Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Moving the line
Last year Defra produced a new Parish Testing Map, with areas shaded red having annual testing and the buffer of orange on two year testing.
This was the 2010 map.
And this one (left) is their 2011 version, showing how the insidious spread of bTB is now creeping northwards, north eastwards and east of the original hotspots.
To illustrate how decades of ministerial prevarication have affected the spread of bTB, this is a map of confirmed breakdowns in 1996 (right). This is not quite comparable with the maps above, but every confirmed breakdown would instigate an annual parish testing interval.
There are about eight major 'hotspots', (seen in the 1986 illustration (left)) which apart from expanding, had not changed in their geographic area or the spoligotype found there, in the time that TB breakdowns and badger postmortems had been logged by VLA.
We have been told that bTB tracks through the badger population, carried by 'dispersers' kicked out of their social groups and on the roam, at around 10 miles annually. So any guesses as to how long before Defra's map is solid red to the coastline of the North Sea and the Scottish borders?