FEMA Gets Ready!
An Editorial by
Keith Smith

In a copyrighted story USA Today is quoting FEMA official Bruce Baughman as saying that (FMD control) plans call for treating an outbreak much the same as a natural disaster, in which states take primary responsibility and call on federal resources as needed. "We are certainly treating it like it's a probable likelihood," he said.

Now... as a livestock producer I find little comfort in the use of the words "probable likelihood".
First, and most important, is the disease and it's natural devastation.
Second, but just as frightening, is that the officials most likely to implement a "control" plan are the very same ones that put words like "probable" and likelihood" next to each other in a sentence. If they are redundant in their communications I am really afraid of how they will attack a possible case of FMD. A "knee-jerk" reaction can be expected from our officials even though they have had advance warning. That is the type of plan that they designed at the first word of the outbreak in the UK and they aren't about to modify it just because time has passed and cooler heads have provided additional input.

If the pattern set by Great Britain is followed there would be a very large number of animals culled so arrangements have been made for the earth moving equipment required to bury the carcasses.

Some officials are down-playing the flurry of meetings and the gathering of equipment and supplies in strategic locations as nothing more than an exercise. "...we did this all the time (in the military). That didn't mean war was imminent".

Visit the USA Today website http://www.usatoday.com/news/washdc/2001-04-16-footandmouth.htm for their complete story.