On 31st May this year I submitted my Interest in taking part in the Strategy for eradicating TB run by a team including Sir Charles Godfrey, the results of which you will have seen across the media today.
This is my correspondence with them and my response to what has subsequently occurred.
My name is Bryan Hill. I am a cattle farmer and responding as an individual to your call for evidence to inform your bovine TB strategy review.
The right strategy for bovine TB control.
Twenty years ago, I gave up any expectations that science could solve the problem of TB in cattle.
Your current appeal would suggest my premonitions were well founded.
During these 20 years I have been extremely active in the pursuit of understanding the spread of bovine TB and seeking a solution.
I have been invited to farms to do wildlife surveys and assess the causes of the TB breakdown in their cattle.
These farms have been sometimes related to persistent breakdowns over 25 years, sometimes in
new outbreak areas and others were in clean areas wanting to know the risks of wildlife infections to their cattle.
The surveys have been made in 12 counties in England and 3 in Wales, on thousands of farms.
Over the years Ministry vets have invited me to large breakdowns.
Vets worried for the emotional health of farmers who have lost whole herds also have been known to call me , there being no other
constructive help on offer.
Suffice it to say that I have the experience and EVIDENCE of a sound track record of cleaning up breakdowns and keeping the farms clear subsequently.
If you are open about learning in order to produce a strategy for the eradication of bovine TB, it is not on two A4 pages that I can describe it .
It is on the ground that I will demonstrate it.
I offer you my services for one or two days to go to a breakdown in a low risk area and, with the consent of the farmer involved and his
neighbouring farms, I will give you a demonstration of, not only where the TB originated but a strategy and plan to prevent it from spreading
to his neighbouring farms.
TB is simple to control. With experience and the right tools in the box, TB will be a scourge of the past.
If you wish to take me up on my invitation you can contact me on my email address.
If you would like more information about me I have published a book which you can obtain
From my website: www.countrymansway.co.uk
Thank you for your response to our Call for Evidence, on behalf of Bryan Hill.
We confirm receipt on 31 May.
BTB Review Secretariat, Defra
Thank you for taking the time to submit your evidence on bTB control. We have analysed your contribution and are taking it into consideration in our deliberations of interventions to accelerate the bovine TB strategy and future priorities.
The TB Strategy Team
Sent on behalf of Sir Charles Godfrey.
Further responses were received, that they were coming to do an interview and would like to take me up on the offer of a demonstration, they also bought a book, the truth obviously didn’t sit comfortably and today Sir Charles Godfrey published his review to Michael Gove without taking the opportunity to explore an on-land experience of exactly how TB is spread.
Instead the review has gone back to the old failed rubbish of the KREBS trials, that has been out of date for the last 20 years. It seems to be Groundhog Day all over again and again and again and again. On top of this complete waste of effort we have a vet Dr Iain McGill, director of the Prion Interest group. Accusing the Government of lying and using false information to manipulate the results, but from I can read, Dr McGill is making wild accusations that TB is being spread to cats and dogs through eating raw meat as well as humans, I’d like to see the facts that supports these accusations? Sounds like scaremongering to me.
It seems like all parties are spinning facts and figures for their own particular agendas.
Vets and scientists like Dr McGill should have been alert 25 years ago when people like me were warning that after the badger protection act came into force, TB would spread out of control. Now instead of acknowledging their responsibility for their involvement in the spread of TB through their complacency they’re accusing the cull of not being effective when The Krebs trials through ignorance or knowledge were set up to fail.
They then do another cull on the same basis of cage trapping and shooting for only 42 days at the worst time of the year when food for badgers is plentiful and its almost impossible to find them due to dense undergrowth and expect a large drop in TB.
Through judicial review, people like Dr McGill and many other vested opponents, against any form of wildlife control, have done everything in their power to make sure the most effective tools are never used. Because they fear that when proven without any doubt that badgers are the prime cause of the spread of TB they will have to admit responsibility for their failings. Cattle are any easy target, and a lot more acceptable to kill than a badger, both ethically and financially.
He also states that the TB test is not accurate, in his opinion its only has a 50-60 % accuracy, well, if he’s a mind to think back to when Margaret Beckett was DEFRA minister with Ben Bradshaw, there was a probability of a imminent cull , I was informed by many vets that farmers were going clear from TB when they had been under TB restriction for many years, and they were concerned that the serum being used had been changed from a British produced serum to a Netherlands based serum. And surprise surprise before the cull was announced Mrs Beckett announced for the 1st time that TB incidence in cattle was falling and they had to halt the decision on a cull until they found out why it was dropping.
If he’s worried about the current skin test perhaps, they ought to go back to the original serum that was more accurate and effective and hopefully the change of serum wasn’t politically convenient at that time. I would be interested to know which serum is being used today.
In all the areas of badger vaccination I’ve visited the TB incidents in cattle has dramatically increased. All the new regulations and restrictions that Dr McGill & Sir Charles Godfrey are proposing will no doubt lead to reems of jobs and funding as the TB has always been a cash-cow for the science that has produced nothing and caused nothing but a financial bloodbath for those affected by TB.
If Michael Gove really wants a strategy to eradicate TB come out and talk to the people that farm the land, produce the food, live with the wildlife, produce billions for the country and generate 10 of thousands of jobs. put all your scientific papers in the bin, stop using the same failed rubbish.
So that Farmers can have the real tools to get the job done and all this rubbish can be a thing of the past. Be the minister that saves the British cattle industry not the minister that helped to destroy it.