We understand that Defra are using a six figure sum (that's in excess of 5 noughts) to fund research into genetic resistance of cattle to bovine Tb.
What's wrong with that we hear you say.
There is no doubt in our author's experience that genetic resistance can be a factor in whether a particular breed of cattle, or 'cow families' within a breed succumb to Tb. But Defra have gone way beyond that. They have ignored information stored on their own database and rejected a proposal requesting £8,000 (that's only 3 noughts) to assist modelling of that information in favour of work with genetic material from the sacred cows of India.
A research project in Botswana, will observe the genetic potential of Bos Indicus cattle to resist Tb infection. Cattle imported from India are to be used in the trial. The genetic performance could apparantly then be used in the UK in a breed grade-up programme. Results could be expected around 2030.
Yes, you did read that correctly. Defra are proposing a grade up of UK native breeds using Indian cattle and they hope to roll it out in 25 years time.
Can we expect spin offs such as large humps on the backs of Aberdeen Anguses, red marks between the eyes of all beef cows and an inbuilt collection of gold rings in UK bullock's noses?
Survivability, meat quality and consumer acceptance are not mentioned - and it's not even April 1st.