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Reply from Hugh Coryn  Oct 6 2009 to the Wiltshire farmer's email
 
Your farmer correspondent has made my point,  indeed the TB test does
use an immune reponse, but if that response has been weakened, then we
may be leaving reactors in the herd to  infect others.  Also, can one
equate an immune response, such as TB test, to the level of an
individuals resistance to infection? I doubt it, but then I am not an
expert in this field.

I am not arguing that badgers play no part in infection. If a badger
infects one animal in a herd, that animal may then spread the
infection to several animals . We  clearly have no knowledge of the
ratio of badger infected animals to spread of infection within the
herd.

Maize was certainly about, but not in the same quantity and in my
location was certainly handled differently. Does the badger infect the
maize? or does the forage harvester blow faeces and urine into the
crop on collection? or a mixture of both?

If the badger is infecting pastures directly and heavily then are we
monitoring other grazing animals in sufficient numbers for evidence
of infection? Horses have increased in numbers during the same
period, and despite their known resistance to TB and differing
pathology, one would expect to see a possible rise in cases if  they
were being expertly monitored.  In some areas, level of infection of
deer species is known to be higher than infection rates in badgers,
yet is dismissed as irrelevant by some, claiming they do not come into
close contact with cattle!

Agricultural chemical use was certainly about, but not in the
quantities and the widespread use seen today in all types of
agriculture. They have always been described as safe, yet many have
had to be withdrawn and many are still under critical examination.
Their role in causing illness in man was reviewed by a Royal
Commission, but the government shelved the report.  Truth is we do not
know the side effects of many of the products in man or animals and
Doctors and Veterinary Surgeons receive minimal training in the
subject.

I do not know the answer to our problem with TB but I  would like to
know a great deal more of just how the infection is spread and under
what conditions and what part we may or may not be playing?


(afterthought)

Truth is the human form has shown an increase in recent years and a degree of resistance to treatment - thought to involve the number of legal and illegal immigrants.

bTB traditionally was supposed to infect man via infected milk and often led to bone and joint infection, I believe, but pasteurisation has so far kept that problem in control.

I fear the main problem is that we have no charismatic CVO who is prepared to lead from the front and tell politicians to get lost. Livestock farming has been the poor relation for the last thirty or more years, King Barley grabbed all the money, query brewers influence?

H.C.