Now Mad Cow...
worldwide panic and frenzy of the feared and dreaded Mad Cow
Disease, we have held our breath and quickly driven past our
favorite burger outlets.
as we thought is was safe to return to the all--beef carnage
and partake in a big- n- juicy cholesterolfest patty again,
we are stopped mid-bite with the news of yet another
livestock illness killing humans: Hoof-and-mouth disease.
for cows anymore, this one affects ALL hooved animals - goats,
sheep, pigs, etc. The main outbreak reports are from merry old
England - again. And the
British have been in such a state of affairs trying to control
this new and deadly epidemic they actually forbade travel outside
of the country for a time. Quite a malaise!
there had to stay and those planning vacations had to cancel.
I wonder if Travelex Insurance actually covers unforeseen livestock
don't play games when faced with disease. Long known for their
terribly strict rabies quarantines- where an innocent, documented
animal (cat/dog) is sent to an animal prison of sorts and quarantined
for over six months- to avoid the spread of rabies into
the country. (Britain is still rabies free, thank you!)
they simply shut the country down.
if a bit panic influenced. The restrictions have spread across
the rural areas of England. No venturing across the moors for
a bit of bangers and mash.
with only one confirmed case ( in County Louth), assures travelers
"the Pint's on them". Still welcoming all visitors
with no restrictions.
the two countries are allowing Americans to pretty much come
and go. However, UK and European visitors (and returning patriots)
are required to walk over disinfectant mats at both airports
(small and large) and the many ports that trim the coasts.
as well as Belgium, have also confirmed cases. In recent days
they've announced the confirmation and have also begun the mat
canceled some horse events, rides etc. at their Disneyland
Paris, as there
was a confirmed Hoof-and-mouth victim a way-to-close-for-comfort
5 miles away! They have left open the must-see (?) Buffalo Bill
Wild Wild West Show. Can't you hear the attendant now: "
It is no problem Madame, simply walk over dis special mat and,
viola!, no disease. Come, we smoke now."
what? I am reminded of the movie- fiction- called Outbreak.
A very similar scenario...
seem to be confusing Mad Cow Disease with Hoof-and-mouth"
said an ominously calm British tourist board agent with a stiff
upper lip."There are a lot of misconceptions out there
and we are afraid [potential] visitors have the wrong idea."
doesn't somebody explain it to us. In plain English. The Queen's
English if you like. Enough of the rumors and outlandish press
reports like the spine chilling tabloid front page recently:
"Over 50,000 die at the feet of frothing Bessy."
if the officials are being this open (a rarity) about the diseases,
you just know it's got to be bad. One thing countries, anywhere,
don't want to do is get a stigmata of death attached to their
frilly welcoming tourist posters. Think of poor Miami's rap
for outlandish and unnecessary violence on tourists. A city
of some millions with relatively few violent crimes daily, but
the press made Miami look like a free-for-all of gun-toting
madmen hell bent on more European (in particular) blood.
the tour companies, hotels etc. are happily refunding would-be-travelers'
money. No questions asked. If you're scheduled and fearful,
call and ask about it. Ask your agent if there's a policy you're
pending travel company has commissioned.
to British, Irish and French tourist authorities, there really
is no need to panic. The mats are in place and apparently do
their job, as we and other countries are still Hoof- and- mouth
disease free. Avoid the farmstay vacation, the "meet a
real pig" exhibits, and, at all cost, throw away your shoes,
socks, pants (if you can afford it) and be sure to scrub down
with surgical soap each evening before you tuck yourself into
your comfy overseas bed, decidedly more than a little weary
of even counting sheep!
explanation on Hoof- and- mouth here->
Hoof and mouth disease information here->
Irish tourist Bureau here
British Tourist Bureau here