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Appendix 1: Memorandum submitted by Martin Hancox

A - Cattle

TB is like "Consumption or phthisis" in man, entirely a (broncho-) PNEUMONIA, acquired via droplet infection (think swine flu !) by prolonged contact with other cattle over-wintering in enclosed barns/yards,or in milking parlours; exactly like other Pneumonias especially of calves, be they viral :-IBR, PI3, RSN, BVD; bacterial: Pasteurella, Mannheimia, Haemophilus; or Mycoplasma..the pleuropneumonias. Vaccination of calves at birth with rearing isolated from main herd is commonsense. The VLA trials abroad of BCG show up to 75 % effectiveness, and the DIVA test distinguishing vaccinated from infected cattle has been available a decade :- depressing that an application to the EU for approved use not made long ago.. already clear EU would regard such favourably (G.Watson MEP procrastination just like " novel" IFN testing; or FMD pen-side test 2001; Why not get on with it !?

Chronic Herds/Anergy

These are the pivotal problem underlying recalcitrant local hotspots : - 3 elderly cows non-reactor to skin tests ie. "anergic" caused 18 herd breakdowns or 10 % of breakdowns in the West Penwith (Lands end) study (20), so not surprising even this problem area went clear in 1985, with depopulation of a few key chronic herds (maps 2, 5, 6). Gopal's restocking study in northeast England found c. a third of breakdowns came from one Cheshire herd. With some 2000 herds currently been under restriction 10-16 years its disgracefully incompetent of DEFRA not to be tacking the matter urgently with different tests .. depopulation of very large herds, an uneconomic last resort. The active spreader anergic culprits could be found within DAYS using either and Antibody test or PCR :- Ireland routinely use the Enfer Chemiluminescent Multiplex ELISA ; the OIE have recently approved the IDEXX M .bovis Ab test. Cows with advanced TB may shed 38 Million bacilli/ day in 30 lbs of faeces (6a), so PCR on faecal swabs would provide a rapid resolution.

B - Badgers

"New Science "Shock .. badgers innocent .. any cull/vaccine hence utterly pointless (why shoot the messenger , miner's canary to cattle problem).

Rather depressing that the 25th October debate whilst very well-intentioned, was badly misinformed, both on Perturbation and vaccines, Irish already well advanced on an ORAL badger one; the 3 year Kilkenny field trial of a badger one just ended, but 500 or so badgers in 755 ( 1/ 1 1/2 vaccinated wont have made any difference to cattle TB (10 , 5 Dec. 2012 first results in Plosone e 50807 online ).

Absolute keystone/cornerstone to whole great badgers and TB debate:

Gallagher in Zuckerman 1980 p.86, 94 ... Cattle "Open lesion" infectious cases ; only 21 in 1000 reactors, 2 % SO ""In the context of the total bovine population, the number of cattle excreting bovine tubercle bacilli appears of no consequence in the maintenance of tuberculosis in badgers, and of very little consequence in its maintenance in cattle ". Thus , Having ruled out cattle, the self-maintaining reservoir must be badgers, and transmission one way badger to cow see Transmission box figure , inner cycle ; Cattle crisis ironically shows exact opposite is the truth Outer cycle .

Section 1 . Five main reasons why badgers are not the problem;
  1. Cattle is 100% from other cows Lesions almost entirely in lungs and pulmonary lymph nodes (bronchials and mediastinals ; Liebana; 6 a,b; 8, 15, 16, 19). Prolonged contact needed, one school study required 130 hours of shared classes to achieve transmission. Badgers popping into a barn for a drink and snack of cattle nuts wont "cut it"; besides, most badger barn visitations in summer when cattle out at pasture anyway ! Afraid that the widely held belief that cows catch TB from badger urine with 300,000 bacilli/cc is wildly improbable. Some 99% drains straight into soil; rest disinfected by UV in sunlight within 3 days, so a cow most unlikely to ingest the minimum dose of c. 1 million bacilli, ie. 3 cc of fresh urine .. amusing anyway, that special pleading of conversion of ingested bacilli to aerosol by eructation ie. burping of rumen gases is also implausible(8). Francis (6) was very clear, cattle do not usually catch TB from contaminated pasture, unless via un-composted/bio-degraded manure/slurry spread direct ; indeed dont catch TB until they enter the cowshed when first calving . Slurry risk, Maddock/Schellner, in 8,20.
  2. Cattle ARE major self-maintaing HIDDEN RESERVOIR OFTB (see cases below c =Sea, Confirmed level in Two pyramids figure ). Badgers are merely a spillover host, like dirty feeding pigs, wild boar, and locally commonest deer ; Sika Purbecks, Scotland; Red Exmoor; Roe Glos, Wilts even 1 Hants recently ;Fallow Chilterns, Hereford; 1 Muntjac Glos., and TB dies out when not topped up from cattle . SEE Section 2(3) below :- Cattle pose a risk to badgers.
  3. Cattle Crisis is NOT mostly due to badgers sinceDespite UNBelievably , according to farmers/vets cattle-to-cattle spread is UNimportant.. it is simply an explosion amongst cattle (Surely they must realise this in bad herd breakdowns with 1/2 to 3/4 herd affected ! ?);It was just about plausible that at the low point Map 2, with 100 breakdowns/a, and similar numbers of TB badgers ; badgers might be the hidden self-sustaining reservoir ; BUT SINCE spread way beyond the supposed tiny badger TB hotspotsin the southwest (maps 2 to 3-4 ).. badgers are not moving outwards by 10 km a year, 99 % die in their natal clan territory.
  4. Cattle controls alone have eradicated Cattle TB, WITHOUT ANY CULLS .Indeed, cattle TB shrank so fast to tiny southwest hotspots, hard to believe there werent some TB badgers left behind, but they did not cause delayed breakdowns.Cattle controls alone even suggested by ISG (p. 5, 147-9, 175). Penwith as noted above, the Isle of Wight / Anglesey / see maps 1 - 3. Wales almost went clear by the late 1980, tiny Dyfed hotspot;Scotland went clear with no wildlife culls although TB known in 1 badger, a few sika, roe, red deer. Ulster had a textbook scheme, got down to just 174 reactors in 1971, then prematurely went to 3 yearly testing so TB shot back up ..cattle TB halved since intensive testing post-FMD, badgers regarded as spillover host and not culled (17).Switzerland also clear, although the first wild badgers / and foxes with TB found there in 1950s, spillover from last cattle via eating roe deer carrion, found also in chamois. TB badgers now found where cattle TB not solved inSpain, Italy. Amusingly, the first TB badgers were in fact 1938 London Zoo, one at Whipsnade 1950s, maybe from Sika herd outbreak, Ireland didnt find any until 1985 since they didnt look. Cattle to badger spillover quite efficient, so TB badgers from 27 GBcounties, Leics next ?; and all 32 Irish counties.... MAFF dataonly 4608 with TB,in42,130 badgers sampled 1972-96 (RTAs +culls); some 90 % from 7 southwest problem counties.
  5. GB had a textbook; cattle TB eradication scheme ...(6b, 14, 17, 18,20). As shown in The Two Pyramids figure accompanying Reactor graph with corresponding Maps. The pathogenesis progression of TB (left pyramid) shows a steady rise in number and size of LUNG lesions, hence infectiousness. Annual skin tests find cases before they reach the more infectious stage with Visible Lesions gamma interferon IFN finds early cases , but a late TB antibody test is essential for skin non-reactors .

    Tests are simply missing a huge hidden reservoir of cattle TB :-

    Around a third of cows go temporarily non-reactor at calving (immune system damped down since calf is 1/2 foreign protein) (1 ; immuno-suppression may also involve BVD, fluke ,recent Liverpool study , AFBINI, Wilesmith); so Skin test is 80 % accurate, at best, but about a third of repeat tests are non-reactor too (65%); and so around a third of bad breakdowns WILL give repeat breakdowns within 14 months ISG p. 239. A.Conlan , Cambridge, recently suggested 20-50% of herds may have repeat breakdowns within 2 years 8). So there has always been a huge hidden Reservoir amongst cattle :-right pyramid. As clearly noted by Blood 1989; There are as yet no reliable tests to detect the poorly sensitized animals in the early and late stages of the disease which are the usual cause of recrudescence in herds that have been classified as free of the disease; . SO, the Other major hidden reservoir has been the unconfirmed cases with no gross visible lesions and too few bacilli to be detected. ALSO, minority of cattle may take 4-7 years to progress to reactor status .. including IR or inconclusive reactors .. SOTB appears seemingly out of nowhere (8 ). The Critical importance of unconfirmed/irs/anergic chronic herds , discussed in Section 2 c below.

    The eradication scheme had 3 main phases ..
    1. starting in 1935, the aim was to remove clinically sickolder cows with tubercular cough, emaciation, and often udder TB bacilli in milk smears, .. 24,000 cases in 1938, none left by early 1960s;sadly, the crisis now so bad, some udder TB cases now reappearing, pose a major risk via bulk milk to batches of calves... and to man via few greentop milk producers.
    2. voluntary testing with increased bonus for Attested milk/beef;
    3. having thinned out the problem, compulsory Area Eradication with whole country recruited by 1960 (14).

    Sadly, then at the low point with first TB badger in 1971, it was assumed, badgers not cattle were the hidden reservoir .. The Cattle TB Crisis took off from mid 1980s, see reactor graph .. and had many contributing factors .. too few cattle tested only 2 million/a 1988-94, contrast all 9 million in 1960; switch to longer 4 year testing 1993; drop from 240,000 herds 1960 to 90,000 now .. and herd size 1970 of up to 50 cows .. now 150 normal, 300 or 1000 not unusual ...the bigger the herd the more missed /test (8).. hence also herds subdivided with rented grazings so far more chance contiguous spread (Ulster study, suggested 30 % breakdowns due bought in stock, up to 70% contiguous ,McIlroy BUT Ulster odd in having small herds much subdivided (17); also southwest cattle population doubled 1964-74 Pout, with intensification of dairying which is most at risk of developing chronic status.

    Tragically;two very simple ;errors allowed the crisis to RE-emerge : -a failure to eradicate TB from chronic herds at the heart of annual testing hotspots (Map 2 ); then a failure to ensure TB did not spread back into cleared areas eg. by pre post-movement testing. Annual test foci have traditionally had a parish wide 2 year test ring fence (see 3c, annex E) and current TBEG; 2 parish wide firewall .. but TB simply spreads into this ring,builds up into bad breakdowns , and is totally irrelevant in containing outwards spread. Bringing 2, 3, 4 year areas back into annual testing is merely catch-up on spread; hopefully the new EU inspired 19 Oct. scheme from 2013 with 10 new counties may get ahead of the spread. Sadly southern Ireland made exactly the same mistake, after the 1965 low (Watchorn), so TB spread from high density southwest dairying hotspot counties , back to northern areas with new hotspot herd clusters (17).The four year intensive ERAD schdeme produced more than the usual 30,000 reactors, but estimated actually 60,000 reactors out there awaiting identification (17).

There were four major jumps in the reactor graph :

  1. BSE/Mad Cows peaked 1993, 36,000 cattle to be replaced, so spread especially by unconfirmeds to areas TB-free 20 plus years, Exmoor, Hereford,Thornbury, Jim Paice,noted ;- by 1999, over 50% of breakdowns were in areas TB-free 10 years (cattle or badgers !); Avon 15 out of 25 breakdowns , Cornwall 103 out of 139, Devon 54 out of 90; and "frontier" counties even worse Shropshire 4 out of 5, Derby 6 out of 6 & Staffs 29 out of 30 .. by 2004 DEFRA noted 6000 reactors in this new D/S hotspot (3c). TB in badgers absent until spread inwards by cattle eg. Derby, Powys.
  2. Foot & Mouth, 2001, a disaster, since lack of testing allowed TB to build up in herds untested 2 years + , hence bad breakdowns of 6 plus reactors went from 23 % 2000, to 42 % 2002, back down to 17 % 2005.. herds doubled 2000 to 2002, but reactors trebled England or fourfold Wales. Such bad breakdowns also seen at fringes in peaks 3/4 below.
  3. The 2005 peak or 30,000 was simply due to the previous autumn package with zero tolerance of overdue tests (26,000 start 2002); and bringing new hotspot parishes back to annual tests.
  4. The 40,000 peak 2008 nearly as bad as 1940s !; was again due to recruiting 2,3,4 year parishes back to annual tests, and Wales entire national herd survey : -hence they doubled from 2006 6000 reactors, to 2008 12,000. NB Cattle TB out of control, in fact, since the perfectly logical cattle peak 2008, TB has consistently been dropping ever since .. first 1/2 2012, down 2 % on 2011.

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Figure 4

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Figure 7

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Figure 2

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