Friday, June 07, 2013

Not cattle ....

Following the lead of the United States' Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and as described in other papers from Africa we shall in future, refer the 'bovine' TB, as Zoonotic tuberculosis.

 The word 'bovine' seems to confuse. And for sure, Team Badger appear to want to confine this debate to cattle versus wildlife. This stance does not take in the wider implications of allowing a deadly zoonosis, with an indefinite incubation period, free rein the British countryside, thus enjoying an inevitable interface with other mammals.

This was bought home quite forcefully during a debate at the Cheltenham Science Festival this week, when a motion to cull manage badgers was discussed and decisively won. The speakers for such management were Roger Blowey, a published veterinary surgeon, and dairy farmer, Phil Latham. Opposing any sort of management - except vaccination - were another vet and the fragrant, badger homing owner of Secret world, Mrs. Pauline Kidner.

But in questions or points from the floor, one speaker announced that in her professional capacity and at the present time, she was treating 8 people in the county of Gloucestershire for Zoonotic tuberculosis - which they had contracted during an up close and personal relationship with the family cat.

 And that dear readers is how distorted this debate has become: cattle v. badgers. Either one or the other, and not parallel action on managing Zoonotic Tuberculosis in both.

The result is many hundreds of dead animals, some companion mammals to human beings. Cats are as much victims of Zoonotic tuberculosis as our tested sentinel cattle, and their owners face an unenviable period of intensive drug therapy, to try and control this evil disease.  The outcome of which is by no means a certainty.

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