Imperial College Press ReleaseI would be interested to read the whole report (here is the synopsis) - there is a quite glaring inconsistency in this synopsis - it starts by telling us that the extended culling programmes were essential. Beyond our initial "well they would say that wouldnt they" we go back to "why was it essential?" One assumes because of the risk of airborne spread. However, further on it says that the authors say that "most transmission probably occurred through the movement of animals, personnel or vehicles, rather than through animal contact or windborne spread." So what possible use could an across the board contiguous cull be if most transmission occurred through animal, personnel or vehicular movements; these movements would surely have been indiscriminate in their direction and distance.
Possibly when read fully the report doesnt actually say this, however since this is an Imperial College news release presumably the authors of the report were satisfied with the gist of it?
I think perhaps this is an appropriate time to resurrect Dr Donaldson's report in the Vet. Record in May since it is clear that the architects of the contiguous cull policy are actually backing his words, ie that the disease was by and large not spread by airborne transmission.
In the light of that, surely his (Dr Donaldson's) findings that the contiguous cull was inappropriate and that more emphasis should have been placed on testing suspected infected premises (particularly in view of the test results we have heard about) make even more sense - if that were possible - now than they did then.
warmwell note: are you sure you'd like to see the full report, Sue? Here is a fairly representative sentence:
Likelihood-based hypothesis tests and confidence intervals were obtained using the result that twice the difference in the full log likelihood is chi-squared distributed with degrees of freedom equal to the number of constrained parameters.As has been remarked by no less a luminary than Professor Fred Brown FRS, "Fewer than 99% of the readers of Nature will understand the mathmatics of this. And I am one of the 99%"