Yet another consultation - link on whether they should test / kill more cattle is in Defra's melting pot, with a closing date of November 9th.
This one suggests gammaIfn to be used more widely in the High Risk Area, more severe interpretation situations and other niceties - all to do with cattle.
There is also a second document - [link] which calls for views on how to save Defra money, under the guise of a simplified testing regime.
This document proposes to abandon trace testing, rationalise contiguous tests, extend 60 day Short Interval tests to 90 days, but test every herd every 6 months.
Now it may be stating the obvious, but during the last decade all this testing has produced sweet FA except an increasing pile of dead cattle. GB's reactor numbers are still nudging 40,000 per year and we are in serious danger of being a trade leper once again.
And, more importantly, as we have said so many times, synchronised cattle testing, brutal interpretations etc, etc, have been done before. In the 1970s by the late
William Tait - [link] and repeated in Ireland in 1988, by
Liam Downie - [link] And they failed. Because the reservoir of infection was not in cattle, but in badgers. And until that is treated with the respect it deserves, culling more cattle, more frequently will achieve nothing at all.
Already the NFU are challenging Defra, suggesting that one measure concerning Finishing Units has been imposed, without 'consultation'. They have yet to realise that the description is hollow. Defra have made up their minds what they would like to do, and will merely 'consult' before doing it anyway.
Nevertheless, the NFU overview is on this link.
This follows Defra's previous tranche of carnage - [link] reported in April by Farmers Guardian, in a very readable format which includes those Finishing Unit restrictions.