Thursday, 9 August 2012

Schmallenberg Virus: Discrepancies In Britain

Given the well documented veterinary habit of faking tests and covering their tracks, how do we, or they, know that the flock was clean at the first test?

In fact, we now know the RVC farm had some animals carrying antibodies in March, but we do not recall this making the news.

We didn't know and letting veterinarians regulate themselves, perfectly illustrates the dangers of not clamping down on veterinary test and documentary fraud.

Corrupt vets are more dangerous and expensive than no vets. We know there are plenty of dubious vets in circulation; the RCVS let a large group off from faking documents, with a slap on the wrist, in Northern Ireland a few years ago.

The writer has witnessed several incidents, some just low level fraud.

Veterinary self-regulation does not work and the industry is a pompous self-promoting gravy train pumped up by PR covering their failures.

Anyway, on the assumption they are right about Schmallenberg it is bad, on the assumption that they are wrong, it is still bad, and the difference may matter.

These people are not reliable and reporting the State Veterinary Service to the House of Commons for faking it up in a previous epidemic merely brought disgraceful intimidation organised by senior veterinary civil servants.

That takes common veterinary fraudsters into much more serious constitutional and organised  international scale crime.

You notice that test results in June have not been made public until August. Why the delay?  Incidentally, the more often we read this report, the more one realises that they have been keeping sensitive information from the public gaze - the alpacas for example.

If you think back the BBC was reporting Schmallenberg in pigs and the Dutch government insisted Britain had a goat farm infected for weeks. Defra allowed or were unable to correct those reports.

On inadequate information, this looks like another cover-up that they have been forced to abandon. The delay has been while they went into solemn conclave to decide how to at best present or more cynically to change their story.

Information from Britain's vetocracy is always inadequate. Keeping everyone else in the dark is their first line of defence. We seem to be the only country with permission from the EU, not to disclose the names and exact locations of infected farms.

Why? Was it because one belonged to the Royal Veterinary College?

BBC report here

7 August 2012 Last updated at 15:35
Schmallenberg virus 'may spread across UK'

 By Richard BlackEnvironment correspondent, BBC News

...Schmallenberg virus is present in the UK this summer and could
spread throughout the country, scientists say.

Staff from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and Institute for Animal
Health (IAH) found the virus in animals on the RVC's farm in
Hertfordshire in June.

The scientists say this proves the midge-borne virus survived the
winter, and will spread as midge numbers rise...

...Since its first detection in the UK in January, cases have been
documented on 276 farms, mostly in the south and east of England,
Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens told reporters at a briefing in

However, many infections are missed because the symptoms in cows are
mild, while infected sheep often show no signs at all...

...Animals on the RVC farm were initially tested in March for
antibodies to the virus, which would show they had been infected at
some point...

..."We found low numbers of animals in March - 4% of cattle, none with
clinical signs, and 1.5% of sheep," said John Fishwick, head of dairy
herd medicine at the college.

"We also found two of our 10 alpacas had it as well, though none
showed clinical signs - we believe this is the first time it's been
found in alpacas....

..."We tested everything in June again and found that one cow had
shown signs of developing antibodies, and two sheep - these are very
small numbers, but it is evidence that the virus is circulating."