TB threat to Dorset dairy industry

WORRY: Dorset County NFU chairman Paul Gould

WORRY: Dorset County NFU chairman Paul Gould

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

DORSET could lose its dairy farming industry if steps are not taken to combat bovine TB, the head of the National Farming Union has said.

Meurig Raymond, president of the NFU, was speaking on a visit to the Dorset farm owned by Paul Gould, the county chairman of the union.

It follows a devastating herd test revealing a quarter of Mr Gould’s in-calf animals will have to be slaughtered, as reported in the Echo.

Mr Raymond said the NFU will be doubling its efforts to lobby the government to roll out a badger cull in affected counties to tackle a ‘reservoir of disease’ in wildlife.

Mr Gould has farmed a closed herd for more than half a decade, meaning all of the cattle are born and bred on his North Dorset farm.

He believes the source of infection could therefore only come from wildlife.

Mr Raymond said government politics concerning the cull are causing ‘immense anger and frustration’ among farmers.

He added: “Farmers can’t understand how politics has taken over sensible decision making.

“I am calling on the government to have strength in their convictions and drive this policy forward to give farmers hope for the future. Other countries have eradicated the disease, and we need to look to them.

“We will keep fighting.”

The NFU is supportive of badger vaccination, Mr Raymond added, but believes this can only be effective in clean animals living in edge areas, unlike Dorset in which the disease is ‘endemic’.

“We want healthy cattle and healthy wildlife. Consumers nowadays want to see cows out in pastures, but sadly that is where they are most vulnerable because they are coming into contact with diseased wildlife.”

More than 38,000 cattle were slaughtered last year in England and Wales after testing positive for bovine TB.

Mr Raymond said: “It is the emotions you go through in these circumstances, the loss of milk production, the years of breeding that you have put into it for this to happen.

“It is the absolute despair.

“My rallying call is for the government to get on with it.

“Otherwise we won’t have a livestock industry left in parts of this country.”

Comments (8)

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8:07am Wed 23 Apr 14

DoctorGonzo says...

While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane.

The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans?
While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane. The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers. Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans? DoctorGonzo
  • Score: 2

8:52am Wed 23 Apr 14

JamesYoung says...

DoctorGonzo wrote:
While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane.

The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans?
TB was passed to badgers in large volumes a few years ago, after cattle testing standards were lowered due to the need to replenish the herd after foot and mouth.
Foot and mouth, meanwhile, was a problem because the government labs at Purbright could not be trusted with safety procedures.
A vaccination programme would, i agree, be a far better option than wholesale slaughter.
[quote][p][bold]DoctorGonzo[/bold] wrote: While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane. The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers. Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans?[/p][/quote]TB was passed to badgers in large volumes a few years ago, after cattle testing standards were lowered due to the need to replenish the herd after foot and mouth. Foot and mouth, meanwhile, was a problem because the government labs at Purbright could not be trusted with safety procedures. A vaccination programme would, i agree, be a far better option than wholesale slaughter. JamesYoung
  • Score: 3

12:27pm Wed 23 Apr 14

sjc100 says...

DoctorGonzo wrote:
While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane.

The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans?
cattle can not be moved into different areas without first having a movement tb test. so the cattle have to be clear of the disease
[quote][p][bold]DoctorGonzo[/bold] wrote: While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane. The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers. Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans?[/p][/quote]cattle can not be moved into different areas without first having a movement tb test. so the cattle have to be clear of the disease sjc100
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Wed 23 Apr 14

sjc100 says...

JamesYoung wrote:
DoctorGonzo wrote:
While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane.

The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers.

Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans?
TB was passed to badgers in large volumes a few years ago, after cattle testing standards were lowered due to the need to replenish the herd after foot and mouth.
Foot and mouth, meanwhile, was a problem because the government labs at Purbright could not be trusted with safety procedures.
A vaccination programme would, i agree, be a far better option than wholesale slaughter.
cattle testing standards have certainly not been lowered, cattle have to be tested at least once a year and if you want to sell them they have to have another test. yes vacanate the badgers but how do they propose to catch them and how will they know they have them all.
[quote][p][bold]JamesYoung[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DoctorGonzo[/bold] wrote: While the NFU may want to blame politics for the decision not to extend the badger cull to Dorset, the science shows that badger culling does not solve bovine TB, while the cull itself is ineffective and inhumane. The facts are that Badgers catch bovine TB from cattle and that bovine TB is spread around England when infected cattle are moved into new areas. It's easy to then blame the badgers, but they are the innocent victims. More stringent testing of cattle is needed, to prevent the spread of bovine TB by cattle, to badgers. Dorset Wildlife Trust is vaccinating badgers as are other organisations. Once all the badgers have been vaccinated, will the NFU then shift the blame to deers, cats or dogs, or even humans?[/p][/quote]TB was passed to badgers in large volumes a few years ago, after cattle testing standards were lowered due to the need to replenish the herd after foot and mouth. Foot and mouth, meanwhile, was a problem because the government labs at Purbright could not be trusted with safety procedures. A vaccination programme would, i agree, be a far better option than wholesale slaughter.[/p][/quote]cattle testing standards have certainly not been lowered, cattle have to be tested at least once a year and if you want to sell them they have to have another test. yes vacanate the badgers but how do they propose to catch them and how will they know they have them all. sjc100
  • Score: 1

1:39pm Wed 23 Apr 14

DoctorGonzo says...

sjc100 the bovine TB test used on cattle is only about 70% accurate, which means cattle infected with TB are being sold on; this is how the disease spreads.

http://www.newsandst
ar.co.uk/news/cumbri
an-farm-linked-to-ou
tbreak-of-bovine-tb-
1.1128173

As JamesYoung states bTB was spread around the country during the FMD crisis in 2001 when testing was relaxed and animals were moved to new areas of the country. This then spread into the badger population.

Badgers are caught quite easily in cages as they are creatures of habit and are partial to peanuts, peanut butter of other bait. Once caged they can be vaccinated. Most badgers are not infected with bovine TB.
sjc100 the bovine TB test used on cattle is only about 70% accurate, which means cattle infected with TB are being sold on; this is how the disease spreads. http://www.newsandst ar.co.uk/news/cumbri an-farm-linked-to-ou tbreak-of-bovine-tb- 1.1128173 As JamesYoung states bTB was spread around the country during the FMD crisis in 2001 when testing was relaxed and animals were moved to new areas of the country. This then spread into the badger population. Badgers are caught quite easily in cages as they are creatures of habit and are partial to peanuts, peanut butter of other bait. Once caged they can be vaccinated. Most badgers are not infected with bovine TB. DoctorGonzo
  • Score: 3

2:11pm Wed 23 Apr 14

sjc100 says...

DoctorGonzo wrote:
sjc100 the bovine TB test used on cattle is only about 70% accurate, which means cattle infected with TB are being sold on; this is how the disease spreads.

http://www.newsandst

ar.co.uk/news/cumbri

an-farm-linked-to-ou

tbreak-of-bovine-tb-

1.1128173

As JamesYoung states bTB was spread around the country during the FMD crisis in 2001 when testing was relaxed and animals were moved to new areas of the country. This then spread into the badger population.

Badgers are caught quite easily in cages as they are creatures of habit and are partial to peanuts, peanut butter of other bait. Once caged they can be vaccinated. Most badgers are not infected with bovine TB.
how will you know you have caught them all for that to be effective how will you know where all the sets are to gain access to them, and also how can you state that most badgers are not infected, will you cull the infected one like the farmer has to send the cow on to slaughter that has proved positive
. foot and mouth was 13 years ago and since then animals will have been tested and alot of the older ones not in the herd.
[quote][p][bold]DoctorGonzo[/bold] wrote: sjc100 the bovine TB test used on cattle is only about 70% accurate, which means cattle infected with TB are being sold on; this is how the disease spreads. http://www.newsandst ar.co.uk/news/cumbri an-farm-linked-to-ou tbreak-of-bovine-tb- 1.1128173 As JamesYoung states bTB was spread around the country during the FMD crisis in 2001 when testing was relaxed and animals were moved to new areas of the country. This then spread into the badger population. Badgers are caught quite easily in cages as they are creatures of habit and are partial to peanuts, peanut butter of other bait. Once caged they can be vaccinated. Most badgers are not infected with bovine TB.[/p][/quote]how will you know you have caught them all for that to be effective how will you know where all the sets are to gain access to them, and also how can you state that most badgers are not infected, will you cull the infected one like the farmer has to send the cow on to slaughter that has proved positive . foot and mouth was 13 years ago and since then animals will have been tested and alot of the older ones not in the herd. sjc100
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Wed 23 Apr 14

iansedwell says...

More NFU propaganda published courtesy of the Dorset Echo.

Many good points being made above concerning a) the need for culling, b) the efficacy of culling, c) the bad husbandry of farmers for whom we are supposed to feel sorry.

Consider the following from "Effects of culling on badger abundance: implications for tuberculosis control", Woodroofe, Gilks, et al, Journal of Zoology, Volume 274, Issue 1, pages 28–37, January 2008:

"Culling is often considered as a tool for controlling wildlife diseases that can also infect people or livestock. Culling European badgers Meles meles can cause both positive and negative effects on the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. One factor likely to influence the outcome of different badger-culling strategies for cattle TB is the reduction in badger population density achieved. However, this reduction is difficult to measure because badgers, being nocturnal and fossorial, are difficult to count. Here, we use indices of badger abundance to measure the population impacts of two culling strategies tested in Britain. The densities of badger setts and latrines recorded before culling were correlated with the densities of badgers captured on initial culls, suggesting that both were indices of actual badger abundance. Widespread ‘proactive’ culling was associated with a 73% reduction in the density of badger latrines, a 69% reduction in the density of active burrows and a 73% reduction in the density of road-killed badgers. This population reduction was achieved by a coordinated effort entailing widespread and repeated trapping over several years. However, this strategy caused only modest reductions in cattle TB incidence in culled areas and elevated incidence in neighbouring unculled areas. Localized ‘reactive’ culling caused a 26% reduction in latrine density, a 32% reduction in active burrow density and a 10% reduction in the density of road-killed badgers, but apparently increased the incidence of cattle TB. These results indicate that the relationship between badger population reduction and TB transmission to cattle is strongly non-linear, probably because culling prompts changes in badger behaviour that influence transmission rates. These findings raise serious questions about the capacity of badger culling to contribute to the control of cattle TB in Britain."

So Mr Gould stop whining and put your's and your farmer colleague's house in order.
More NFU propaganda published courtesy of the Dorset Echo. Many good points being made above concerning a) the need for culling, b) the efficacy of culling, c) the bad husbandry of farmers for whom we are supposed to feel sorry. Consider the following from "Effects of culling on badger abundance: implications for tuberculosis control", Woodroofe, Gilks, et al, Journal of Zoology, Volume 274, Issue 1, pages 28–37, January 2008: "Culling is often considered as a tool for controlling wildlife diseases that can also infect people or livestock. Culling European badgers Meles meles can cause both positive and negative effects on the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. One factor likely to influence the outcome of different badger-culling strategies for cattle TB is the reduction in badger population density achieved. However, this reduction is difficult to measure because badgers, being nocturnal and fossorial, are difficult to count. Here, we use indices of badger abundance to measure the population impacts of two culling strategies tested in Britain. The densities of badger setts and latrines recorded before culling were correlated with the densities of badgers captured on initial culls, suggesting that both were indices of actual badger abundance. Widespread ‘proactive’ culling was associated with a 73% reduction in the density of badger latrines, a 69% reduction in the density of active burrows and a 73% reduction in the density of road-killed badgers. This population reduction was achieved by a coordinated effort entailing widespread and repeated trapping over several years. However, this strategy caused only modest reductions in cattle TB incidence in culled areas and elevated incidence in neighbouring unculled areas. Localized ‘reactive’ culling caused a 26% reduction in latrine density, a 32% reduction in active burrow density and a 10% reduction in the density of road-killed badgers, but apparently increased the incidence of cattle TB. These results indicate that the relationship between badger population reduction and TB transmission to cattle is strongly non-linear, probably because culling prompts changes in badger behaviour that influence transmission rates. These findings raise serious questions about the capacity of badger culling to contribute to the control of cattle TB in Britain." So Mr Gould stop whining and put your's and your farmer colleague's house in order. iansedwell
  • Score: -1

7:33pm Wed 23 Apr 14

radiator says...

As been said earlier cattle have to be tested before any movement and there are strict controls enforcing them. If Mr Gould is running a closed herd how is the infection getting in? Tb has been a big problem for years and before heat treatment of milk thousands of humans died through drinking infected mik so we have to be vigilant on cattle testing and trying to find a solution
The sooner a vaccine can be found the better for all as we consume thousands of tons of dairy products weekly and important to the economy of the country
As been said earlier cattle have to be tested before any movement and there are strict controls enforcing them. If Mr Gould is running a closed herd how is the infection getting in? Tb has been a big problem for years and before heat treatment of milk thousands of humans died through drinking infected mik so we have to be vigilant on cattle testing and trying to find a solution The sooner a vaccine can be found the better for all as we consume thousands of tons of dairy products weekly and important to the economy of the country radiator
  • Score: 1

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