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Bovine TB - A Way Forward

This video is 25 minutes long, was released in February 2010, and features the following people in the following order.
  • beef farmer at Gidleigh, Devon
  • Anthony Gibson, a former South West Regional director of the NFU
  • dairy farming husband and wife in Somerset
  • Dr John Gallagher, a veterinary pathologist since 1972
  • daughter of Dr. A. T. Bettinson, former superintendent of Didworthy TB sanatorium
  • Dr Paul Gillet, a former senior medical microbiologist
  • Andrew Cobner, a large-animal, veterinary surgeon at Holsworthy
  • Bryan Hill, a West Devon beef farmer and former dairy farmer
  • Richard Gard, a writer and researcher on animal and human health
If you would like a high quality copy of this video, a DVD can be ordered from the web site of the film producer, Chris Chapman. Google chrischapmanphotography.

The following is a thought-provoking alternative theory to why badgers were perturbed after Foot and Mouth. This extract is taken from an article written by Richard Gard in Reference 2.

During the spring and summer of 2001, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep in-fected with the Foot & Mouth Disease virus were slaughtered together with contiguous herds and flocks. Badgers thrive on grazed, well manured grassland. Typically there will be higher populations of badgers on land grazed intensively by cattle, with dung pats and short grass. Fewer badgers populate land grazed by sheep and the activity of badgers is directly influenced by land management, grass length and stocking density. With the slaughter of the cattle herds went the plentiful food source for the badgers, that matched their population, and so traditional badger communities broke up. Increased fighting be- tween badgers was observed and over the next two summers, as farming readjusted, the badgers established new territories but the stress had encouraged infected badgers to become infectious.

  1. Tuberculosis in badgers; a review of the disease and its significance for other animals. J.Gallagher and R.S. Clifton-Hadley. Research in Veterinary Science, 2000, 203-217.
  2. A field based approach to Bovine TB in England. Richard Gard. Taken from One Health Newsletter. Spring 2010 Volume 3 Issue 2.
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