We have already told you of the '14 million' movements made by GB cattle - which are in fact movement of data relating to a single bovine movement in our post:
http://bovinetb.blogspot.com/2006/02/mistake-mischievious-or-misleading.html. But not content with this much publicised gaff, the 'ologists of Oxford with a little help from our very own VLA appear to have made another. (only one Matt? !!)
Matthew 1, has been trawling. No, he's not taken up fishing instead of farming - same minister, little point - he was searching the net (fishy terms again) for information on something totally different and came across a piece from 'Nature'. published in 2005.
Cattle movements and bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain
M. Gilbert1, A. Mitchell2, D. Bourn3, J. Mawdsley2, R. Clifton-Hadley2 and W. Wint3
For 20 years, bovine tuberculosis (BTB) has been spreading in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and is now endemic in the southwest and parts of central England and in southwest Wales, and occurs sporadically elsewhere. Although its transmission pathways remain poorly understood, (no they aren't - ed) the disease's distribution was previously modelled statistically by using environmental variables and measures of their seasonality1. Movements of infected animals (that would be all types of 'animals', we hope?) have long been considered a critical factor in the spread of livestock diseases, as reflected in strict import/export regulations, the extensive movement restrictions imposed during the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak2, 3, the tracing procedures after a new case of BTB has been confirmed and the Government's recently published strategic framework for the sustainable control on BTB4.
Since January 2001 it has been mandatory for stock-keepers in Great Britain to notify the British Cattle Movement Service of all cattle births, movements and deaths5.
Biological Control and Spatial Ecology CP160/12, Université Libre de Bruxelles, avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
Environmental Research Group Oxford Limited, PO Box 346, Oxford OX1 3QE, UK
Correspondence to: W. Wint3 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to W.W. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received 20 January 2005; Accepted 18 March 2005
Despite the extraordinary pedigrees of those involved with this 'research' - using those 14 million postcards - we would point out, (with the greatest respect of course) that ;
1. BCMS was set up in 1996, (not January 2001.)
2. Since 01/07/1996 (July 1996) all cattle have had to have passports which were issued by BCMS and which accompanied them on any movement, tearoff postcards from which are sent back to BCMS and sometimes generate 4 movements of data, even to an abattoir. And to generate a passport, first one has to register a birth...
3. Cattle identification at this time consisted of a herd number which was both letters and numbers, a 5 digit individual number plus a UK stamp.
4. In January 1998, double tags were made compulsory. A distance readable one (which falls out for a hobby) plus another in the opposite ear, which could be either plastic or metal.
5. On July 1st 2000, all numerical tags were introduced. A 6 figure herd number (no letters) plus UK, and a 6 figure idividual number, or 5 plus a revolving 'check' digit.
And so it has been ever since. No more changes. And animals recorded in that 1996 database, holding passports can now enter the food chain.
It is difficult reading the 'Nature' report to understand that, as the authors state quite authoratively that BCMS database started in 'January 2001'. But by this time Matt 5 had registered 419 cattle births on its non existent database and about the same 'Off' movements. He had no 'On' movements of bought in cattle on the nonexistent database - but was about to celebrate the New Year by going under restriction with bTb, just like Mr. Jones in our post below.