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Bovine TB - BVA Parliamentary briefing

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Bovine TB is a complex infectious zoonotic disease of animals and humans. In this presentation BVA explain more about this disease, how it is spread and BVA policy approaches to badger culling. This was a presentation given to UK Parliamentarians on the 27th October 2015.

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Bovine TB - BVA Parliamentary briefing

  1. 1. Bovine TB BVA Parliamentary briefing Tuesday 27 October 2015 Sean Wensley BVSc MSc Grad DMS MRCVS BVA President John Blackwell BVSc MRCVS BVA Senior Vice-President
  2. 2. Overview • Bovine TB: what is the problem? • How bTB spreads • Controls: • cattle • badgers • other species • Government approaches across the UK • BVA position • Questions
  3. 3. What is bovine TB? • A complex infectious zoonotic disease of animals and humans • Caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis • Maintenance hosts: cattle, badgers • Spillover hosts: various mammals inc humans, deer, camelids, goats, pigs, dogs, cats
  4. 4. • Direct effects on cattle • Production efficiency • Indirect effects of disease • Business viability in face of control measures • Trade within and beyond the European Union What is the problem?
  5. 5. bTB: the problem All herds tested 3y Scot & Wal, 2y Eng M bovis tuberculin replaces M tuberculosis 4 yr testing FM D 120,000 herds 80,000 herds Badgers Act 1973
  6. 6. bTB: the problem
  7. 7. bTB: the problem Regions of England • High Risk Area (HRA) • Edge Area (EA) • Low Risk Area (LRA)
  8. 8. How does bTB spread? The Randomised Badger Culling Trial report (2007) established: •that badgers “contribute significantly to the disease in cattle” and •that “cattle-to-cattle transmission is also very important in high incidence areas and is the main cause of disease spread to new areas”.
  9. 9. How does bTB spread? • Transmission • Cattle to cattle • Badger to cattle (& vice versa) • Translocation • Locally • Greater distance • Amplification Spoligotype translocation Post FMD 2001
  10. 10. How does bTB spread? Critical control points • Translocation • Transmission • Amplification • Transmission • Amplification
  11. 11. Controls in cattle TB Testing •Routine •Pre-movement •Post-movement Risk based trading Surveillance Biosecurity Farm Health Planning
  12. 12. Questions around TB testing • Accuracy of the test • Frequency • Quality assurance
  13. 13. Controls in cattle • Cattle vaccination? • BCG (vaccine) does not fully protect any species • Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) test is not yet validated • Currently illegal in EU European Commission (2013): “Possible EU rules on vaccinated animals… to enter intra-Union trade…. [2023]”
  14. 14. Controls in badgers • Biosecurity • Culling • Vaccination • Other?
  15. 15. Badger control: Culling • Randomised Badger Culling Trial (1998-2006) • Proactive culling of badgers reduces the incidence of bTB in cattle herds • Net benefit 4.5 years post culling = 16% (Key conclusions from a meeting of scientific experts held at Defra on 4th April 2011)
  16. 16. Badger control: Vaccination • Injectable BCG • Not proven to protect from infection • Reduces the severity of the disease in infected animals • Test to differentiate is unreliable • No evidence of impact on bTB in cattle • Oral vaccine?
  17. 17. Badger control: Other Research: •Contraception •Oral vaccine •Humane whole sett culling methods •Trap- and sett-side diagnostics
  18. 18. Control in other species • Spillover hosts, eg: • Deer • Camelids (llamas and alpacas) • Goats • Pigs • Dogs • Cats • Control measures inc biosecurity, testing, notification, and compulsory slaughter
  19. 19. A comprehensive approach TB Testing •Routine •Pre-movement •Post-movement Risk based trading Surveillance Biosecurity Farm Health Planning Vaccination Culling •Targeted •Humane Research •Cattle vaccine •Oral badger vaccine •Badger contraception •Improved diagnostics
  20. 20. Policy approaches across the UK: England Regionalisation • High Risk Area (HRA) • Edge Area (EA) • Low Risk Area (LRA)
  21. 21. Policy approaches across the UK: England Cattle controls •High risk = Annual herd testing •Edge = Annual herd testing •Low risk = Four yearly testing •High & edge = Routine pre- movement tests •Post-movement tests •Targeted use of interferon-gamma assay (IFN-γ) •Defra consultation on increased cattle controls (Oct 2015) Badger controls •Two pilot cull areas (from 2013) to test method of culling •Independent Expert Group assessment of safety, efficacy and humaneness •New cull area in Dorset (from 2015) •Badger Vaccine Deployment Project to test deliverability
  22. 22. Policy approaches across the UK Scotland •Officially tuberculosis free • Decision Sept 2009 • Implementation Feb 2010 •Risk-based testing Wales •“Intensive Action Area” •Badger vaccination deployment •Cattle testing: Check Test Wales NI •Separate epidemiological unit •Cattle testing •Modelling a “TVR” policy = Test and vaccinate or remove badgers
  23. 23. BVA position: the ethics of culling Ethical review process •Ethically justifiable? •Scientific basis? •Feasible and deliverable? •Exit strategy? •Area of cull? •Cost benefit analysis? •Ecological impact? Ethical framework – the 3 Rs (reduce, refine, replace) Targeted, effective and humane
  24. 24. BVA position: Badger culling • We support badger culling as part of a comprehensive strategy provided it is targeted, effective and humane • We have withdrawn support for the use of controlled shooting BUT acknowledge there are different views with the veterinary profession • We have called for the wider roll-out of culling using cage trapping and shooting only, in carefully selected areas
  25. 25. BVA position: A comprehensive approach TB Testing •Routine •Pre-movement •Post-movement Risk based trading Surveillance Biosecurity Farm Health Planning Vaccination Culling •Targeted •Humane Research •Cattle vaccine •Oral badger vaccine •Badger contraception •Improved diagnostics
  26. 26. Questions? publicaffairs@bva.co.uk 020 7908 6340

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