utilizing foodborne and waterborne pathogens or toxic chemicals will occur in the next five years. 

Soldier with Gas MaskTo conclude this section, there are six reasons why biological and toxin weapons are likely to become ever more attractive to criminals and terrorists as we move into the 21st century. First, as the biotechnology, pharmacology, environmental, and health delivery industries grow, the number of persons possessing expertise in microbiology and the biosciences will increase greatly.  

It is reasonable to expect that a small proportion of this population will be willing for reasons of greed, ideology, or fear to apply techniques in these disciplines for criminal or terrorist purposes.

While terrorist threats are always of concern, an equally damaging source can also be government torpidity and inaction.

Terrorism Today

Traditional forms of terrorism are being given a new lease of life according to FBI testimonies.  In 1999, 100 new cases were opened that involved threats using biological weapons.  Now smallpox is being considered a possible disease in major cities. 

UPI, June 1, 2001
U.S. on Bioterrorism Alert for Smallpox

LOS ANGELES (UPI) - Los Angeles, Chicago and New York are putting smallpox back on their lists of reportable diseases. The action comes as part of a coordinated effort to identify as early as possible any bioterrorist attacks in the United States.  

"Smallpox is extremely highly contagious. You don't get one case. You get a lot of cases .... There is no immunity in the community .... It spreads like wildfire .... " 

Patients would need to be placed in isolation, preferably in a room with a negative air pressure, to avoid dispersal. Plans would need to be made for vaccine distribution, ambulances, overloaded hospitals and dealing with the media, Katona told United Press International - a scenario he described as "utter chaos." 

If the steady rise in terrorism is not enough to drain valuable resources in the fight against biological outbreaks, an old breed of extremists are now adopting biological agents to strengthen their cause.  

Further, they are using new genetic and dispersion technologies to make newer and more deadly versions of previous plague threats. Consequently, we are facing an even more dangerous world best by the pestilence of mass distributed, biogenetically engineered viruses.   

Governments Are Not Prepared

Following the end of WWI, the nations of the world agreed never to use chemical weapons again.  However, terrorists and rogue states view this abhorrence of cheaply produced chemical and biological weapons as an invitation to affect great harm upon a nation state.    

While all major world governments train their military organizations to deal with the threat of chemical and biological warfare on the battlefield, they've ostensibly ignored the same threat to their own civilian populations to a great degree.   

Clear proof of this is the current FMD outbreak.  It has clearly demonstrated that governments who have honoured their pledges to never to use chemical weapons have failed to develop the capability to quickly contain and suppress such attacks against their own civilian population.   

BBC News, May 16 2001
A Deadly False Alarm

As a top scientist criticises the foot-and-mouth policy of culling healthy animals, farmer Ian Goldie tells how a false diagnosis wiped out his entire stock.  

I've got two holdings next to each other in Dumfriesshire, with 700 sheep and 420 cattle. When I found blisters in my sheep, the vet came in, looked at the animals and said they had foot-and-mouth.

Maff weren't going to wait for the results of the blood tests, so the sheep and 100 cattle on the same holding were slaughtered the following day.

A week later, the blood tests came back negative. I thought this would save my remaining healthy cattle, which had been classified as "dangerous contacts".

But Maff took no notice of the test results.

Cattle in Feed LotWe are not appropriately prepared to handle the crises of disease outbreaks.  In the midst of panic and confusion, millions of animals were slaughtered. Hundreds of thousands were undoubtedly healthy and unthreatened when they were destroyed.  

The FMD crisis has clearly demonstrated the inadequate knowledge possessed by experts in order to stop the disease in an efficient manner. Their approach was nothing more than a swift, inhumanely methodical brute force attack to wipe out as many potential hosts as possible. 

At this stage, we're talking about farm animals.  But what if the next outbreak, natural or man-made is directed at human populations?

The Consequences for Humans Are Frightening

The mismanagement of the FMD outbreak has upset animal activists and farmers alike, but imagine the ramifications if this outbreak had occurred with the same scope and pace amongst human populations. Would governments be equally willing to destroy human lives to control outbreak crises?   

To put this question into focus, substitute the words: 

  • Animals FOR humans
  • Piglets and calves FOR infants
  • Cattle and Sheep FOR suspected plague victims

The Sunday Times, May 20 2001
Foot and mouth slaughter toll hits a new high

Concerns are growing about cruelty to animals. A dossier detailing appalling treatment is to be passed to the government by animal welfare investigators. Among the allegations are:  

  • Animals being buried alive after suffering hours of pain from bolts fired into their skulls.  

  • The slaughter of piglets and kids with soft-nosed dumdum bullets that explode on impact, shattering bone and shredding flesh.

  • New-born piglets and calves being beaten to death with spades and iron staves.

  • Marksmen firing from 60ft at trapped cattle fighting to escape from pens.

The RSPCA has 60 cases under investigation. It is to present its evidence to Maff within the next few weeks. It intends to prosecute slaughtermen over a case in Cumbria where six sheep which were supposedly culled were found to have survived the following day.

In a sane and rational world, humans would never be treated like animals.  But only if you could manage to overlook mankind's recurring history of state-sponsored ethnic cleansing such as the Nazi concentration camps, which efficiently terminated human with all the efficiency of the commercial slaughterhouses that provide us the meat products we so readily enjoy.   

The fact is, that more humans in the last century have died from such state-sponsored acts, than have died in combat during all of the wars combined.  

As of 22 May, the total number of confirmed FMD cases in UK is 1,628.  This has resulted in 3,003,000 animals slaughtered with 78,000 animals awaiting slaughter. 

If this situation were a human crisis, would a justifiable solution be to go about culling the population?  If so, are procedures in place to ensure a safe, quick and painless human killing process?  With the British government failing to handle this comparatively simple case of FMD, these kinds of questions should be on everybody's lips. 

FMD is not a new virus.  Since it is well known, you would expect an efficient method of containment to be well known also.  Sadly, this is obviously not the case.  How successfully then, do you think a government could handle a terrorist attack that utilises a biological agent customarily designed to be stronger than any known form of defence?

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