World Dairy Summit: Dr Berry Talks of Tuberculosis Effects

GLOBAL - The World Dairy Summit, held in Cape Town this year, came to a close on Friday. Tim Bennett, DairyCo Chairman, was present at the Summit to hear a talk by Dr Elizabeth Berry on the development of tuberculosis.
calendar icon 13 November 2012
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TB incidence in cattle was very low in the 1970s. The disease started to increase again when laws regarding the protection of badgers was enacted, said Dr. Berry to the Summit.

The importance of TB eradication and EU compliance in the UK was stressed by Dr Berry who warned that exports could be affected.

Since protection laws were brought in (Badgers Act 1973) Badger numbers have increased rapidly. Vaccine development has been very slow and even when a vaccine is available European law will make its use problematical.

Also mentioned at the talk was how TB in humans has been reduced due to public health measures. In Africa where a lot of soured milk is produced TB can survive in the milk particularly in the first few days after production.

The TB test used around the world is difficult to use in developing countries due to needing vet skills and the need for two visits when farms are sometimes many miles away from good facilities.

Infection from cattle to wildlife in Kruger Park in the last decade has seen TB spread from cattle to the wildlife and it has spread from the south to now cover the entire park. Buffalo are the main susceptible species, but Lions have been badly affected as well.

It is believed by industry leaders that what is required is vaccine approval by The World Organisation for Animal Health to safeguard against trade distortion in the future.

Further Reading

Go to our previous news item relating to TB eradication and Badger control by clicking here.

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