Letter from Mrs Ruth Burrow (J6)
I would be grateful if the following could be
brought to the attention of the Agriculture Select Committee as
a submission for TB.
It has been brought to my attention that a leading
UK professor in the food industry (Prof Hugh Pennington) is perplexed
at the adamant stand taken by government in proceeding with the
Krebs trials. A quicker alternative, using modern technology is
at their fingertips: namely DNA.
Through DNA testing of the badgers taken in
high risk TB areas (enough are being taken in the trial areas)
and also DNA test the TB reactor cows, taken in those identical
areas, the DNA strain could easily be identified. That would quickly
identify if the same strain was present in both mammals.
If proven to be the same strain, they would
then be in a position to predict how TB would spread geographically
by DNA testing badgers and cows in clean areas. The cows could
very easily be done, when routine blood testing was done, eg brucellosis
testing. As RTA badgers, are again being collected for testing
at Veterinary Investigation Centres, the testing of badgers would
not mean extra culling to accomplish this. Should the badgers,
in this supposedly clean area, be the first to show positive readings
to DNA testing, and if that same strain was eventually passed
onto the cattle, then the evidence would be conclusive, to illustrate
that the TB appeared first in the badgers, followed by the cattle.
Sounds simple, but I am not a scientist, just
a dairy farmer's wife who is sick of watching TB spiral out of
control, and all the "science" to prove any link, not
utilising DNA, to help answer the many questions that need answering
in relation to TB. Something has to be done, and done quickly.
12 September 2000