Much is made of the fact that GammaIFN was developed in Australia in the mid 1980's. The implication being that the blood test was used to eradicate Tb. Not so. Australia's Tb free trading status was attained using the just the intradermal skin test - and clearing out its wildlife reservoir of disease - ahead of the licensing of GammaIFN.
Known as the "BTEC" , or Brucelosis and Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign, the feral cattle and water buffalo thought to be maintaining disease amonst the country's herds were rounded up and destroyed. Radio transmitters were attached to the necks of what were known as 'Judas' cows, who were then set free to join up with a herd of wild cattle, marking their position.
We are assured that Richard (Lord) Attenborough was not tracking their movements - but we digress. The herds were rounded up with helicopters, then coralled and the marked cow, sent off again. And again. And again, until all the feral cattle in the area were rounded up. About 13,000 went to the meat factories in 1986. And in the absense of a wildlife resrvoir, and using just the skin test, Australia became officially bTb free. A message from Oz tells us
" After we caught all we could the paddocks were shot out from the air without fear or favour. Some stud Brahman cattle got into the wrong paddock & were shot as well .... there were no exceptions.
With 13,000 wild buffalo and feral scrub cattle rounded up with helicopters for slaughter, this was pest destruction on a big scale.