The Minister of Animal Health: it is possible to harm the food chain through poisoning of the livestock; The means of terrorism: oral and telepathic diseases and the "mad cow"; However, it was emphasized: the threat is only theoretical
In Britain, they fear that the terrorist organizations will try to carry out biological attacks by poisoning cows in particular, and animals in general. The fear is that the terrorists will be harmed in the food chain and will cause personal injury and economic damage. The attack may be done by poisoning the cows with dangerous diseases such as foot and mouth or "mad cow".
The Minister of Animal Health, Elliot Morley, said today that the fact that it is possible to deliberately poison the livestock with various diseases as part of terrorist operations designed to harm the British economy should not be ignored. According to him, as part of an overall preparation to protect the health of animals, Britain is examining the possibility of biological terrorism and the illegal importation of viruses into the country.
Morley emphasized that the threat of a terrorist attack on farm animals is only theoretical, but the government "takes into account every possible risk". He added that as soon as there are protections and mechanisms to detect and respond to the threat, it does not matter who or what is responsible for the outbreak of the disease, but how it is dealt with.
The minister's words come against the background of a manhunt by the country's security forces for suspects in possession of the deadly ricin type poison, after its remains were found in North London.
Britain's support for the US's fight against terrorism, and its possible participation in the attack on Iraq have made it a target for Islamic terrorist organizations.
In 2001, foot-and-mouth disease was discovered in cattle herds in Great Britain, which caused the destruction of 6.5 million animals. This resulted in a $13 billion hit to the UK beef trade. The "mad cow" disease, which spread among cattle herds in the country in the eighties and nineties, eventually led to the death of 100 people. Last November, UN weapons inspectors searched a laboratory in Iraq to create a vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease. It is suspected that this laboratory was used as a center for the development of biological weapons in 1990.