Vet Slams Naive Farmers for TB Complacency

The Times reported in October that a new method of bovine TB tests had found that infected cows have been living in large herds for years (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tb-test-reveals-sick-cattle-lurking-in-herds-as-farmers-warned-badger-cull-not-a-cure-cq9rzqpqm).

In the UK farmers test their cattle using the standard skin test. However, the study’s lead vet Dick Sibley told the Times that these tests are only 80% effective. The new, currently experimental, test found that some cattle which had passed skin tests were in fact carriers of bTB.

Mr. Sibley said that cattle farmers are naive in thinking that the badger cull will stop the spread of bTB. Speaking to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons he said, “Farmers will be going out tonight, shooting badgers, in the belief that it will solve the problem. It won’t … It is all about identifying infected and infectious animals.”

He goes on to say that culling, fencing and vaccinations were all part of the solution to ridding the UK of bTB. A conclusion which many reports disagree with.