Saturday, January 16, 2016

TB free

On January 12th 2016, Defra applied to the European Union for TB free status for the Isle of Man.

Apart from hosting races where motor bikes take over the island for a few days, the Isle of Man has many similarities with its geographic neighbours.
Sitting half way between Ireland and North Wales, with an amazing view of both those regions and Scotland, the island shares the same weather, geological features, cattle husbandry, cattle breeds, husbandry and veterinary TB testing regime. But there the similarity ends.

The chart shows their success and the basis for this application - [link]

The Badger Trust have used the Isle of Man to make mischief before - [link] as we described in 2007.
In 2012, they announced that the Isle of Man was 'rife with TB'. Nothing has changed. The chart taken from the application, tells a different story.

Animals imported into the island are post movement tested, and any breakdown not associated with a bought in animals, is dealt with swiftly by action on wildlife in the location. In this case, feral ferrets, polecats and wallabies. This was statement from the Isle of Man authorities, given to us in 2007:
"We can clear up our outbreaks without further breakdown because we don’t have a large reservoir of infected badgers.

We think it may be circulating to a minor extent outside cattle and are looking for a wildlife reservoir – suspects at the moment are feral wallabies, feral cats, polecats and rats. If and when we find proof of an infected wildlife reservoir, we will take action to control/eradicate.

If any badgers were to be imported and released illegally, we would take immediate steps to eradicate on the grounds that they are non-indigenous species and a threat to our national herd.
So while we in England and Wales prattle on about vaccinating badgers (and in Brian May's case, cattle) while vets and breed societies take their collective eye off the ball by producing genetic indices, and our Ministry ducks out of its collective responsibility for eradication of zTB in wildlife, by using the same basic tools of test and slaughter, the Isle of Man has succeeded in becoming TB free. The difference is that they also eradicate TB from their wildlife.

 As we said in 2007, we should be so lucky - or our cattle should. - [link]

We are reminded that annually, in order to receive the lion's share of the EU's TB budget, this country has to submit an eradication plan. And more importantly, the results of previous largesse. We reported the 2014 presentation in this post - [link] together with a screen grab of the twee back page which accompanied it.

We also remarked that cattle domiciled in mainland Britain have nothing to thank our ministry for.
Nothing at all.

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