If a cow tests positive for BTB in this country then it is slaughtered immediately and restrictions are placed on the whole herd on the farm, they can't be moved or sold for 3 months. The whole herd is then tested again and again until they are cleared. The meat cannot enter any food chain.
There is a vaccine for BTB but farmers won't use it as there is no test to distinguish between the vaccine and actual BTB, the reaction is the same. So the above restrictions would apply.
We have real problems in determining the vector in transmitting BTB. Most farmers blame badgers and we have started to introduce highly controversial badger culls in some areas to see if less badgers has any affect on the spread.
I would be really interested in any research that can stop the needless slaughter, both of badgers and cattle.
While I understand, I think that EU goes over the top sometimes. You should see how EU restrictions on the farming area around northern botswana has resulted in environmental disasters here. Really is sad!
First world has this knack for this sort of thing!
Quick few facts (from courses in KNP and discussions with folk in the know):
Buffalo are the main reservoir of BTB in KNP since getting it from infected cattle on the borders of the park in the south back in the 50s. They have now spread it right through the park.
In general buffalo do not get sick from BTB, but they pass it on to other animals which do (Lions, kudu, bushbuck, etc)
Lions are eating raw meat....if the meat is cooked it should be OK for human consumption.
Many animal diseases might make the animal lose condition rather than kill it.....that is what happens with things like foot and mouth. It means the animal is useless for farming/butchering as it will have little meat or yield little milk for example. The effect is largely economic, but that is why they cull infected domestic animals.
I suspect they are wanting to see just what effect the BTB is having on the infected buffalo and the only way to do this is by autopsy. They have said they are looking at animals that have already been monitored, so they already will have some facts and figures to compare with the results of the autopsy.
...I have to question the fact that buffaloes dont get sick while lions, kudu etc do?
Kudu is yet another species which has absolutely taken over areas it wasnt as prevalent in in the past. Numbers were low in the 90's. I recall 4000 for the whole park. Now they are at least double that.
And why do we see these awfully weak buffalo which look to be prime examples of TB wasting away? Are you saying this isnt TB affecting the buffalo? Ive heard buffalo are great vectors of the disease but I thought they died too. Same with other species. Ag soo many questions, but great topic