Saturday, September 16, 2006

Copy Cats...

In our posting : , we described some of the measures undertaken by the Irish, against cattle / cattle spread of Tb during what was known as the 'Downie' era in an effort to circumvent the tb problem - without encroaching into the disease in badgers. Exactly mirroring the contortions, prevarications and general arrogance of our own dear Defra - twenty years later. And with the same result of course.

A snippet of information to build on that has come in from a farmer who has a better memory for these things than we do, about the effect of this water-treading on the veterinary profession as well. In the postings discussing Lelystadt tuberculin, Defra's smokescreen was 'veterinary practise' about which the CVO issued a report. But if the SVS and LVI vets conducted cattle tb tests on several hundred cattle, in the way in which they were supposed to - and able to - on ten, then all these clerical 'technical errors' (primarily concerned with who writes eartag numbers down, and who measures with calipers the skin thickness on day one etc.,) would double the time taken to conduct the test.

And this, we are told, happened in Ireland during the late 1980's. In a broadside aimed at its practising vets, the Irish Ministry of Agriculture at the time issued instructions not dissimilar from our own Debbie Reynold's 'retraining' manual. The result being of course, that a Tb test would take twice as long, and up with which the Irish vets would not put. Well, not for the same money anyway. They went on strike. And for a period of time, variously described to us as 18 months to two years, no cattle were tested at all.

Defra seems to have a nasty habit of repeating vacuous efforts of the past, while ignoring anything of note (PCR) which may drive targeted detection of bTb nearer. But I wonder what our own veterinary profession's reaction will be, when after its 'refresher course' in Tb testing, it realises that it is expected to do twice the (clerical) work - for effectively half the money?

Any bets on it being the same as the Irish vets of the 1980's?

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