Last year, 119 non-bovine creatures contracted the disease, including 33 goats, 31 wild deer, 18 pet cats, 13 alpacas and 10 pigs. Sheep, llamas, dogs and farmed and park deer also fell victim to the strain, which has been responsible for the death of 200,000 cattle over the past 10 years.
Defra squirm out this four fold increase, saying that as badgerTB is notifiable now, they are looking for it and will find more. But doesn't that put Meat Hygiene Officers firmly in their place? Haven't they always been 'looking for it' at abattoirs? Is it not what they are paid to do with all food animals? With domestic cats and dogs - Defra possibly have a point. And as we are nothing if not fair on this site, we 'll give them the benefit of the doubt on the spillover figures 2007 over 2006. But not the increase 2008 over 2007, to which the WMN report draws attention. Prior to 2006, veterinary surgeons would probably have hesitated to suggest another £100+ on top of hefty fees, to post mortem a casualty. And the single (only?) thing former minister Baby Ben Bradshaw achieved during his tenure astride Defra's fence, was to make badgerTB notifiable in all mammalian species, with postmortems paid for by his department.
The results of this increasing environmental contamination, we have covered over the years, seeing bTB cases expand from reservoir maintenance host and its messenger, into alpacas ,cats, goats and more cats. With many more casualties along the way, including this story from Farmers Guardian on badgerTB in free range pigs.