The missive airily dismisses the badgers' role in transmission, pointing out that:
" ... other species will transport Tb to neighbouring herds of animals. These species may not necessarily be badgers. Minks, Deers, Foxes, Moles, Rats and Ferrets are examples of other species of wildlife that have been positively tested for bovine Tb.""Minks" and "deers"? Sheesh. But we digress. Smaller species may contract m.bovis, as any mammal can. The important difference between them and badgers is the progression of disease (does it kill them quickly?) and the amount of bacteria they are able to
It is important to bear in mind that the main vector for bovine Tb are found in cattle, not badgers – hence the name bovine Tb ! If it weren’t for the farming of cattle, bovine Tb wouldn’t exist and other animals wouldn’t suffer – including wildlife.Unfortunately this type of simplistic claptrap is spouted all too frequently, and is gobbled up by the young (and the not-so-young) idealists who do not so much 'lurve' badgers - as hate farmers. And especially livestock farmers.
But studiously ignoring the continuing and growing overspill into other group mammals, some of which we reported here and here, and the many
companion animals does not make it disappear. Despite the position being reinforced by Defra's strangely dumbed down accounting system for such 'other species' TB casualties, which only counts positive culture samples submitted to VLA - and nothing else. Of these, there may be only a single one to log in, but many deaths in a continuing tested or untested, outbreak. (We note with not a little amusement, that the table of exclusions from these statistics, is now longer than the table itself.)
The Viva! piece predictably refers to 'the science'. The ten year
However, the Viva! spokes-person has the answer:
Therefore the answer is quite clear. If the objective really is to prevent the spreading of bovine Tb for future generations of humans and animals, we should stop farming cattle.Simples.