Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Several press releases this week, combined with a flurry of pro zoonotic tuberculosis splutterings from a hitherto unknown to us group known as the Prion interest Group - [link]
From BSE to zTBin one seamless leap then?
Writing to Defra's new Chief vet, (Christine Middlemiss) this was heavily reported in that most unbiased of our broadcasting media, they accuse Defra of "barefaced lies" - [link] That was on the 12th November.
Of course it would have been helpful if when the pilot culls began, all those years ago, if Defra had published results. They are there, but they are sparse. Nevertheless, Lucy Brunton et al, did do some modelling and drew out figures for Gloucestershire and Somerset cull areas, compared with non cull areas for 2013 - 15. These were published, but in the morass of figures, it took a humble vet and his calculator to extrapolate the end result of a 58 per cent drop in cattle TB in Gloucestershire and 21 per cent in Somerset. We covered the story in this posting - [link]
The Prion Group missed them.As they missed this snippet:
3rd para on page one of the report,
Err, yes, Pretty obvious? But invisible just the same.
There have been numerous past historical culls, designed to prove the obvious, and which are conveniently ignored by those intent on riding this roundabout of denial and research. (Credit for those figures go to BovineTB information)
Then today, 13th November, Defra released their update on the 25 year plan to rid the country of zoonotic tuberculosis. The full package is here- [link] and dutifully the BBC - [link] reported some startling headlines concerning culling of badgers.
"A modest effect on cattle TB" is the most glaring headline, given that the Defra comment is based on that most political of trials, the RBCT which began 21 years ago and had, its leader - [link] .. explained with such pride, a political steer from its onset.
Culling badgers at the end of his 8 day forays, then walking away for a year or more, was not going to be the answer.
There is nothing at all on the current farmer led (and funded) culls. How's that for Fake News?
So Defra's latest plan is a brand new quango to hoover up all things badgery, a proposal to make farmers insure against a wildlife reservoir of disease over which they have little legal control and compensation reduced or abandoned on the back of insurance levies.
Farmers have to 'own' the disease, they say.
For those of us who had ring fenced farms, no bought in cattle and still years and years of restriction, dead cattle with no insurance offered as 'exposure to risk was too high,' that is a damned insult.
We'll 'own' it if you remove the straightjacket .
But we'll finish this posting on a happier note. We are hearing farmers who have had continuous 60 day testing, reactors and stress for years. Decades in some cases, and after just a few years of a 42 night cull, lambasted by the animal loving public with nothing whatsoever to lose from complaining, and propped up by political scientists and vets, they are now trading TB free.
One such story below, is told in the farmer's own words.
We thank this SW dairy farmer for that heart warming story. And fully expect it'll take Defra 20 years to catch up with or publish current farmer led cull results.
This magic roundabout of spurious research, sparse excuses and misery has led us to a situation where a trade ban is likely. The chart below tracks the progress of TB 'eradication' in cattle through decades, overlaid with various Ministerial non-policies.
And see what happens when badger control is loosened and finally abandoned in 1997?
Under no circumstances is that anything that we would be proud to 'own'.