Hoof and Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:05 am

And now for something completely different...

Does anybody have any idea if the Hoof and Mouth outbreak is causing any unusual delays (i.e., inspections, etc.) on England-US flights?

A Grateful and Contrite Skippy

RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:19 am

It takes longer to get through airports

RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:23 am


Not in my experience. I flew into JFK a few weeks ago, and sailed straight through immigration with no delays.

On leaving LHR, there were no delays either.

I guess it depends on what steps various airports are taking. JFK doesn't seem to have done much!

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RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 5:21 am

Passengers boarding aircraft for the US must pass through a second electronic scanner and Xray machine which detects if any passengers are carrying potential terrorist weapons such as bacon sandwiches or bottles of milk.

The baggage holds are also screened using a special sensor which is capable of sniffing out cheese in someone's suitcase and if found, all bags have to be offloaded and matched with the passenger list, causing lengthy delays. The offending passenger is then immediately charged in Court with possession of an illegal weapon and warned never to visit Tesco's again.

Also, aircraft taxying out for departure to the US are sent to the holding point via specially sterilised taxiways and they have to run over 35 foot wide disinfectant mats before departure.

What do you mean, you dont believe me??

 Wink/being sarcastic

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RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 5:57 am

Simple answer no. And if you and millions of other Americans knew anything about foot and mouth (to give it its correct name) you would understand the following:

The disease only affects ungulates (hoofed mammals) and does not harm humans.

It is known it can transmit up to 5 miles through the air and be carried further on vehicles and human clothing.

Eating food from diseased cattle does not harm humans.

Regulations for entry into the US already forbid the bringing in of foodstuff in passengers luggage (thus the cute Beagles at US airports which everyone has been conned into thinking only look for drugs).

THere is no need for delay as aircraft cabins can be disinfected with a "bug bomb" on landing if considered necessary.

By the way, Argentinian steak, so prized in many US up market restaurants comes from a country where foot and mouth is endemic.
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RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 3:04 pm


As an American living in Europe, I actually understand all of the above. Given that, I am truly amazed at the panicked Europeans I encounter over here.

Poland has all but sealed off it's border to Germany to prevent the spread of the disease and I'm treated to daily scenes of pyres of burning English sheep on the news. The French are (or at least were) taking really absurd measures against anything from Great Britain. And don't even start about the panic from Mad Cow Disease. Otherwise normal human beings here in Germany are all but running into the streets screaming over it.

The question was a simple (and surprisingly reasonable considering it was Skippy) one that I, too, wanted an answer to as I will be flying to the US through London this summer. You can lose the condescending attitude any time you want.

Dave in Berlin
Too many types flown to list
aaer 777
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RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Tue Apr 17, 2001 9:03 pm

I was also surprised at how relaxed the airport authorities are in the US.
There is also no embargo so far on pets traveling from the UK to the US (I know that we rarely check-in hoofed pets... but still...)
Ok, the disease does not affect humans but they can carry it and it is highly contagious.
Which part of "NO" do you not understand?
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RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Wed Apr 18, 2001 3:50 am

You get asked at checkin if you have any food, there are anouncements playing reminding you not to take anything out, that's all. I know someone who was a manager for MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) in the UK and he tells me it's mud (eg. on tyres and boots) that's of most concern, obviously not too many people wear muddy boots on planes.

Foot in Mouth (Hoof and Mouth is equally acceptable) causes blisters in the animals and limits their development (ie. less meat per carcas), animals are culled to maintain favourable economic conditions. It's not quite the boogie man people think.

Surprised to hear the Germans up in arms, went to Berlin last week and there was nothing going on.
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RE: Hoof And Mouth Outbreak - Flight Delays?

Wed Apr 18, 2001 4:14 am

Last month, I flew LHR to LAS with a connection at ORD and they (UAL) told us to simply inform customs if you had been traveling in the UK country side. No other questions or delays.
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To Logos

Wed Apr 18, 2001 4:29 am

Me? Condescending?

Here are some verbatim quotes from vox pops taken by US and British media on the streets of Manhatten:

"Its dangerous to go to the UK because of the disease, we might get sick"; "How are the Europeans eating?" ; "We wouldn't go to Britain at present, there's nothing to do".

A US travel agent speaking on the BBC news tonight says he has lost 2,000 bookings from people who are scared of getting sick! - and US carriers waiving cancellation charges are doing nothing to help dispel the media fed garbage.

As for panicked Europeans, I don't see panic, I see controls and a policy of trying to stem and eradicate - some of which may have been better handled.

Living in the Irish Republic, where over 60% of the GDP is directly related to food production, we have many controls but I don't see panic. Concern, yes, but a cohesive strategy to keep the disease out of the country with only one case so far.

Yet my friends at Dublin and Shannon tell me that flights from the US are losing pax every day. Why? Because of the sort of lack of knowledge that prompted the original question - knowledge easily obtained, knowledge which would also distinguish between F+M and BSE.

I could go on but the world knows many Americans have little real knowledge of what goes on beyond their own patch - but feel they have the right to tell everyone how to behave.

Examples: in 1982 I was told by a senior member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce that he was amazed I had been to Romania and got out! Further, he lambasted me for supporting the Commies.

Then, last summer, on a flight from San Francisco to Seattle I was talking to my fellow passenger who was bemoaning the cessation of Alaska Al flights to the Russian Far East, as he used them for two fishing trips per year and now had to use the sporadic Reeve service. The other passenger in the row interrupted the conversation with a tirade of invective against Americans who support an enemy!

I don't know about your knowledge of the rest of the world, but you obviously think you have the right to tell others how to behave judging by your last sentence.

Were you never taught to treat your elders with respect?

A little research elsewhere by Skippy would have answered the question without him even having to post it.