Monday, February 02, 2015

2 plus 2 = 4.

In this post, we highlight the 'indescribable frustration' - [link] of a small family run dairy farm trying to cope with politics; which at the moment seem hell bent on protecting badgers, grossly infected with Tuberculosis at the expense of their cattle.

For decades this farm had been clear of TB on annual testing, and ran a 'closed herd' using AI and breeding all their replacements, thus buying no stock in.

So in Badgerist mantra, their cattle should have been fine? Safe - in theory.

But in 2008 they had a brush with zTuberculosis, losing just a couple of cattle, before going clear and staying clear until April 2013. During this time, they invested £9400 in 'badger proofing ' their farm buildings, and also buying their own manure spreading equipment.

In fact doing everything they could to protect their cattle.

This is one of the entrances to their cattle yards, with newly erected shiny, sheeted gates which badgers are said not to be able to climb over, slither around or squeeze under..

They were erected in September 2008.

The herd remained clear until spring 2013.

 Unfortunately, cattle grazing ground is pretty well impossible to 'protect' and in the spring of 2014, dead badgers were found near the farm buildings. And at the TB test that summer, more cattle were lost.

This badger was photographed in March 2014 just before the herd was turned out to grass.

 The 60 day tests rolled on for this herd and in September, 13 animals were disclosed as reactors.

These are two of  those thirteen. When she was slaughtered, the black heifer was 6 months in calf and carrying a heifer calf, having been inseminated with sexed semen.

In early November 2014 a moribund (that means half dead) badger was found crawling around in broad daylight outside the cattle yards.

This was the badger a day later on November 9th.

Or it may have been a different one. This one is dead and has what appear to be open tuberculous abscesses in its throat..

 And inevitably, the November TB test revealed more reactors.

But for this small farm, far worse to come. The legacy of the miserable specimen above, photographed on November 9th 2014, has, in their January test been the deaths of 25 more heavily in calf, homebred cattle.

So as our well publicised modelers, shunt their cattle assumptions - [link] into their electronic machines, believing and recycling their own guff, please humour us.
Why not put a few infected badgers into the mix as well?

Ones like those photographed dead in the fields of this biosecure family farm, with no bought in cattle and no cattle contacts, excellent biosecurity and no shared equipment. But which last week lost 25 cattle in one hit and has a running total of 47 dead cattle, revealed in TB tests since April 2013.

 Then 2 + 2 really would equal 4.

(With grateful thanks to TBInformation - [link] for allowing us to highlight this story, originally published on their site January 2015.)

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