The BBC reports that she faces a united front from all three parties in the Assembly to comply with the slaughter notice issued to the monks of the Skanda Vale 'temple' and under EU and OIE legislation, slaughter the bull(ock) known as Shambo, who has given a positive reading to his second bTb test.
The Welsh Assembly say:
"There is currently no timetable for the slaughter of the bullock, although the slaughter notice remains in force"
As we said in our previous posting about this, we either have a policy for screening bTb with which we agree, support and comply, or we do not. Broadly speaking and with a very few exceptions the skin test has proved a reliable international tool. In the absence of a wildlife reservoir, several countries have completely eradicated bTb from their cattle herds using just the intradermal skin test and now rely on slaughterhouse surveillance only. At standard UK interpretation, the comparative skin test "provides sensitivety in the range of 68 per cent. to 95 per cent. and specificity in the range of 96 per cent. to 99 per cent." (That from PQs for which, as ever, we thank Baby Ben Bradshaw) The 68 per cent, by the way, is for a single animal tested once. The intradermal test is designed as a herd test (not as a tool for preMT) and when used over a large group of animals, particularly 60 days consecutively, is as good as it gets. Exceptions could occur in the event of veterinary failures, tuberculin antigen failures or other micobacterial influences on the results. They are few. High profile but very few.
Shambo has had, we understand, two bites of the cherry. At the routine test for these 52 cattle he gave an inconclusive result. At his second test, 60 days later the reading was higher, and he was deemed a 'reactor'.
It was at that point that the straw 'temple' was constructed; the bullock was isolated and became subject to a media feeding frenzy. Leaving aside the sensibilities of the rest of Wales' farmers who have patiently and obediently gone along with slaughter notices and who are now feeling pretty sore, the treatment of this animal appears to break a number of welfare code regulations.
He is 'isolated', and that in itself is a breach. Cattle are herd animals and must be able to see and interact with other bovines.
He has been identified as having reacted to an international test for exposure to a notifiable zoonosis. At present he may not have developed lesions, let alone infectious lesions but at some stage, he may. And that poses a threat to all those around him, human and animal.
'Treatment' of a bovine with tb is forbidden (we are told). The cocktail of drugs needed, belong to the very small category specifically and uniquely reserved for human beings.
The BBC report that while Shambo awaits his fate, the herd has had a further test, and two more animals have given an inconclusive result, so the 'isolation facility' at Skanda Vale may get a tad more full.
So all in all a difficult one for Jane Davidson, which looks as if it may hinge on the 'Human Rights' of a the hindu religious community, not to comply with any of the above at all.