today’s rant is on the

today’s rant is on the subject of the Foot-and-Mouth crisis.
Some people I’ve spoken to do not seem to have grasped the magnitude of this, and also how easy it is for them to spread the disease just by going for a walk. And I can imagine the farmers’ fears at the moment, mainly because we experienced a similar, smaller and unpublicised scare last year. A nursery only 500 metres from here suffered an infestation of a pest called Thrips palmi. MAFF/PHSI officials were swarming around the area, checking for the spread of the pest and trying to eradicate it. Essentially, if you get this thing in your plants, you have to destroy your crops, and, if eradication is unsuccessful, your glasshouses have to be destroyed and there was even talk of covering the ground under 10cm of concrete.
Of course, as you can imagine, all the neighbouring nursery owners (this is a big area for horticulture) were beside themselves with worry. This pest can fly or be carried on the wind. And there is no insurance cover available for this kind of thing (farmers are now lobbying government to put pressure on insurers to provide that sort of cover).
And imagine the equivalent happening to your business – I know some of the people who read this are in the IT industry – well, it’s like you getting a virus on your PC, and the government coming along and stopping you trading and destroying all your PCs and equipment, and then getting in touch with all your business associates, checking them out and doing the same to them. Scary.
So spare a thought for the farmers. Don’t go walking in the countryside. And try to imagine it happening to you.
Rant ends.