Open letter concerning vaccine propaganda

from Rene Riesel to Stephan Pinede
Departmental Director of Veterinary Services

17 October 2009

In addition to the letter you addressed to me on 18 August, I have also received your registered letter, with acknowledgement of receipt, dated 30 September. In it, you again order me to “administer for (my) veterinary health a legitimate vaccination against blue tongue serotypes HIV 1 and 8 to (my) eligible animals within a period not exceeding 15 days after the reception of this letter.” You also inform me that, “in the absence of an attestation, for (my) veterinary health, of the first vaccination or a booster shot within these 15 days; similarly (in cases of first vaccination), in the absence of a second injection within the period established by the laboratory that manufactured the vaccine used,” you will be “forced to transmit to the Attorney General a citation for non-respect of the obligatory collective measures against animal illnesses, a legal violation of the 4th class.”

I have taken good note of your injunctions. But I will not persist any less in my refusal to subject my livestock to the vaccinations against both of these so-called serotypes. This also goes for the others that might be imposed in the future against any of the 22 other known serotypes, the appearance of which in our country is, as one knows, easily imaginable in the more or less near-future.

Thus, I will only mention a single curious detail, inevitably secondary with respect to such a dangerous illness (unquestionably vectorial and non-contagious), which your predecessor (now employed by the pharmaceutical industry) presented (with a straight face) as the greatest health crisis in the last 50 years: even if I had the most docile disposition, it would be completely impossible to comply with your summons in the allotted period. My ewes are either in heat or pregnant and, if one is to believe Chapter 2.1.9, which is dedicated to Blue Tongue,[1] of the Manuel des tests de diagnostic et des vaccines pour les ruminants terrestres, which was issued by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): “attenuated virus vaccines are teratogenic and should not be administered to pregnant sheep during the first half of pregnancy as this may cause fetal death and abnormalities.”[2] Likewise, Newsom and Marsh (Les maladies du mouton, Vigot, Paris 1961, 2d American edition, 1958)[3] emphasize: “In California, one found that there was a risk to vaccinating pregnant ewes.” Schultz and De Lay (1955)[4] indicate serious losses among the lambs of ewes that had been vaccinated in the first 4 to 8 weeks. Many lambs were stillborn or presented symptoms of imperfect cerebral development. Thus it is recommended that one vaccinate reproductive ewes at least three weeks before they give birth or after the first three months of pregnancy.”

I leave you free to judge if such matters would only be collateral damages that count for nothing compared to the benefits that your letter maladroitly attempts to propagandize. Such conviction, moreover, appears to be shared by others, because it is well known that one isn’t sparing anything in this comic anti-viral blitzkrieg,[5] in which pregnant beasts as well as infected animals are vaccinated, with the results that can be expected. Such results are observable by any animal-breeder, but unfortunately “the quality of the data collected still hasn’t allowed [specialists] to correctly evaluate the real role of the vaccine in the occurrences of the undesirable effect” and the AFSSA[6] can do nothing other than conclude that, “today, the data collected does not put the principle of vaccination into question” (AFSSA, 31 May 2009).

It is precisely the propaganda, the intimidations and the implicit or explicit lies in your letter that give meaning – well beyond the thoughts that one could express about the direct beneficiary (the drugstore industry, whose prescriptions you demand that I follow) – to the manipulation of which you are the executor.

Here again, you remain free to shrug your shoulders, and to consider the governmental-mediatic pandemic concerning the redoubtable flu that one stems by blowing one’s nose in one’s elbow and that one treats with paracetamol, which implies that one treats ruminants like they were people. While one might ascertain all this on a daily basis, the prospects for the agents of the Ministry of Fear are excellent, and it has demonstrated good governance by verifying – under the cover of animal health (and soon “traceability” when the placement of RFID chips in sheep becomes mandatory, now that human beings have adopted them freely, without the least coercion) – that, finally, it will cost very little to perfect the administration of humans.

I see intimidation and lies implicit in your affirmation that, because my livestock hasn’t been “legitimately vaccinated,” it would constitute, “as such, livestock in which the circulation of the illness could occur, with the health and economic consequences that one knows.” The “epidemiological” data of the OIE itself indicates that “the rate of mortality normally [is] weak among the sheep, but can reach 10 percent during certain epizootics. Illness not contagious.” And so I intend to do what I think is best concerning what you call the “health and economic consequences” by continuing to develop the natural immunities of my animals the best I can.

I refuse to blindly deliver them to the marketers of chemicals and to submit myself to this exercise in infantilization or, rather, in preparation for future states of emergency. And should you understand me poorly, think of the infernos and devices of the FMD[7] or, better still, address yourself to the Guide d’aide à la décision pour la gestion du milieu agricole en cas d’accident nucléaire, which your function prohibits you from ignoring. This constanly updated catalogue of technocratic monstrosities and ineptitudes is accessible – transparency obligates it – on the Internet site of the Minister of Agriculture, but one often sees it accompanied by the wads of “PAC”[8] formularies that are annually addressed to farmers. Co-produced by the Nuclear Safety Authority and the General Directorate of Nutrition, with the assistance of the technical institutes that are the jewels of the “profession,” it is the result of an initiative at whose origin one finds the famous Professional Agricultural Organizations. In the light of the kind of solicitude that is expressed in the place for animal and human cattle, one can better understand what will be served by the already-acquired discipline in the preceding “crisis situations”: FMD, warble flies, and FCO,[9] in which eradication doesn’t cease to be the rallying cry of bureaucratic impotence.

But you especially cannot be ignorant that a non-vaccinated flock presents no risk at all to neighboring livestock. In the contrary case, is it not necessary to fear for the limitless reservoir that constitutes the “biodiversity” of our “territories”? Nature does not make things easier for you: no vaccinations envisionable for wild ruminants! But of course there is nothing that puts into question the statistical truth of the threshold of 80 percent of vaccinated animals that you inevitably glorify yourself for having attained. Here you follow the example of the Stalinist bureaucracy, which regularly exalted the pulverization of the objectives of its five year plans or, more trivially, the police officer who has made his quota.

I will add three remarks to have done with this subject. The first is that the convoluted thinking of the O.I.E. with respect to the inverse perspective (culicoides transporting the attenuated virus from vaccinated animals) causes a certain perplexity at least. The second is that, by boasting that you have won a battle – “at this date no home in Loreze is listed for the year 2009 (for the record: 111 homes in 2008)” – but without making clear what criteria (serological reactions? clinical manifestations?) was used to generate a reduction so large that it makes one think of the propaganda for roadside radar detectors or video surveillance, you deliberately neglect to take stock of the provisional effect of these vaccinations or the more durable effect of the animals’ acquisition of natural immunity, which the AFSSA itself doesn’t contest. The third remark will be brief: one has vaccinated in South Africa since the beginning of the 20th century.

Finally: who does not see that the lie, explicit in this instance, rushes to the aid of intimidation (but perhaps you are – without knowing it, due to functional habits – convinced of the virtue of self-realizing prophecies) in the part of your letter in which your word processor wrote that my “not legitimately vaccinate livestock (…) constitutes, in this respect, an exception in our department”? The number of similar letters that you had to print out and send that very same day to others who are guilty of insubordination absolutely contradicts that assertion. Moreover, there is no need to participate in some kind of collective[10] (although some people have known how to produce a remarkable disintoxication: in particular, I am thinking of the veterinarians of Zone Verte) to know that such “exceptions” continue to openly manifest themselves all over French territory.

Of course, some people have not failed to let the firmness of their convictions erode in the face of threats, which is what you count on, but numerous signs indicate that, after a somewhat shaken minister’s announcement of a second obligatory (but free!) campaign in 2010, and having seen the results of the first one, you have had to raise your voice against the new recalcitrants so that the vaccinal order continues to reign.

It doesn’t suit me to help you in this.

I declare my practical solidarity with the others who are opposed to this campaign of forced vaccinations.

Sir, please accept my sincere salutations.

René Riesel
[organic sheep breeder]

(Translated by NOT BORED! 30 March 2010.)

[1] English in original.

[2] English in original.

[3] Sheep Diseases (Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1958).

[4] "Losses in newborn lambs associated with blue tongue vaccinating pregnant ewes," J Am VetMed Ass 127:224, 1955.

[5] Germam in original.

[6] Agence Francaise de securite sanitaire des aliments.

[7] Foot and Mouth Disease.

[8] Politque agricole commune.

[9] Blue Tongue.

[10] Like the GDRO.

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