It’s been quite a while since I last posted a blog. Since then we have had two consecutive clear bTB tests at severe interpretation. This means we are again #tbfree which is excellent news and we do not need to do a whole herd test for another 6 months.

So what can I do to keep my herd free from bTB? This is the question many farmers are faced with. I continually look for things I can do regarding farm biosecurity etc and there are always new ideas that may help. I recently went to a farm biosecurity event which was interesting although nothing new came from it however, it’s important to keep looking at all options.

The one thing that I see as really important is Disease Transmission. How does the disease get from the environment to cattle or badgers or from cattle or badgers in to the environment or is it just direct contact between species or across species? If we understood this better it would certainly help with reducing the risk of disease spread and reinfection also we could target biosecurity much better.
It may be some time before this is better understood, and what we must continue to do is use what we do know that works to our best advantage.

11 thoughts on “#tbfree

  1. Well, we now have two clear tests and another two before we are classed as able to sell stock it would be a huge relief if the next two would go clear but can not find any optimism ,Christian Glossop came down to Pembrokeshire last month and I found it hard to find any encouragement let alone a light at the end of the tunnel

  2. A few years ago a research group reported that the BCG vaccine strain of tuberculosis had, in very old cultures, been seen making endospores; this was greeted with much derision as nobody else thought tuberculosis could do this. Two years later the same group and another one confirmed this was the case.

    So, assuming that anything the BCG vaccine strain can do the wild-type can also do, I think we have an answer to a couple of questions about bTB spread and how it is maintained in the environment. Spread of bTB is assumed to be from badgers to cattle, but as tagging experiments show that badgers actively avoid cattle, the transmission has to be from badgers contaminating the environment, and this contagion spreading bTB to cows.

    Once we accept that bTB can make resistant endospores, this all becomes a lot clearer; badgers contaminate pasture with bTB bacteria, some of which once shed produce endospores as a means to trying to stay alive (bTB bacteria don’t do well outside of a host) and it is these endospores which are the transmissive factor, not live bacteria shed by badgers.

    Further to this, an ability to produce endospores shows why the disease is so endemic in badgers, and why the spoligotypes are so strongly geographically limited and spread so slowly. A sick badger will generally head underground to try to sleep off any injury or sickness, so most badgers that die of bTB die underground. Thus if a badger dies underground, that part of the sett is then going to be heavily contaminated with endospores of bTB. Even if the entire sett is fumigated to kill all badgers, the contagion remains and will resurface when uninfected badgers re-occupy the sett.

    Basically, the bottom line is that Britain has far too many badgers, and an ongoing cull is necessary.

  3. david is there any possibility that i could get in touch with the press reguarding this cattle t b buisness that is on going for generations.. with the same ding dong questions year in year out ” id dearly like to pass on my knowledge to farmers that will be in the same situation as yor are in for almost 20 years;;; were all your neighbouring farmers in the same situation with locked herds,, what type of cattle became reactors ,, the different age groups,, what was the name of the guy that did the testing .. did you follow up with your cattle to the factory , to see if there was visable liasions on the carcases did they go into the food chain ,,, would you like to re test your so called reactors before slaughter…////would you consider changing the guy that did your testing/// take this guy to the slaughter house the next time u have a so called reactor and let him or her do the talking ,, farmers have every right to ask these important questions about their lively hood,, i would defnetly give the badgers a break ,, from killing and vaccinating ;; and the wild life trust and BRIAN MAY SHOULD ALSO BE INVOLVED” ALL IT INVOLVES IS A MATTER OF GETTING ORGANIZED// THE SAME AS YOUR FARM WALK AND DISCUSSION;;;; WHER E THOUSANDS OF WELL WISHERS VIEWED ANS SAW FOR THESELVES THE SIGHT OF A GUN MAN WITH HIS HAED COVERED SHOOTING BEAUTIFUL CATTLT INCLUDING BERNIE /// I THINK THAT WAS THE ULTIMATE IAM A VERY EXPERIENCED CATTLE FARMER WITH NO CATTLE OR BADGER PROBLEMS A ND NEVER WILL HAVE A PROBLEM SO FARMERS TAKE I WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO HELP ” THIS T B BUISNESS IS LIKE TRYING TO REPAIR SOME THING THAT IS NOT BROKEN

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