I promise to tell the same story to whichever audience I am addressing.
Professor Bourne, as we have pointed out before on this site is consistant only in his inconsistancies.
At the farmer's meetings to garner support for Krebs, he announced he would be 'culling all the badgers'.
When this proved to be a grossly optimistic statement, Bourne excused the failure by explaining to a Tb Seminar on 14/09/2004 that he was " constrained by the methodology of Krebs" and in any case " up to 50 percent of land within Krebs was unavailable to him"
(Bovine Tb Seminar 14/09/2004)
He is also on record as describing the intradermal skin test as 'flawed'. Indeed that adjective is now widely used by Defra, and even amongst the veterinary profession who are happily jabbing needles into cattle's necks regardless of their thoughts on the test's efficacy. Or is it the £ signs in their eyes which drives them?
John's latest offering we quote in full from the Tb Seminar 14th September.
"The skin test is an excellent herd test" Prof. J. Bourne 14/09/2004
Have we all read that? We accept that it has limitations as an individual animal test, but thanks to our Minister's answers, we also know that when the test is carried out "more than once to an infected animal , (it) will cause the sensitivety to rapidly approach 100 percent. " (25th March Col 988W)
"People claim to have a closed herd, but they simply do not exist" Prof. J. Bourne 14/09/2004.
Now that's a mighty fine statement. Matthew 5 is writing this at the moment and getting more 'irritated' by the minute. Chris Cheeseman answered questions on how to avoid Tb, with the bland assurance of "Biosecurity and good husbandry", while Sue Eades proposed the comfort blanket of pre-movement testing - knowing that the test has a latency of up 50 days and that post movement is a better indicator of disease.
What do these fine people expect farmers to do when they've done all this and still had home bred cattle from a closed herd (which Bourne says does not exist) go with Tb?
What part of 'NO ON MOVEMENTS' from the BCMS database do they not understand?
Ben Bradshaw our Minister for Conservation and Fisheries thanked the participants for a 'constructive seminar', and suggested it would be useful if "we were to do it again, 'perhaps in a year or so'"......
That's another 25,000 dead cattle then.
Happy New Year.