To jab or not to jab, that is the question.
And the EFRA Committee invite your views on whether to vaccinate badgers or cattle, or both.
On badgers, given the dog's breakfast that arose from the 2010 'Elf and Safety trial and that mythical '74 per cent' headline success rate, most of the public (via the BBC and Dr. May) believe that an unscreened badger population can be jabbed once and protected from TB for life. Try catching the wild ones. One farm taking part in a trial, caught just a single badger in several weeks. Just one. Now that's one very expensive jab.
BCG for badgers has been awarded an 'LMA' or Limited Marketing Authority license. Under that type of license, data on efficacy (that's whether the damn stuff works or not) was not presented and thus that thorny question is passed down the line. It becomes the 'responsibility of the end user'.
Neither do we look forward to another complete trading ban on all cattle products should we venture down the vaccinating cattle route. A revamped Beef Ban on all cattle products, annual jabs of a product with at best, 50 per cent efficacy @ £8 plus a DIVA test offering many false positives @ £26. Restriction is still restriction and the cattle are still dead. And how many other mammals will need this annual jab? Try selling this one to all the sheep farmers, goat keepers, alpaca herds and cat and dog owners.
But the European Directives on the eradication of TB in Member States, specifically forbid treatment or vaccination for Tuberculosis. And we not aware that these have changed.
Member States shall ensure that under a plan for the accelerated eradication of tuberculosis: (a) the presence and suspected presence of tuberculosis are compulsorily and immediately notifiable to the competent authority;
(b) the following are prohibited:
(i) any therapeutic or desensitizing treatment of tuberculosis;However a recent European Parliamentary Question to the Commission gave a fudge of an answer. Not a 'Yes' not a 'No', but a door that opens both ways, and no answer at all.
(ii) anti-tuberculosis vaccination.
After a recent visit by Brian May and Team Badger, who came back with the headline 'vaccination of cattle within months' and all publicity that generated, the European delegates spluttered that they had been 'misquoted' with facts taken out of context.
Well ain't that a surprise?