Monday, 1 July 2013

Food Standards Agency - Statement on TB risk from meat

Badgers, Bovine TB and Beef-Eating

Speedy badger!

Food Standards Agency - FSA statement on TB risk from meat

Having read several conflicting 'stories' on various sites, I thought it safest to post the above link to the Food Standards Agency, as they are the people who should know best.

Humans cannot normally contract TB by eating meat from an infected animal, it seems to be a case of those who have had the misfortune of contracting the disease were in close, prolonged contact with infected animals or else making a habit of consuming raw, unpasteurised milk. Pasteurisation was invented for a reason.

It should be noted that the sale of all raw cows' milk in Scotland is prohibited, so anyone buying, selling or otherwise supplying such could be charged with a criminal offence.

On the plight of the badgers, it needs to be said that there are fair arguments both for and against the current culls and I am not 100% convinced by either of them. And for the life of me, I cannot work out how, where or why a badger infected with Bovine TB would bite a seal pup, as reported recently. If, as the case suggests, the seal pup was infected by a badger bite, this would also suggest to me that similar could occur to any humans sustaining a bite from an infected animal - and badgers can bite! We love going out to watch them and photograph them but we must never overlook the fact that they are, after all, the largest relatives of the weasel family.

So - like most things, this mainly boils down to costs and costs dictate that the less expensive option in the long run for our tax-paying society is culling badgers that have been breeding with little to no form of control since The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 was enforced.

Here's hoping that our Scottish population of badgers continues to thrive and that TB can be eradicated without the extermination of Brock and Co. From the Scottish numbers I have crunched, I can't actually see the co-relation between badgers and cattle.

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