November 2 2009 ~ Irish Trials to stop the spread of TB in cattle by vaccinating badgers is showing good results, according to the Irish Department of Agriculture.
The Irish Times reports that the number of Irish cattle affected by bovine TB has fallen by nearly 20 per cent this year.
"...The latest figures from the Department of Agriculture have also shown a significant fall in the number of "reactor" cattle this year up to the end of October. In areas where the department killed off the badger population, the incidence of bovine TB dropped in the cattle herds, but this has caused outrage in animal welfare circles. Badgers killed in the field trials carried out in areas where there have been high levels of TB in cattle have been found to have TB infection levels as high as 40 per cent.The figures reflect an improving situation in the 50-year fight to rid the national cattle herd of the disease which has cost the Irish taxpayer an estimated €1.5 billion and the industry probably twice that figure. (reader comment)
If the field trial is successful and subsequently a national badger vaccination strategy is adopted, the need to remove TB-infected badgers will reduce as tuberculosis levels falls in both cattle and badgers. However, it will be some time before the benefits of a vaccine can be seen, and it is envisaged that the existing strategy will remain in place for some time."
Comment Received Nov 3 2009Am I going mad Mary? or do I really read "NEW FIELD trials to stop the spread of TB in cattle by vaccinating badgers rather than exterminating them is showing good results, according to the (Irish) Department of Agriculture." followed by a statement from that same Department of Agriculture saying " it will be some time before the benefits of a vaccine can be seen". I approve of the comment on Sir David King's article "There are few oxymorons as oxymoronic as "Government Scientist"." Our sensible upright government has just sacked an independent scientific adviser on drugs for being independent!