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Bernhard Ritschard

Gut strings - Please sign the petition

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There is an urgent need to denounce and to react to the progressive and apparently unstoppable disappearance of gut string manufacturing:

The artisans which brought this noble technical skill back to its ancient splendor are at the moment penalized by European bureaucracy, particularly in European Countries such as Italy, following the scandal of "mad cow disease".

Large and small manufacturing companies have already been forced to disappear form the scene, such as Sofracob in France. In November 2011 Aquila Corde Armoniche of Caldogno (Vicenza) also stopped its production.

Without gut strings, Early Music is surely bound to die.

We have reached far beyond the critical alarm point, and up to now, manufacturers have been fighting alone to survive. But now it is a time to make our voices heard in order to obtain a permission to use bovine gut for ARTISTIC production.

The voices of those who "make music", and also of those who enjoy listening to it, and the voices of those who use these type of strings every day, and the voices of those who do not use them but simply understand the entity of the cultural damage that is happening right before our very eyes must be heard.

(Text from the facebook group "Salviamo le corde di budello")

And here is the link for signing the petition:

http://www.petizioni...usical-use/5599

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I really think you mean well, but this strikes me as a fight over the best deck chairs on the Titanic.

As long as Brussels is permitted to wield the autocrat's wand hither and yon, petitions will be a constant... and as events are unfolding throughout the EU, perhaps you soon won't need a petition after all...

Best regards,

E

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I still despair at the degree to which free peoples allow themselves to be pushed around by self important nobodies.

E

I despair at the extent to which people who have no clue spout off rubbish over that which they don't understand, but I guess we all have our crosses to bear.

But as this is a strings forum, perhaps we should keep of the politics?

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I presume you're including yourself here, unless of course your involved in some radical organization like the Occupy Wall Street movement or the like, in which case you have my utmost respect. It's very easy to make armchair statements like this. I agree with the robheys post below, best to stay out of politics on this forum :)

Aha! glad it turned out.

I still despair at the degree to which free peoples allow themselves to be pushed around by self important nobodies.

E

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The Ministry of Health, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety.

Yes, gnawing on fiddle strings definitely falls under their purview. We can all be grateful that a thorough scientific review of the situation has preserved us from an epidemic of mad Early Music violinists.

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The Ministry of Health, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety.

Yes, gnawing on fiddle strings definitely falls under their purview. We can all be grateful that a thorough scientific review of the situation has preserved us from an epidemic of mad Early Music violinists.

Being a Veterinarian in Italy, I can assure you that the main concern for the The Ministry of Health, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety was about protecting people working in the gut industry and to fulfil the EU rules about handling potentially health threatening goods. :)

Alberto

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if theyd left the cows vegetarian as god made them, none of this would have ever happened, its seems the threat of mad cow the're talking about is obviously to those processing the gut, not the players using gut strings at the other end, except for the occasional player who chews on their strings when their nails are all gone

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The problems for the gut string industry are obviously complex, but reading the article I doubt if they are actually caused by the legislation to prevent the spread of BSE.

It's noticeable that 2 major companies have no problem to source certified BSE free gut, so it is obviously available. Furthermore one supplier of BSE free gut has gone bust. That suggests to me that the problem is one of demand, or perhaps the larger companies have simply got the market cornered and are making it difficult for the raw materials suppliers and smaller competitors.

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Being a Veterinarian in Italy, I can assure you that the main concern for the The Ministry of Health, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety was about protecting people working in the gut industry and to fulfil the EU rules about handling potentially health threatening goods. :)

Alberto

Without trying to be argumentative, it seems to me that working with gut would be little different from working with any other part of the animal's interior, excepting brain/spinal column.

That being so, if gut is banned, why would the animal be permitted to be butchered and eaten, at all?

For what it's worth, parts of the US government seem to be working on mandating decreased salt intake. While it's not clear how they plan on doing this, it's reassuring to me that the govt is looking after every aspect of my life, with an eye toward regulating its improvement, and presumably punishing any excess.

Now back to the mooted discussion at hand . . .

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You're right Bob, the risk for a string maker (and then even so for the violinists) to get infected would be much much lower than that of people working in slaughter houses since BSE transmission is much favored through brain and spine tissues.

In any case it looks like the italian government is coming back on the ban and will allow gut string making (Strad article)

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BSE is not the only concern while dealing with animal bowels, both in the slaughterhouse and food industry..... String making got involved but is just a small bean in a larger jar ;) .

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Does this mean smoked garlic sausage is going to become contraband and available only on the black market? That wouldn't be good.

Bill, that would be awful !!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D

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I've always been under the impression that gut strings were made from sheep or lamb intestines. How does one contract 'Mad Cow Disease' from a lamb? Way back in time, when I used to play a lot of tennis, rackets were strung with gut, also sheep or lamb. I really am getting old.

Barry

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Aquila used exclusively bovine guts, while Pietro Toro in Salle makes strings from both bovine and sheep gut.

That's why Toro had less problems than Aquila.

Pirastro strings are also made of sheep gut (from New Zealand)

Bernhard

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I've always been under the impression that gut strings were made from sheep or lamb intestines. How does one contract 'Mad Cow Disease' from a lamb? Way back in time, when I used to play a lot of tennis, rackets were strung with gut, also sheep or lamb. I really am getting old.

Barry

they were probably originally made with sheep intestine and still are but cow intestines have been used. You probably heard about the "sheep scrapie", probably the first description of a prion protein induced neurological disease. It's the equivalent of the BSE. Although I don't think it can be transmitted to the man, on the contrary of the BSE. So you don't have to worry about your rackuet and keep on playing tennis... :) :) :)

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