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The despondency brought on first by BSE and subsequently Foot and Mouth has brought out some of the sad critics of modern farming.

While the farming systems employed in Europe and UK cannot be said to be pretty they are to a large degree much more humane and sustainable than from times past.

Critics have become confused about the so-called hygiene factor of an original UK farm identified with F&M. F&M being a virus does not require poor hygiene to spread and infect, inspite of a wish by critics who believe that viruses appear where there is dirt and smell. F&M is a virus whose sole habitat are the tissues of living cloven-hoofed animals. It could not care about hygiene

A most significant critic, was Britain's, PM Tony Blair, who last week claimed a direct link between disease out breaks and intensive farming.

UK veterinarians were quick to put his statement to rights by pointing out the virus has been mostly based in sheep - the least intensively farmed of all UK's livestock.

This is a warning for NZ farmers. There is a wish by brain washed urban dwellers to see their food produced by small scale, old-fashioned farmers. Supported by the claim that, all that is wrong in food quality can be attributed to the modernization of farming through using mechanization and chemicals.

Reversion to the backbreaking, labour intensive production methods of yesteryear would create an unpleasant environment suitable for neither man nor beast inspite if the urban dwellers rosy view of such a scene.

Starvation filth and disease was a constant companion of our farming forebears. Beware of the urban folk who claim modern farmers have caused an emotional and harmful dislocation of mankind's ancient relationship with domesticated animals!

Good farming

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