Login Register

In my opinion: Urban masses unaware of grave risk posed by bovine TB

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 16, 2014

By Elizabeth Hawken, MRSPH Fraddon

Comments (10)

I found the article from Chris Rundle, (WMN April 2) to be the best I have yet seen on

the subject of badgers, and other animals and tuberculosis.

The problem that the UK has is we now have the third or even fourth generation that have no idea of where the food that they eat comes from. They are given to believe that the supermarkets conjure it up and place it on the shelves for them. How wrong can a human being be?

All food comes from out of the ground in one way or an other. Now that would be a horrible shock for the youth of today.

Tuberculosis bacillus is a very dangerous organism. Before 1950 many millions died from it every year across the globe.

When antibiotics were first introduced the bacillus was easily killed off. As a result all the isolation hospitals were closed down and the public forgot how dangerous it is.

Today because antibiotics have and are being overused by the medical profession, the TB bacillus will have become immune to all but the very strongest antibiotics.

Badgers with TB have always been around. If I remember rightly going back to the 1950s, when a farmer found a sett affected by the disease the sett and all the badgers in it were completely destroyed and the problem was solved at once.

The bacillus will be in the actual setts, so whatever animal goes into the sett will contract the disease. It is these setts that have to be destroyed completely.

This will not penetrate the mindset of people who live and work in urban areas, until their animals and even their children go down with the TB and their lives are turned upside down by this vile disease.

What these people see as wonderful creatures are prolific in all areas, urban as well as rural. They carry the disease wherever they go.

The big problem now is, and will get worse is that they have passed it to foxes, deer, and other wild and domestic animals.

It is not possible to vaccinate all the wild animals in the UK, and all the domestic pets, and all the farm animals – yet that is what will have to happen if this disease is not stopped at once.

Unless this government gets a grip this disease will cripple our food industry, as it has already started to do.

Is this country ready for a huge epidemic of TB? Just because some very vocal people see animals as things to cuddle, instead as what they are – dangerous wild animals which have to be kept under control. I do not understand why the medical profession is not shouting about this expected epidemic.

Read more from Western Morning News

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • mmjames  |  April 18 2014, 10:03AM

    The ill-informed 'article' is below, headed dandypeople | April 18 2014, 12:53AM

    Rate   -6
  • dandypeople  |  April 18 2014, 12:53AM

    Good grief, where do you start on such an ill-informed and sensationalist article. First of all I think the first confirmed infected badger was found in the 1970's. They may have existed before but it was unproven. On the other hand bovine tb in cattle has been around for much much longer. It is certainly true that the bacillus can survive in the soil for 2 years, that's any soil, anywhere, not just in badger setts. If you could pick it up just by going into a badger sett then every mammal could pick it up walking across pasture. They don't. Infection rates in badgers are very low (latest figures are from RBCT and are 9 years old, failure to test the culled badgers of last year means we have no newer data) and certainly not all in a sett are always infected or infectious. bTB can infect any mammal but numbers are low in all species except cattle. It is cattle that are the problem, they are the ones infecting the wildlife and that's all wildlife. It is not badgers that are infecting everything else. Badgers are just another victim in the spill over from cattle infection. Eradicate bTB in cattle and the infection rates in wildlife will drop as the cattle levels drop. The risk of catching bTB from badgers, other wildlife and domestic pets is extremely low. The risk of catching bTB from cattle is also extremely low. The risk of contracting bTB from unpasteurised milk is high which is why milk is pasteurised. There is no need to vaccinate all the wildlife as once you vaccinate the cattle the disease will no longer spill over into the wildlife. Since the government seems to be doing all it can to avoid vaccinating cattle then we can at least protect the badgers from this vile disease with vaccination.

    Rate   9
  • twigcat  |  April 17 2014, 5:20PM

    Does Elizabeth Hawken write for Dr Who? She should. I would watch this episode.

    Rate   7
  • Free2opine  |  April 16 2014, 1:04PM

    Quiz: Do you know where your food comes from? - BBC http://tinyurl.com/pzd9fvd How much do you know about where your food comes from? More than 27,000 children were surveyed by the British Nutrition Foundation - and the results suggest one in three thought cheese comes from plants! One in ten pupils thought tomatoes grow under the ground, and nearly one in five of you think fish fingers are made of chicken! ....and adults didn't fare much better!!

    Rate   -9
  • Pink_Diesel  |  April 16 2014, 12:46PM

    ///All food comes from out of the ground in one way or an other. Now that would be a horrible shock for the youth of today./// You really should get out a bit more - such as into a town.

    Rate   -2
  • Pink_Diesel  |  April 16 2014, 12:40PM

    I will never go to the countryside again! I may die! (Unless I wear my tin-foil hat)

    Rate   -3
  • Free2opine  |  April 16 2014, 11:30AM

    http://tinyurl.com/nq72fh2 THIS ADDRESS IS NOT AVAILABLE.....USE THE 2ND LINK

    Rate   -4
  • Free2opine  |  April 16 2014, 11:29AM
    Rate   -4
  • Free2opine  |  April 16 2014, 11:25AM

    " I do not understand why the medical profession is not shouting about this expected epidemic." Quite right.........send your concerns to :- "Department_of_Health@dh.gsi.gov.uk........there is a form on the website which is easy to fill in. I have done so, but, I have also included TB. in general, on that form. Tick in the space where it says "Do you want a copy of your email" otherwise you won't know whether they have received it, or not!!!!!

    Rate   -15
  • mmjames  |  April 16 2014, 11:17AM

    Great letter/article Elizabeth Hawken, needs to be sent to anywhere you can think of!

    Rate   -5