Despite acknowledging the success of the farmer led badger culls, with cattle breakdowns and slaughterings down by an average of over 50 per cent, our Secretary of State, with his eye firmly fixed on his advancement, is still whittering on about stopping the culls, in favour of vaccination.
Are his advisers not aware of the vaccinated badger (s) which developed enough disease from the vaccine to infect a perfectly innocent young cat? Or is he listening with his ears shut?
Following that story, the BBC report a cull of deer at Dyrham Park, in south Gloucestershire. (Picture credit - Sarah Cox)
An entire herd of deer at an historic park has been culled due to an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
The 70 deer at Dyrham Park were put down after a 10-year battle by estate staff to stop the disease spreading.
There has been a herd at the park, between Bristol and Bath, for 300 years.
Several cattle farmers have also had a ten year ( or more) battle trying to keep zoonotic TB out of their herds - but let that pass. The report continues:
The National Trust said over the past decade measures including adding extra fencing, carrying out a badger vaccination programme and stopping cattle grazing in the park had all been tried, without success.
Yup , been there, done that - got many tee shirts. But now we see from the report on the cat, that at least some scientists are waking up to the fact that vaccinating any old badger in the field, regardless of its current health status, may not be the most sensible of ideas. And may also breach the terms of its VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate) license.
But when you look at the wanderings of badgers across pasture land, and add to that their incontinent but highly effective sprinkler system, and add to that the amount of bacteria they excrete, it's no wonder any mammal encountering this detritus becomes infected too. Whether that's with the strain TB already in badgers in the area, or the Danish BCG strain.
With thanks to this site for permission to use the picture taken with a drone over snow covered fields.
To any new readers to this site, we'll re cap on the amount of bacteria carried by infected badgers, especially in their urine. From our Parliamentary Questions we gleaned these nuggets:
Badgers with kidney lesions can excrete up to 300,000 cfu (colony forming units) of m.bovis bacteria in each 1 ml of urine: and they void up to 30ml in each incontinent squirt..
Just 70 cfu can infect a cow, and 1 cfu a calf.
The National Trust say they hope to restock Dyrham Park with deer. Why? They've tried fencing, no cattle grazing and vaccination of local badgers. But as others have already found to their cost, until they clear the Park of infected badgers, anything else is a total waste of time.
How arrogant. How sad.