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Pipe 2.

" The curious case of the dogs which failed to bark in the night "

On the contrary, Watson, you can see everything. you fail, however, to reason from what you see. you are too timid in drawing inferences ." Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Badgers cannot possibly be the problem : - As regards the three core indictments above:-

1. Transmission, 2. Self-perpetuation, 3. Cull effects.

Despite dozens of scientific papers since the 1975 start of the Maff/Defra Woodchester park study of the textbook endemic TB high risk badger TB population; not a single case of them causing even one herd breakdown in nearly 40 years (and scant cases of badger A actually infecting badger B ) !!

2. Transmission : - Cattle Consumption vs Badger Scrofula

Cattle TB is a respiratory "consumption " or "Phthisis" , just as in man, and is 100 % acquired by aerosol and prolonged contact with other cattle, particularly over-wintering in barns and yards , so tubercle lesions in the lungs and pulmonary lymph nodes (bronchials and mediastinals) (Liebana 2008); 130 hours of shared classes needed in a school outbreak .. you wont catch a cold from passing someone in the street with a sniffle , but will catch a bad dose of flu sharing an office with someone coughing and spluttering the bugs around (Think swine flu !). So a badger popping into a barn for a drink and snack of cattle nuts wont be much of a risk.

And as to badger urine on pasture, 99 % drains straight into soil, rest diluted by rain and dew, disinfected by UV in sunlight within days, so a cow unlikely to ingest the minimum dose of 1 million bacilli ie. 3 ml. of badger urine. IF cows were getting TB from ingested urine the lesions would be around gut as happens with avian TB or high dose unpasteurised milk (retropharyngeals and mesenterics , M' Fadyean 1910).

Badger TB in fact IS usually by ingestion, a dietary "Scrofula " as in man formerly from unpasteurised milk, so as also in pigs (Sus scrofa) starts in the lymph nodes around the mouth and gut ( particularly via the tonsils, to the submandibular nodes Cheeseman 1985, 1988; O'Boyle 1997-2005 ): - badgers foraging under point source cow pats infectious for up to a year almost guranteed to get TB FROM cows. However, by the early 1990s , 2 in 3 breakdowns were Unconfirmed, No Visible Lesion and M. bovis undetectable, cow pats "uninfected" , hence 2 in 3 badger culls embarassingly yielded NO TB Badgers ! Lesions in the lungs and kidneys are by secondary spread like a metastizing cancer .. why badgers and humans with advanced TB often have kidney lesions via local abdominal spread, very rare in cattle where TB is thoracic).

3. Self-Maintaining TB Reservoir

There is emphatically NO widespread Self-Sustaining reservoir of Badger TB "Out There" badgers have been a transient spillover host in incredibly small micro-pockets of TB at the epicentre of herd breakdowns all along with TB dying out when not topped up from cattle :-

GB, Krebs 1987 p.62; Irish Ulster RTA sampling Abernethy 2011, Four Areas Trial cull Griffin 2005; Corner 2008; and even in the detailed studies of Thornbury Gallagher 2000,Woodchester Park in individual clans , Delahay 2000, Shirley 2003, and county TB had almost died out before the flare up breakdowns on Exmoor and Hereford/Worcs in 1993, Staffordshire, Sussex. See Badger Section for details as to Transmission ; epidemiological patterns and numbers ..... Not Self-Perpetuating ..Three Lines of Evidence 2 A - 2 C:-

  • 2 A . Transmission , as noted above Cattle respiratory "Consumption" is from other cattle; Badger dietary "Scrofula" is from cattle, there is very little evidence of spread within badger populations !

  • 2 B . Patterns Epidemiologically . The archipelago of southwest badger hotspots of TB in Map 2 is an illusion, the discrete "islands" are just parishes where TB badgers found recently; and in fact micro-pockets of badger TB occur in a random scatter mirroring that of the initiating herd breakdown/s shown in Map 3, plus see Figure 6 (Krebs 1997 maps too). High Density badgers supposed to be why the southwest a problem area, but in that case why such localised "islands"; in Map 1 in the 1940s, neither southwest England or Wales particularly tuberculous , they became problem areas with the intensification of dairying from the 1960s onwards . And anyway, no link density/ TB prevalence, the highest TB levels in the lowest badger populations (Cheeseman 1981; Krebs 1997 p. 46). The islands are in fact pockets of highest density intensive dairying ; Map 2 and Figure 6. Cattle TB breakdowns peak before TB in badgers, as shown repeatedly eg. Jacks Mirey clan , Woodchester Wilesmith 1991, the Sussex , Staffs. and Steeple Leaze studies, and even the RBCT Wilts reactive cull study, bought in cattle a different DNA Spoligotype to the resident badgers (SE 3108).

  • 2 C . Very low numbers of TB badgers ; and infectious excretors superexcretors very little risk to other badgers or cattle

    • A. Far too few TB badgers; to be a self-perpetuating reservoir OR to account for alleged causation in culls effects :- MAFF Reports , 1972-1996 found a mere 4608 TB badgers amongst 42130 sampled (culls & RTAs). The worst cattle counties with the most spillover TB badgers; NB Wales , some 700 mostly Unconfirmed breakdowns , "Mostly Due to badgers" according to MAFF, BUT a mere 46 TB badgers out of 2363 sampled ,and None in TB-free Powys, until TB re-introduced post BSE/FMD when 25 % of RTAs TB+; CULLS.. Offaly just 141 TB + from 550; Four Areas just 286 TB + from 960; RBCT a mere 311 reactive & 1204 proactive TB + 1515 out of 11,000 culledfrom 1900 (See Figure 7).

    • B. Incredibly Few Infectious ie. Excretor/ Superexcretors : - Woodchester Park Four Cameo snapshots :-

      The textbook MAFF/DEFRA Glos. study area with supposedly High Risk "endemic" TB. An area of 7 with 22 core clans and some 300 badgers, details on some 4500 badgers over the first 20 years 1975-95, various figures of TB presence :-

      • B .1. Detailed sampling from 1981 including clinical samples from live badgers, latrine samples, autopsies of any found dead ..over 14 years, 868 badgers, just 128 infected , including just 41 excretors and 17 superinfectious ( c. 1 / a !); 89 (70%) occurred in just 6 clans, so little evidence of spread either within or between clans (Smith 1995, 2001). Indeed, peak numbers of infectious "excretors" in 1981, 1990, 1997, 2003 seemed to occur after herd breakdowns, with TB nearly dying out in 1984, 1993, 2005 (Chambers 2002; Delahay 2000; Shirley 2003; Woodroffe 2006).

      • B . 2. Striking , that shedding of bacilli was intermittent; seemingly c. 42 % of excretors self-heal back to non-excretor status, so among the 5 worst TB clans, 37 out of 61 were excretors only once . And whilst 1-2 excretors DID infect most of the clan in very artificial experimental conditions (Little 1982, MAFF Report 13); Chris Cheeseman remarked on little spread even when a "sputum positive Hoocher" present in a clan, and sleeping huddles in underground nest chambers:- very sick badgers may choose to live in outliers, and seemingly lung lesions often become "closed" or encapsulated so non-infectious as in man (BUT Unlike cattle) (Gallagher 1998); so very widely often just 1-2 TB badgers / clan .. 23 out of 32 study clans GB, 168 clans in RBCT ; and same in Four Areas trials (Olea-Popelka 2003; Costello 2006; Woodroffe 2009.. Details in Badger Section ).

      • B. 3. Little evidence of spread either within or between clans : -unsurprisingly, reclassifying the above 14 year figure yielded just 25 superexcretors in the 7 22 core clans : - just 19 "sputum positive "(Tracheal aspirate); only 13 bite wound positive. SO with so few with infectious saliva, little evidence of clan to clan spread either by bite wounding in territorial fights ; and over 18 years, only 7 of 29 superexcretors moved to a neighbouring clan (Rogers 1998). Surprisingly, everyone seems to have over-looked the most plausible badger transmission route .. sows with lung TB swallowing "lung pus" may infect cubs via regurgitation weaning of a semi-digested earthworm soup with M.bovis flavouring :- "Pseudo-vertical "transmission believed to be important !

      • B.4. Little evidence of badger to cattle spread either ; very little "Infectivity" Risk To Cattle : - Lung shedding of bacilli , swallowed and so concentrated in Faeces .. but 1981-5, just 12 TB badgers in study area, in 6 clans produced a mere 32 TB + faeces in 4023 latrine samples , the Sussex study yielded just 27 in 1064 ; and Staffs. just 13 in 541 probnabnly all from 1 terminally ill badger. IF badger Urine really is a risk to cattle, only 2 samples in the above 12 badgers the first decade at Woodchester, only 18 urine positive amongst 49 excretors (Wilesmith 1991).

        Corner 2012 found amongst 57 "naturally" infected Irish badgers, only 14 had VL lungs, so only 2 TB + faeces with under 100 cfu /ml ; and only 5 urine + , with only 3-93 cfu / ml . Gallagher 2000 too found very few cases with VL lungs, and even fewer shedding bacilli in sputum or urine. Chambers 2011, the 3 year VES Vaccine study near Cirencester, found 844 badgers in 55, but serial clinical sampling and blood testing identified just 18- 33 TB + in the whole area. And among 262 badgers in 64 clans, 4854 clinical serial sampling found a MERE 189 TB + samples :- tracheal aspirate 71; faeces in rectum 28; urine 41; bite wounds 40 so hardly a risk to other badgers or cattle. ISG 2007 study found a mere 166 superexcretors amongst 9919 detailed autopsies p. 77;and there were only 51 out of 1166 badgers with kidney TB (Jenkins 2008).

4. Culls work or make things worse ?

Three early studies reveal that TB was controlled by cattle measures, a flare-up, followed by control again due to cattle controls; so gassing badgers irrelevant afterwards .. Hartland, Steeple Leaze, Thornbury (SEE Badger end section; ALSO for more details of following Studies ). East Offaly, Eire, culling a mere 141 TB badgers from 550, cannot be cause of reduction in cattle TB of 91 % in cull area/ 53 % in control area, which had 3 times the number of cattle.

Four Areas, Eire, just 115 TB + badgers Cork, 37 Donegal, Kilkenny 59, Monaghan 75 = JUST 286 TB +, from 960 so an alleged drop of 51 - 76 % in cattle TB was in fact due to the cattle controls with twice the background TB in cattle in reference vs. control/cull areas (393 vs 193 breakdowns).

RBCT; The Whole 2010 Consultation Proposed badger cull/ vaccine pilots are based on the ISG's 2007 Report, Supposed Badger perturbation Increase in cattle TB in Reactive / plus outside Proactive Cull areas ... but this simply does not stand up to scrutiny; buried in the small print amongst the tsunami of statistics , since the ISG actually showed nil effects on accumulated breakdowns, as regards :--

  • A. Reactive cull areas :- culling a mere 311 TB badgers from 900 had nil effect since a year after culls ended reactive vs no cull areas p. 243, 356 vs 358 breakdowns; the rise happened before the cull anyway p. 109; also in no cull area DEFRA Report SE 3108 / Macdonald 2006; and was due to imported cattle with different DNA Spoligotype to resident badgers.

  • B. Proactive cull areas ..culling a mere 1204 TB badgers from 1000 had;

    • a. Nil effect on Unconfirmed breakdowns p.96, 101 ( "Elementary my Dear Watson", were caused by UNconfirmed cattle reactors !)

    • b. Nil effect on confirmed breakdowns either , a net prevention of just 1.4 breakdowns/ 100 triplet (+buffer = 1970, p.103.

Unbelievable :- The ISG persisting with the idea of Perturbed badgers making things worse, Interpret the AFTER Effects of the Proactive cull even going 6 years later to 2011, see Badger Section / culls Figure 7 Consultation graph ..but do not notice

  1. Cattle controls brought TB in both inside/ outside areas back to 0 in 2009;

  2. After another cattle rise outside to 38 % in The 2008 Jump ie. nearly as bad as start point (including tighter controls + pre-movement testing as in Cattle Historical section)
  3. In fact cattle controls had a greater effect from start point to 2008, in outside vs. inside area 70 vs 49 % drop.
  4. Logical absurdity , no-one has noticed, but larger territories of perturbed badgers inside cull area, plus immigrating badgers into vacuum area cannot possibly be cause rise TB in outside ring ! ; a drop in first 500 m anyway (ISG 2007, p.99).

Figure 6
Figure 7