Email received March 29 2009
"....KBO - Keep buggering on, as Winston Churchill said.
Have just heard that friends south of us on the coast, have lost 23 at the last swipe (dairy), they've lost over 200 now, in about 9 years. And others about 8 miles north, with their farm for sale, will lose 53 (out of 80 ish) dairy cattle. This is worse than FMD, Mary. It never ends. And won't until these infected badgers are removed from the equation. The level of tuberculosis contamination in the environment now, is phenomenal. Sooner or later it will splash out into more cats / pets / companion animals than we have now, and onwards into people. The Cornish woman (and her daughter and dog) were the nearest we had. VLA are pretty sure that was direct from badgers, but waters were muddied by her previous employment as a veterinary nurse in 2004.
The school children in Dolfur and Kerry were treated for 'atypical tuberculosis' well before samples were taken, and after six months of antibiotics, those were negative.
VLA have to report TB from confirmed animal cases to the communicable disease folk, but that is rarely reciprocated so that sources of human TB, (also either mTB or bTB) can be checked back with local environmental spoligotypes. Where that has been done, (Glos. Birmingham and Cornwall) - the strains match environmental bTB circulating between tested slaughtered sentinel cattle, and free ranging infectious badgers, increasingly coming (being encouraged?) into people's gardens and thus direct contact.
The 'infected milk' source, which is still trotted out, was zapped in the ministry's eradication blitz in the 1950s and 60s and the pasteurisation process. And vets tell me that by 1970, true cattle TB was all but eliminated. What we have now (they say) is badger adapted TB, feeding back up into sentinel tested cattle, and any other mammals who have the misfortune to come into contact with it. This level of environmental contamination is something we as human beings have not encountered before, and sooner or later it will blow up in Defra's face. ..."
(Name and address of the West Country farmer supplied)