Not so good is news from Shropshire of a positive test on a valuable show calf, only born in February. Farmers Guardian has the story:
Last week the Platt family, from Weston, near Shrewsbury, arranged pre-movement tests on a group of eight animals to ensure they could attend local shows in the early part of the season, building up to the National Charolais show at the NEC and the Royal Welsh Show in July.
Among the group was champion Charolais heifer Lindford Frankie, who last year picked up 10 breed titles, as well as reserve female at the Royal Welsh Show, having enjoyed similar success in 2011.
Also tested was Frankie’s daughter, Lindford Imogen, born in February. But on Friday came the bombshell that she alone of the group had come out as a reactor.Another bombshell this week was the discovery, in a 4 year testing area, of a cluster of new breakdowns on the Cumbria / Lancashire border. Until some strain typing (spoligotyping) is done - always assuming there are bacteria to culture - then it is speculation as the source of this one. But our own gut feeling is that with a 'cluster' of several farms affected, it ain't cattle.
This is where post movement testing of cattle moving to a 4 year area is vital. But so is control on the movement of any susceptible mammal, and especially translocated badgers coming to an orchard near you.
Our Secretary of State, Owen Paterson MP has recently returned from a fact finding mission to Australia and New Zealand.
He described how in Australia bTB had been ‘absolutely rampant’ in both cattle and buffalo over ‘vast areas of difficult terrain’.
A ‘huge programme’ of cattle measures combined with culling buffalo - in the face of fierce public opposition – has brought TB levels in cattle down below the 0.2 per cent threshold required for Australia to regain international ‘TB free status’, he said.This would be the Australian BTEC programme which we told you about in this 2008 post.
And in New Zealand, another wildlife reservoir in the brush tailed possum - which Mr Paterson described as as an ‘alien animal’ that came to the country from Australia - had evolved populations of which were ‘absolutely out of control’. That sounds familiar.
This is the graph of New Zealand's success. Or, you could turn it upside down and see our progress (in red)
in the graph below.
The grey line is Ireland's which is also achieving success by tackling tuberculosis - wherever it lurks and in so doing, halving the number of sentinel cattle killed..
This graph shows 38,000 cattle slaughtered by AHVLA in Great Britain last year.
2012 was one of the highest on record - despite numerical back flips by the Badgerists to scalp the official figures.