Paisley to reassure importing countries on foot-and-mouth..

More than one farm site in Surrey, England, all within the initial 3km protection zone, are reported to be showing indications of foot-and-mouth. Officially Northern Ireland has escaped the EU export ban on meat and diary products from the UK.. unofficially some exporters have experienced problems. Not to worry, though. The BBC reports that the First Minister Ian Paisley is to have a quiet word with the Japanese ambassador to the UK.. *ahem* Even so, it’s not the only country reported to be nervous..

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  • Wee slabber

    Paisley talking on “foot” and “mouth” – how appropriate!

  • interested

    Would you prefer he didn’t have a word? Or is it just that it doesnt fit your particular political view of life that he may actually be trying to help..

    Couldn’t have that now could we!

  • Yokel

    A quiet word?

    Oh come on, some Japanese bloke is liable to be deafened if he’s never heard the man.

    You know the old cliche that some speak loudly to people who appear not to speak English as their first langauge as if it somehow helps? I just wonder if the Japanese ambassdor hearing Paisley serious accent will assume that he needs to talk loudly as well…..

  • Rory

    It is of course the First Minister’s responsibility to use whatever influence his office and reputation allows to assure, insofar as he is confidently able, customers of NI livestock produce that the exports are safe from the foot and mouth outbreak in England. However the caveat is important – it would be disastrous if such assurances were given lightly only to prove to be misplaced for it would be not only his reputation that would suffer but confidence in the north’s reputation for rigorous integrity in such matters.

    One cannot help but wonder if his job might be easier if he was leader of an entity that was seen to not only have geographical but also political separation from the UK. Just a thought.

  • al

    Big Ian: “Ambassador, only I have permission to say No”

  • interested

    Nothing like a good ‘ole steriotype to reassure you in times of change eh?

    Most people these days have commented that whatever changes may or may not have taken place in his political thinking, the one thing which has changed with age in Ian Paisley is the lowering of the decebels from his voicebox. Deafening people is one thing he’s not that capable of these days.

    The answer to your question is of course: No.

  • Dewi

    Never really understood this business – Foot and Mouth doesn’t kill anyone as far as I understand. Is the meat of an infected animal unfit for human consumption ? Or is it just the yield is so bad after infection that the animal ain’t worh keeping.
    Feel terribly sorry for the farmers and the poor bloody animals.

  • joeCanuck


    Many affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them weakened and debilitated.

  • Dewi

    “Many affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them weakened and debilitated.”

    But Joe, can they still be eaten safely ? Rather tahn burnt I mean ?

  • Fraggle

    Yet another example of why the union with britain is a bad thing.

  • Yokel

    Crackin Fraggle…really.


    You betcha, I wouldnt miss a chance me. By the way, just so you know, all Fenians have their eyes close togther and all Huns are members of the Orange Order as well.

  • Michelle Gildernew has been battling this outbreak in Britain since Friday and not one word of comment has appeared on this site, now Paisley threatens to make a phonecall and a thread appears, seems strange to me.

  • Yokel

    Cos no one cares about Michelle…well I’m sure her family and friends do but really..I mean come on she’s not a big cheese is she….

    I have to say though her trips to Britain to fight this outbreak have been immensely noteworthy. I hear she learned about how not to leave contamination on her clothes by some bloke that Gerry Kelly asked to assist…no wait wasn’t Gerry caught?

    Well anyway…yes shes been fighting good on her…

  • interested


    Gildernew could/should have been getting quite a bit of coverage from this. Its entirely for her to answer the question as to why she hasn’t been getting it.

    Maybe she just isn’t up to the job……

  • Fraggle

    interested, by your zany logic, edwin poots is doing a stellar job over at the maze given all the publicity.

    seriously, you are talking shite, her job is not to garner publicity but to prevent F&M getting in.

  • Fraggle

    and good luck to the likes of grampian foods convincing the world that their UK – marked food isn’t from britain when they went and named their company after a part of britain.

  • Yokel

    Disgruntled ex worker at a certain meat factory called Unipork there…..I’m not sure their post is going to really upset any applecarst but fair play to you for trying.

  • Fraggle, interested

    I am not talking about publicity I am talking about comment from a site that prides itself on scrutinising the performance of our politicians. If neither of you are interested then it demonstrates the shallowness of your comments on this site.

  • Mark

    “can they still be eaten safely ? Rather tahn burnt I mean?”

    They can, but if they recover (most will) they will take ages to reach a weight suitable for slaughter and may never do so. That means farmers would have to keep and feed them for months longer than usual. Plus the milk yield from cows will drop precipitously and may never recover.

    So the real threat is an economic one. If it became endemic it would essentially finish farming as a viable enterprise, it just wouldn’t pay. Which is why even the mention of it frightens the shit out of farmers. Of course a reliable vaccine might change that, but keeping F&M free is far preferable.

    Pirbright, from where this seems to have escaped, used to be a seriously good facility, but under Labour, and its position somewhere between hating everything rural and just being completely indifferent, Pirbright is nothing like what it once was. Understaffed, under trained, under resourced. This was waiting to happen. You can’t run places like this down, down, down and not have it eventually come back and bite you in the bum.

    Its hard to blame the people there – though they surely will take the fall, the government certainly won’t. They’ve been working in intolerable conditions for a long time and nobody listened to them when they pointed out the problems.

    Maybe big Ian should go and shout a bit at the powers that be about that. And Michelle.

  • Fraggle

    Foxtrot, I wasn’t talking to you, go call someone else shallow. I don’t control what the blogging team put up. Sometimes they miss a story I think would be relevent or good to talk about and to be honest, I’m not bothered much by it. Your post seems to be about a perceived bias by the blogger (Pete) in favour of IP over MG. Frankly, this is off-topic and and not something I’m interested in. In fact, it seems a little shallow.

  • circles

    “So the real threat is an economic one. If it became endemic it would essentially finish farming as a viable enterprise, it just wouldn’t pay.”
    A very interesting point Mark, although the question that immediately arises is the actual commercial viability of modern farming systems anyway. When most farmers receive lovely eu lolly to produce surpluses that aren’t needed, and food prices are driven as low as possible not reflective of their real price, many farming activities (including milk and beef producton) are already based on a false economy.