Director – Paul Robinson – 2023 – UK – Cert. 15 – 81m
The deep friendship of a Devon farmer and a local vet is tested by the UK government’s culling of herds in the 2001 Foot And Mouth outbreak – out in UK cinemas on Friday, September 1st
Michael (David Fielder) is a Devon farmer. Everyone knows everyone else in his local, rural community, and he is often visited by the vet Jeffrey (Nigel Hastings), first glimpsed in an uncharacteristic, bright red cowboy hat he won at a local village do when he turns up to help with the delivery of a calf. He’s previously tested Michael’s cows for Foot and Mouth disease, and all the results have been negative.
Later in 2001, Jeffrey visits Michael again, but this time with three other white-protective-suited colleagues and some bad news. With the Foot and Mouth outbreak reaching epidemic proportions, the government has decided to cull all cattle within a three-mile radius of any infection, regardless of whether they test negative or positive for the disease. Michael, shotgun at the ready, thinks there’s a mistake because, as Jeffrey knows, Michael’s herd has tested negative. But, as Jeffrey attempts to explain, government policy doesn’t work like that…
There are further scenes in December 2001, eight years later in 2009 and four years later still in 2013.… Read the rest