Email received from the farmer, Pat Bird. July 15 2009
Dear Mary,Talk about missing the point AAAARGHHHHHHHHHHHH"Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, that is the second time that the point has been made about the importance of the Department of Health in this respect. It is a very serious point and I will take it on board. The noble Baroness will forgive me if I felt that being briefed on the Defra aspects of this Question was quite sufficient today without looking too much into the health aspects."His noble Lordship misses the point totally, in that any country's programme for the eradication of TB is in place soley to protect public health! The 'health aspects' as he so quaintly puts it, are the core. The reason it exists.Vaccinating cattle misses the point totally, as well. For sure it may help tested cattle sentinels avoid the chop, but in the face of such enormous challenges from badger bacteria is unlikley to be 100% effective, and can you be a 'little bit protected' against TB bacteria ? (This from Dr. Lewis Thomas - ex Compton) But already as another speaker pointed out, we have spillback from infected badgers into many other species, some of whom, especially camelids, are proving highly capable of sustaining and spreading infection both amongst themselves and onwards. A secondary maintainance reservoir over which Defra have no control whatsoever in England. Only Wales has roped them into a total control programme.So what do we do, keep the infection rife in badgers and vaccinate ALL susceptible mammals? Explain that to owners of cats, dogs, alpaca, llamas, goats, sheep and free range pigs. And their children.sheesh these people make me wild.Rant over!