Exercise Silver Birch IP10 - does it have a paper trail?

Captain Bryn Wayt made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Captain Bryn Wayt

Dear Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

Ref: http://animalhealth.defra.gov.uk/about/p...

I have several questions under the FoI Act 2000 relating to Exercise Silver Birch.

1. Given notice that: "83 The attitude of retailers and food processors to the marketing of meat from vaccinated animals and effect of vaccination on the meat and milk industries needs to be examined in more detail with the livestock, dairy and meat industries."
(a) What letters/emails/call for 'papers' has been initiated by Defra?
(b) What replies have been received by those so mentioned in para 83?

2. Given lesson 23, viz: "Lesson Identified 23 – GB Administrations should develop their strategy for the on-farm use of portable diagnostic equipment."
(a) What development/s have been made on the use of "on-farm" portable diagnostic equipment?
(b) Has it been written into the FMD Contingency Plan?

3. Given that MP's have been authorised to use "Twitter" whilst seated in the House of Commons and given that Lesson 34 says: "Lesson Identified 34 – Animal Health IMT to investigate options for an online or IT system to enable real-time reporting and situation updates for report cases received and their current status." Has Defra examined the use of "Twitter" as a medium for all to keep abreast of an FMD spread? What documents are available on that subject?

4. Given Lesson 41 says: "Lesson Identified 41 - UK Administrations to consider with stakeholders the best way to inform and educate the industry and general public on the issues surrounding Foot and Mouth vaccination, taking into account the impact of the spending review and the current restrictions on government marketing and advertising."
(a) What advertising has taken place and by whom on the issue?

5. Given that: "Day Zero – 02 November 2010 [para] 7. Overnight the samples from suspect premises arrive at the Pirbright Laboratory and are immediately sent to be processed."
(a) What were the written details and how did the samples get to Pirbright - nature of transport and timings as noted in the diary?

6. Given that: " 31. A farmer on a premises near New Deer, Scotland checks his cattle and suspects that they are showing signs of Foot and Mouth Disease on the 08th November 2010. This is reported to Animal Health Office in Inverurie who cannot rule out disease and submit samples for prioritised overnight testing."
(a) How exactly did those samples get from "near New Deer" to the testing centre at Pirbright. I would like the 'paper trail' and diary notes for this farm (later known as IP10)?
(b) What mode of transport was employed?
(c) What were the exact timings - from discovery until the farm was nominated as an IP?
(d) When 'on paper' were the cattle slaughtered?
(e) Where were the animals disposed?

Yours faithfully,

Captain Bryn Wayt

Helpline, Defra (CCU), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Thank you for your email.

We have a target of replying to emails within 15 working days.  If you
need a reply before then, please call the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55
77, or from outside the UK call +44 (0) 20 7238 6951 (Minicom/textphone
for the deaf and hard of hearing: 0845 300 1998).

The Defra website contains a lot of information about Defra’s work that
maybe of interest.  Some of our popular pages are:

•       Travelling with Pets
[1]http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pe...

•       Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England (including information
about badger control)
[2]http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/...

•       Fishing (including Common Fisheries Policy)
[3]http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/mari...

•       Keeping Chickens
[4]http://www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/animal...

•       Flooding [5]http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/floo...

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) both require that you receive a reply
as soon as possible and no later than 20 working days after the date of
receipt of your request. This deadline may be extended under certain
limited circumstances.

Regards

Customer Contact Unit

Defra

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked<br>for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
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lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pe...
2. http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/...
3. http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/mari...
4. http://www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/animal...
5. http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/floo...

Leach, John (FFG-CCEDAR), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Captain Wayt,

Please see the attached acknowledgement letter.

Yours sincerely,

John Leach

<<Acknowledgement letter (FOI 4318).pdf>>

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked<br>for
known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility
once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

Leach, John (FFG-CCEDAR), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Captain Wayt,

Please see the attached reply.

Yours sincerely,

John Leach                                                       

<<Final response (4318).pdf>>

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked
for known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no
responsibility once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

Captain Bryn Wayt

Dear Mr Leach,

Thank you very much for taking time to consider my questions and explaining why you cannot answer my questions directly.

I shall of course be forced to wait until the due date for publication.

On the matter of IP10 I am afraid I am not going to wait, and I am lodging a complaint forthwith.
It would not have been difficult to divulge the answers if the exercise paperwork were clear and concise about the matter.
I naturally regret having to tie up Defra management time, but as it's my money (and a few million others) being spent here, I am not too downhearted digging for answers to my simple questions about IP10.

Yours sincerely,

Captain Bryn Wayt

Captain Bryn Wayt

Dear Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs's handling of my FOI request 'Exercise Silver Birch IP10 - does it have a paper trail?'.

[I understand that the Final Report of Exercise Silver Birch is due out this autumn, as indicated by Mr John Leach - I will therefore wait for that. However, I had asked previously about how the samples from IP10 had reached Pirbright, and how such a rapid decision had been reached to slaughter the animals. My basis for questioning the rapidity of getting these samples from North of Aberdeen to Pirbright so fast defies the logic that the airport at Aberdeen would not have been open until early morning [Nov 2010] and if even the simulation took into account Aberdeen area was suffering very badly from snow, it still makes it impossible for those samples to have travelled all that way via a London airport and thence Pirbright, for a proper methodical procedure to verify they were indeed "positive" to the FMDv. I asked for timings from the exercise log-books and the method of transport. The CVO said Silver Birch was an authentically run exercise, if so, a detailed paper trail for these samples should exist and I would like to see a copy it. If no paper trail exists, nor substantiated answers provided then it was pure theatre. ]

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ex...

Yours faithfully,

Captain Bryn Wayt

Helpline, Defra (CCU), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Thank you for your email.

We have a target of replying to emails within 15 working days.  If you
need a reply before then, please call the Defra Helpline on 08459 33 55
77, or from outside the UK call +44 (0) 20 7238 6951 (Minicom/textphone
for the deaf and hard of hearing: 0845 300 1998).

The Defra website contains a lot of information about Defra’s work that
maybe of interest.  Some of our popular pages are:

•       Travelling with Pets
[1]http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pe...

•       Bovine TB Eradication Programme for England (including information
about badger control)
[2]http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/...

•       Fishing (including Common Fisheries Policy)
[3]http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/mari...

•       Keeping Chickens
[4]http://www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/animal...

•       Flooding [5]http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/floo...

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental
Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) both require that you receive a reply
as soon as possible and no later than 20 working days after the date of
receipt of your request. This deadline may be extended under certain
limited circumstances.

Regards

Customer Contact Unit

Defra

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.
If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose,
store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the
sender.
Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked
for known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no
responsibility once it has left our systems.
Communications on Defra's computer systems may be monitored and/or
recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other
lawful purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pe...
2. http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/...
3. http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/mari...
4. http://www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/animal...
5. http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/floo...

Allimadi, Jimmy (LCS-KIM), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dear Capt Bryn,

Thank you for your email requesting an internal review. In order for
Brendan Walsh (Head of Information Rights Team) to proceed, it will be
necessary for you to provide the case reference number, which response you
which reviewed. Internal reviews are conducted on a case by case basis. We
will not at this point be getting into a full history of your FOI requests
and all correspondence.

 

Kind regards

Jimmy

Jimmy Allimadi
FOI/EIRs Case Officer and Policy Adviser
Defra
Knowledge and Information Management
Information Rights Team
Area 1B, Ergon House,
Horseferry Road, London  SW1P 2AL

J Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

 

 

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Captain Bryn Wayt

Dear Mr Allimadi (LCS-KIM),

Thank you for your rapid response.

I understand you need this information:
1. "a case reference number"
2. "which response you which [sic] reviewed"

The Heading of my further request is, "Exercise Silver Birch IP10 - does it have a paper trail".

IP10 is the "case" I want reviewed, and sighting the paper-work thereof.

In a nutshell I want to see copies of ALL paper-work connected with IP10.
I have this "request number" - Email: [email address]

Further is the letter from John Leach. At this stage, my dissatisfaction may be focused on IP10 and the lack of an answer as to the actual timings (in the exercise) from the simulated farmer thinking some of his animals had FMD, to a vets visit/s, to the time samples were taken, where these samples went, who took them, what mode of transport from farm to eventually Pirbright, and simulated time of arrival there and then the time of the simulated call to the Chief VO in Scotland, and then the release of the Press Announcement that suggested the first case of FMD had hit Scotland (excercise).

Regards,

Captain Bryn Wayt
=================

25 October 2011
Dear Captain Wayt
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST - EXERCISE SILVER BIRCH IP10 - DOES IT HAVE A PAPER TRAIL?
Thank you for your request for information, concerning the Exercise Silver Birch Evaluation and lessons learned report of March 2011, which we received on the 18 October 2011. We have handled your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
In my letter to you of 31 August, I informed you that an update on the lessons learned will be published on the AHVLA website in the Autumn. This will be the final report on this exercise, and will be published once it has been approved by Defra and Devolved Administration Ministers.
As the information will be publicly available from the above source, we are exempt from providing a copy under section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act, a full explanation about the reason for the use of section 22 is given below.
Providing information to you now would cause disruption to the planning schedule, causing disruption to staff involved in the publishing of the document. The document is currently in draft format at the moment (before publication) and therefore the information contained in it hasn’t been approved and might not be accurate. The information will be released once approved, to all interested parties at the same time.
You also wrote to Lord Taylor on 16 September, copying him an email you had sent to Jim Paice, Nigel Gibbens and the Prime Minister. As we had responded to that email on 22 September, we will have nothing further to add to that correspondence.In addition you emailed me directly on 22 September in regards to the timeline for getting
samples from IP10. This followed on from my letter to you earlier that day, and we have nothing further to add to that letter. You are also asking the same question (Q6) in your FOI request above.

I also attach Annex A giving contact details should you be unhappy with the service you have received.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.

Yours sincerely
JD Leach
John Leach
Email [email address]

Annex A
Complaints
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request you may make a complaint or appeal against our decision within 40 working days of the date of this letter. Please write to Brendan Walsh, Head of Defra’s Information Rights Team at Area1B, Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2AL, (email:[email address]) and he will arrange for an internal review of your case.
Details of Defra’s complaints procedure are on our website.

Yours sincerely,

Captain Bryn Wayt

Allimadi, Jimmy (LCS-KIM), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Captain Wayt,
Please see the attached letter acknowledging your request for an internal review of case RFI 4318

Jimmy
Jimmy Allimadi
FOI/EIRs Case Officer and Policy Adviser
Defra
Knowledge and Information Management
Information Rights Team
Area 1B, Ergon House,
Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AL
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

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Allimadi, Jimmy (LCS-KIM), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

1 Attachment

Dear Captain Wayt,

 

Please see the attached a letter from Brendan Walsh (Head of Information
Rights Team) in response to your request for an internal review.

 

Jimmy

Jimmy Allimadi
FOI/EIRs Case Officer and Policy Adviser
Defra
Knowledge and Information Management
Information Rights Team
Area 1B, Ergon House,
Horseferry Road, London  SW1P 2AL

Tel. 020 7238 3075 GTN 238 3075

Have your Say, complete the [1]Defra ICT Customer Satisfaction Survey

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Dear Jimmy,

I am indebted to you for being the helping hand in getting the IR activated and indeed concluded - albeit that I have to wait until the Autumn when the final report is made public.

I understand that I was refused the singular information on IP10 as, "the department has already committed itself to publishing this information in the autumn."
I shall then wait until I see that report, and if it satisfies my desire to get to the bottom of how samples from IP10 reached Pirbright and were processed in an astoundingly short period of time.

Please pass my thanks to Brendan Walsh and his team for carrying out the IR in such a professional manner.

Kind wishes,

Yours sincerely,
Bryn
Captain Bryn Wayt