Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Defra have put up their fence" - after the event.

We covered the story of some very mobile alpacas from Devon and the trail of destruction caused by bTB, diligently uncovered by VLA spoligotyping here, using a report of the incident published in a letter to the Veterinary Record in July 2009.

The owner of the Devon alpacas which made that fateful journey to West Sussex, tells his own story in a pdf entitled Protecting our Alpacas. In this piece he likens the situation of bTB in this country to a series of 'ponds', and points out that although Defra have a remit to control and eradicate bTB in cattle, that does not extend to wildlife or other susceptible species such as alpacas. Once bTB is identified in cattle the machinery of 'eradication' clanks in with slaughter and movement restrictions. But as the author points out:
Unfortunately, they [Defra] have no remit to address reactive wildlife, or minority species such as ours [alpaca] unless they are positively diagnosed at post mortem as having bTB. So the 'pond' keep getting topped up.
He describes the scenario of the journey which he organised for his own alpaca:
Unwittingly I took my alpaca to another part of the country for mating where they fell into someone else's 'pond' [and] brought it back to Devon. They fell ill and 5 1/2 months later were in the VLA Starcross autopsy room. Btb kills alpacas fast - period. I've lost two suri alpacas, their cria, and I've become the proud owner of my very own 'pond'. Defra have put up their fence.

Read this account in full here.

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