Tuesday, 24 August 2010

MRSA - The British female veterinarian duped

The 'antibiotics in livestock' row is coming to a head, worldwide.

The emphasis is moving from the farmer, with MRSA infected pigs to the, often MRSA carrying, veterinarian causing the problem.

The blunt message due the veterinarians is:

“If you will not behave, clean yourselves up and go get a respectable job.”

Drug pushing, hurting the innocent so badly, is simply unacceptable.

The legal basis for prescribing antibiotics to animals in different countries needs examining.

It’s odd that the crisis is coming to a head in Denmark, see Danish Minister Whistle Blows,where“veterinarians cannot profit from the sale of antibiotics.” One wonders how effective that prohibition really is?

There is always a way of laundering money, usually legally, if there is a financial imperative for doing so.

Although. we don’t have a full list of countries and regulations we can make sense of a complicated situation by ignoring the, often quoted but artificial, distinction between growth promoting and health preservation.

We can see a clear line from prescription without profit to more-or-less complete freedom for antibiotic sale without prescription:

Denmark – Britain – USA. Everyone else seem to fall somewhere in-between.

Then if you take secrecy, an associated subject, you can make another clear line from the “tell it all” of Denmark (although there has been self-censorship there too) to a heavy news blackout in Britain.

The USA is similar to Denmark in allowing and applauding free speech, although the propaganda from some of the pro-antibiotic US veterinarians would be regarded as outrageous anywhere else.

USA/Denmark – Britain. Again, everyone else falls in-between the extremes.

Put the two lines together and it is pretty easy to see that the place to make a veterinary drugs fortune, in complete secrecy, is actually Britain. The government in the shape of the agricultural ministry Defra encourages the secrecy, in fact, they are fanatical.

In America, it's so free and easy, you can’t use a monopoly position to make that much money, in Denmark you are not allowed to take a profit from dealing, or prescribing to be more polite.

In Britain, the vets have a monopoly and have to account to nobody apart from the taxman, who also keeps income secret, something not the case in some Scandinavian countries.

So there are some pretty big fortunes being stashed away in Britain, whilst the organisers are claiming to be whiter than veterinary white.

Do all British vets participate? Of course not.

The industry is structured to give practice owning vets, especially those handling livestock, vast annual  incomes. The non-partner, often female vets, get an adequate, but not an especially good salary.

The often part time female vets may be taking MRSA home to their kids, whilst their bosses make fortunes legally drug dealing?

The women vets are being taken for mugs and doubtless, as the crisis deepens, they will start start whistle blowing.

One can only feel genuine sympathy for the many young women who love animals, work hard for their degree and yet find, without realising it, that they have been recruited to help deal dangerous drugs for the bosses' profit.