Friday, June 29, 2007
Are cattle really the cause ...
.. of bTB spreading across the country?
For sure, if a cow is carrying Tb when she is loaded onto a cattle lorry, she is unlikely to have miraculous cure on the journey to her new home. But of what long term significance, that is cattle movement and the opportunity to entrench disease in new areas, is this?
The ISG report having heavily loaded their Microsoft software with cattle data, concluded that it was significant - (but then again if badger data was weighted against this by a large degree, it would be) But over the last thirty years, microbiolgists at VLA, Weybridge have been analysing and logging spoligotypes from badgers taken in removal operations or road kill up to 1997, and mapping their results.
As we explained in our posting here , those patterns have not changed over time, despite millions of cattle movements, some of which may have been cattle carrying infection.
Farmers Guardian ,as part of an ongoing exploration of bTb research done prior to the ISG report and the way forward after it, this week has comments on this work from ex Divisional Veterinary Officer, Roger Sainsbury, and epidemiologist Dr. Richard North.
Having seen the VLA maps, now published in the ISG final report, and in the case of Mr. Sainsbury, been instrumental been instrumental in creating his own, both conclude that the geographical clustering of strains seen, is not compatible with the theory of cattle to cattle spread.
Footnote to this posting:
Four of us who began this site operated cattle herds with minimal if any 'on' movements of bought in cattle. Two contributers had a purchased bull, every ten years or so. Matt 3's dairy herd had 'No bought in Cattle' confirmed by BCMS on their database. All of us have suffered ongoing and prolonged Tb breakdowns.
Information now to hand, confirms that the spoligotype found in Matt 3's cattle was a single unique strain, and that was matched exactly by the spoligotypes found in 3 postmortemed badgers taken on his land by the RBCT team.