The British response to bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle (Bos primigenius) and badgers (Meles meles) continues to feature in the news. Here’s a list of notifiable diseases affecting livestock in Britain.
My fellow blogger petrel41 tells us about the first field trial of M. meles vaccination. I’m watching with interest but I think the word ‘successful’ is premature. How would success be measured? Will the vaccinated badgers survive and breed? Will their vaccination affect the incidence of bovine TB? What will be the impacts on rural employment and on farmers’ businesses?
As for the cull, dozens of senior scientists say it might increase the problem of bTB. Yes, culling badgers may not be just a waste of resources. It may actually increase bTB. Have you seen any senior scientists offer evidence in favour of the cull? I haven’t, yet.
Owen Paterson, head of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), we know you want to win votes from your Tory supporters. But this may be quite the wrong way to go about it.