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Badgers and TB

By the early 1980's the State Veterinary Service of which I was a member had practically eradicated TB from our herds with only tiny pockets of infection remaining . By the 1990's the herds particularly in the South West were once more becoming infected only this time from badgers. Due to shilly-shallying and vacillation by the Ministry of Agriculture the badgers were not dealt with properly and now we have a situation where infected badgers are spreading disease widely through the countryside with risks to human and animal health.

MAFF and Defra were keen enough to cull enormous numbers of animals during the foot and mouth. What is holding them back from dealing with badgers in the same way?

Ken Tyrrell BA., BSc(Vet), MRCVS,

The Shropshire Inquiry

Mr Tyrell's evidence

Original Message -----






A That neither the agricultural or rural industry will ever again agree to an extensive slaughter policy being implemented should FMD reoccur.


B that vaccination be the main response to an outbreak unless the initial cases are speedily and effectively contained.


C That the Govt steadfastly ensure that the EU Veterinary Standing Committee meeting in Brussels in December 2001 change its policy.


D That animals vaccinated must not be subsequently slaughtered as happened in Holland; however it is appreciated that in a vaccinated campaign that any bovines that show lesions before immunity has developed should on humanitarian grounds be slaughtered.


E That ring vaccination and subsequently, if needed, "firewall" vaccination be commenced by no later than day 7 of an outbreak.


F That movement restrictions and controls are free from petty bureaucracy and that all that has evolved during the present outbreak be eliminated in future..


G That Defra overhaul its planning both on vaccination and slaughter policies and make these freely available to local authorities.


H That the post of Divisional Veterinary Officer be restored to counties with important livestock populations.


I That all requests for movements for welfare reasons are dealt with speedily and with a sense of urgency within the county and only if are there are actual and positive risks are these refused.


J That veterinary staff are trained in the diagnosis of FMD.


K That Defra non veterinary staff are trained in their duties.


L That culling of animals within a 3Km radius of an infected place must never ever be repeated


M That "on farm" methods of diagnosis as reported by Prof Fred Brown be used in future.


N That "slaughter on suspicion " be considered a damning indictment of the deficiencies of Defra veterinary staff.


O That Defra appoint and train on FMD a regional press officer to handle all information.