"Attempting to become enlightened by ‘cherry picking’ from computer modelled and or statistical ‘science’ is permissible.
To deliberately spin, translate and qualify the ‘science’ to fuel a pseudo- propaganda campaign is corrupt.
To denigrate those of us who uniquely, have decades of actual field experience of TB in cattle as “closed minds”, demonstrates a bigot deserving little credibility. (Letter Trevor Lawson “Scientific evidence backs increased TB testing” May 7).
The letter clearly proves his ignorance.
Carrique-Mas et al 2005 referred to post Foot and Mouth restocked herds when there was evidence of some cattle to cattle transmission of TB. What their paper did not include (lack of funding) was that most of these herds went clear of TB within a year and have remained clear since.
This was the situation in the 1960’s. Where there is no significant external reservoir of infection.
“The current TB testing regime has failed to control bovine TB”. It is the same regime as the 1960’s; the difference solely being the reservoir of TB infection in the badger population. With my clients the level of cattle reacting to the tuberculin test is directly proportional to the level of badger activity.
“ Their research explains why new outbreaks are more likely in TB hotspots”! This is hardly rocket science. In some of the centres of original hotspots, which have now amalgamated with other hotspots to become ‘blobs’, there has been an improvement in the cattle TB level . This is due solely to a reduction in the badger population. No population never mind badgers can survive a 50% infection rate of TB.
In my experience introducing cattle into a herd with a history of TB, frequently results with some, particularly the younger ones reacting. This due to their inquisitive nature; they have to explore their new surroundings, where there is a low back ground level of infection in the environment.
“Only 14% of infected cattle show lesions at slaughter Bourne 2006”. Cattle reacting to the Tuberculin test indicates only that they have received a challenge from TB. They are not necessarily infected, have lesions, or are even infectious.
The gamma interferon test is a gimmick and a fob to the badger lobby. The test is far too sensitive, resulting in devastation of herd numbers. None of my clients who were ‘conned’ into having the test have gone clear. (One herd twice!). None would “go down that route again”. There is absolutely no point when there is a reservoir of infection in the badgers."
Letter from: D.J.B.Denny, B.Vet. Med. M.R.C.V.S.
(Vet. Times 28th. May)
Meanwhile the figures for incidence in cattle January - March are published for a short time on the Defra website and needless to say, they are up. Defra say new herd incidents are up by 15 per cent, reduced to 11 per cent if extra herd tests are factored into their number crunching. Quite an achievement.