Guess the country. Guess the wildlife source. (No prizes!)
What is TB?
- An infection caused by a bacterium
- TB may infect your cattle
- TB is also found in feral ...........s, deer, ferrets and wild cats.
Why is TB important?
- TB can cause a loss of farm income
- The freedom to move cattle when a herd is placed under restriction
- Infection can cause production losses
- TB threatens exports
- TB is a threat to your health
What's the big deal about .............s?
- .............s are the main source of TB in .. .., they act as a reservoir of the disease
- .............s are hard to control because they live in a wide variety of areas and are nocturnal
- Young ........s migrate and carry the disease with them
- Not all .........s have TB, but they are very susceptible to infection
How do .........s become infected?
- From other infected ...........s
- Contact with other infected species, farmed or feral
How can I identify a .......... with TB?
- They are nocturnal, but if sick may wander around in the day
- Unusual swellings or open sores
- Look thin and sick
How can my cattle get TB from infected ..........s?
- Stock are curious and will sniff TB infected ..........s
- Tb infected ...........s will sleep in hay barns and spread the disease from open sores
How do you get rid of Tb in the wild ...........s?
- By eradicating known TB infected ......... populations
- By keeping ............. numbers down
- Control must be intensive and kept up for a number of years
What is being done to control the disease in ..........s?
- Large scale control programmes are being undertaken in areas where farming is threatened by Tb infected ..........s
Who is responsible for Tb ............ control?
- You are. On farm control is important
- Also the Animal Health Board
- And Department of Conservation
What do I do if I suspect Tb in a ...........?
- Kill it immediately and contact a veterinary officer
- If this is not possible, burn or bury the carcass.
So for UK farming it's very good news that our DEFRA has formed a 'partnership' to exchange information on bovine Tb with for example New Zealand, who have a similar problem with the Bush Possum.
When an area in NZ is found to have a Tb problem as defined by the cattle skin test ( yup the same one we all use), the area is immediately 'zoned'. Now we've heard John Bourne talk of zoning, but the difference here is that while our 'partners' test all the cattle in the area, and then drop 10.80 poison pellets from light aircraft to sort out their wildlife reservoir (napalm in a forest in Northern Oz I'm told) , Bourne just wants to nail our cow's hooves to the floor - and leave the badgers to re infect them.
The area to be targeted does a big PR promotion to explain the aircraft, what they're doing and why. Farmers are warned to lock up dogs, cats, kids and grannies, and the leaflet stresses that NZ only use 'qualified pilots' - so that's alright. The roads have warning signs and ribbons flutter in the trees to designate the edge of the 'drop zone' . All they need is a bar-be-que. Anyone for baked possum?
While our boffins are considering sharing resources, should we become a Republic? No, not that sort of republic. Just one without a 'King'. Or to be precise Dr. Elaine of the National Federation of Badger Groups.
Could we export her undoubted energy to form a 'Possum Protection Society' down under? That would even things up a bit.