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Article ID: 3354

VoxAcct: 3

Section: cases

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,892

Times Read: 14,064

Hoof and Mouth: Call for Healing:...

Author: Peg Aloi [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 18th. 2001
Times Viewed: 14,064

Many sacred sites in Britain (including England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) are being closed to the public until further notice to prevent the spread of hoof and mouth disease. This includes public walking paths and many tourist destinations in the countryside, including sacred sites which are sites of pilgrimage and worship for many pagan travellers the world over.

This outbreak comes after many years in which the disease was thought to be eradicated. Vaccination of livestock was halted in recent years since it was believed that hoof and mouth had all but died out. But, as in the United States with recent, sporadic outbreaks of diseases long thought eradicated (like polio, which has not seen regular vaccines of school children since the 1970s), it is clear that nature can harbor these harmful microbes for decades.

There is a danger hoof and mouth could spread to the United States, since the earliest cases have been linked to the transport of diseased animals who were moved prior to the discovery of the disease. Hoof and mouth has now been detected in France, and now Holland, and at least one case which is believed to have been spread by air-borne infection (as opposed to movement of animals) has been reported. This indicates the outbreak could be spreading much further than previously thought. The falling stock market is in part due to widespread panic that this tragedy will adversely affect many aspects of world trade. English citizens are already being hit hard; and not just farmers. Because the countryside is now off-limits to local hikers and travellers, many pubs, inns and restaurants have closed for lack of business; this affects not only pub, inn and restaurant owners and their employees, but musicians who perform in such venues.

My friend in Scotland says the situation at Dartmoor is grave: a mass slaughter of wild horses, sheep and cattle who roam the plains there is planned, to contain the disease they fear is spreading to non-domestic animals. Clearly, the farmers of Western Europe are suffering from a loss of livelihood. Country dwellers must also suffer the sad spectre of mass slaughter of animals on a huge scale. And travellers are now barred from visiting many public destinations. Locals can't even go hiking or walking their dogs on their usual routes. This is growing into an environmental and economic problem in addition to a public health crisis.

The following is from a letter distributed by Karin Attwood of The Rollrights Trust, and it succinctly describes the areas of concern for visitors to, and caretakers of, sacred sites located in the British countryside. Nearly every sacred site owned and/or maintained by both English Heritage and the National Trust have been closed to the public until further notice:

"Hello All

Please note that from yesterday the Rollright Stones are now closed to all visitors. Footpaths within both Warks/Oxon (editors' note: this means the counties of Warwickshire and Oxfordshire) are also officially closed and further outbreaks of Foot and Mouth have been reported in Oxon.

Although we did not have livestock on the Trust land we are visited by foxes, badgers and wild deer all of which can transmit or suffer from the disease. The King Stone is on pasture land and the Whispering Knights close to the homes of both foxes and badgers.

Please do not attempt to visit the site - the area will still be staffed at vulnerable times by volunteers who will turn away any that arrive.

Please note that the stones are likely to be still closed at the Vernal Equinox.

We will let everyone know as soon as normal opening resumes - in the meantime no booking or requests for private access can accepted.

Please pass this message on to as many lists/people as possible.

This is a very serious disease and if it gets into the local wildlife the consequences are unthinkable - closing the stones is not something the Trust takes lightly or something that we had ever thought we would have to do...


Please keep the animals and people of Britain in your thoughts and magical prayers as they struggle with this unfortunate and frightening situation. In fact, many British pagans have begun weekly and in some cases nightly healing rituals, performed at 9 pm with white candles. (That would be 3 pm EST, 2 pm Central, 1 pm Mountain, and 12 noon for PST, for any Americans who want to join in). Anyone planning to visit the UK in the coming months who plans to explore the countryside should find out the local regulations regarding closing of public lands.

In hope and healing,

Peg Aloi

Media Coordinator - The Witches' Voice
March 19th, 2001


Peg Aloi

Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

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