So sorry for the Morrises.
All our cattle slaughtered over nearly 3 years with the exception of 2, have had NVL (No visible lesions) and proved negative for M. bovis on culture.(Now 42)
I have no problem with the skin test - it is an indication of EXPOSURE to m. bovis - not current infection, and is used everywhere else with no problems. It also takes 42 days to provoke that immune response, so there is a window between exposure to m.bovis and the test where it will not show up.We were testing every 60 days, so were catching the exposure before it developed into full blown lesions. Even the 2 heifers who had VL (Visisble lesions) were at a very early stage.
The blood test which the Morris were asking for, was trialled in Ireland on 6500 cattle, and was described by vets as "unreliable". A farm in Cheshire used it after skin test. They lost 68 cattle through 'positive' results to it, and only 25 had Visible Lesions. So that isn't fool proof either. Far from it.
After the clear out of badgers in May, by Defra Reactive team (3 years after there first visit!) all our neighbours are now clear of Tb on their skin tests, and we are almost there. Only 5 animals who recorded any reaction at all. 2 Reactors one of which was from the group of in calf heifers so badly infected inside in the Spring. Defra will have taken 17 out of 22 of that group now.
First time I've seen Bourne refer to GB's problems as 'political'. see insert. Also tells me that with no mention of cattle / cattle ,selenium or the man in the moon, just Defra + infectious badgers stirred up and shaken have succeeded in fuelling cattle TB by nearly 30%. Well Well Well.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTThe ISG under the chairmanship of Professor John Bourne, have announced that "in GB, the mycobacterium. Bovis ( bovine TB) is different politically from that in Ireland".
This new strain of m.bovis (No 27 of 26 ) is to be known as mycobacterium bovis politicus-defraii .
Its spread through the UK cattle population has been tracked by :
The new strain's exponential success in establishing itself within Great Britain has been made easier through copious donations to the Labour party, and the appearance of 'meles meles' logos on Wildlife trust's collecting boxes. These also appear on the back windows of many Volvo and Morris Minor motor vehicles, and are extremely contagious.
- Direct contact with infectious badgers
- Contiguous contact to Defra civil servants.
For the health and welfare of all GB cattle, badgers and wildlife and the long term health of the human population of England, Scotland and Wales, the ISG advise that this new strain can be completely eliminated by the euthanasia of all carriers.
- Estimated 30,000 cattle in Great Britain in 2003.
- A complete cull of all Defra personnel above local level, and all badgers in m.bovis politicus-defraii hotspots is recommended.