Monday, August 06, 2007

Foot-and-Mouth Outbreak Hits Britain: Today's Cartoon

It's a cruel irony that a research lab specializing in Foot and Mouth disease may have caused an outbreak of it, through the development of a vaccine.

In 2001, Britain's livestock industry was decimated by a widespread epidemic of the disease; and while images of Prince Charles being forced to disinfect his feet before entering Canada was sort of amusing, the effects of the pandemic on the British economy were not. Which is why officials are not taking any chances this time, by acting more promptly and culling entire herds of cattle in the proximity of the initial outbreak.

Now, if the key to any business is to create a demand for the service or the product, then I guess the same could apply to research labs in the "business" of making cow vaccines. Of course, that's just me being cynical (as usual); but seriously, what better way to promote a new cure than by "accidentally" letting the specimen run amok in public?

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