Today I hear of yet another farm loosing over 25% of their herd to tb, 45 cattle. This is all too familiar and quite sickening. The situation in the UK with bTB is not acceptable to continue to cull cattle on this scale without controlling the infected wildlife reservoir is in my opinion immoral.
The link below is a video of yet another farm where btb has had a devastating effect this time 21 cattle are culled for btb from a closed herd of cattle, so where has the disease come from if not wildlife? Please view the video
Having now had my meetings with George Eustice at DEFRA and EU Directorate General SANTE . I found both very interesting and useful , the content of the meetings were confidential, However the need for the government to implement its 25 year plan in full (including roll out of the badger cull) must come without delay or further hindrance, if we have any hope of controlling this disease at all.
Below is an extract from The EU, DG Sanco (now DG SANTE) Its interesting reading.
DG Sanco report on bTB in the UK (WD SANCO/10067/2013, on TB eradication – as accepted by the UK TB Task force sub-group)
There are currently no legislative provisions on EU level for TB eradication in animal species
other than cattle (except for milking goats in direct contact with cattle in the context of food
An active approach to the removal of TB-infected wildlife, or other species that share the
environment with cattle and the development of appropriate means of preventing transmission
of TB from these sources to cattle, and vice versa, is recommended. This also involves the
development and evaluation of diagnostic tests for these animal species.
It has been demonstrated that the persistence of an infected animal reservoir that enters into
contact with cattle is a major obstacle to the eradication of TB. This obstacle should be
addressed in tandem with the measures implemented in relation to the cattle population.
In addition, one of the conclusion of the task force meeting held in UK in 2012 is:
It is however of utmost importance that there is a political consensus and commitment
to long-term strategies to combat TB in badgers as well as in cattle. The Welsh
eradication plan will lose some impetus as badger culling will now be replaced with
badger vaccination. This was not part of the original strategy that consisted of a
comprehensive plan that has now been disrupted.
There is no scientific evidence to demonstrate that badger vaccination will reduce the
incidence of TB in cattle. However there is considerable evidence to support the removal
of badgers in order to improve the TB status of both badgers and cattle.
UK politicians must accept their responsibility to their own farmers and taxpayers as
well as to the rest of the EU and commit to a long-term strategy that is not dependent on
elections. The TB eradication programme needs continuity and it must be recognised
that success will be slow and perhaps hard to distinguish at first. There is a lot of skill
and knowledge among the veterinary authorities and they must be allowed time to use
There is some very important and relevant point in the above; the emphasis is very much on the British government to control the disease in cattle and in wildlife and to take a long term view” not dependant on elections” an independent body to run and oversee btb control policy ?