Saturday, 28 December 2013

Controlling Antibiotic use in Livestock

The final paragraphs of a new article by Maryn McKenna,  about changes in the USA, also summarise the changes needed in Britain to tackle antibiotic resistance arising from livestock.

It isn't complicated, but real change hits hard at the pockets of the agricultural drug dealers. They fight viciously to keep their corrupt empire via their front organisations.

Reform is now inevitable.

It ought to be the young veterinarians removing the tired old bullies endangering the lives of our children and contaminating British political life with a culture of bribes, sinecures, gongs, harassment, disinformation and threats.

For sure it will be the young ones.

They wait in the wings to catch the tide of change coming from abroad. But it ought to have been Britain leading the drive to return to proper professional standards.

Anyway, the full article is here:

...The object lesson in changing antibiotic patterns is Denmark, which in 2000 made farm antibiotics prescription-only, and banned nontherapeutic uses altogether. It’S often pointed out, on the ag side, that Denmark had an increase in deaths among weaner pigs immediately after that ban was rolled out; but within 3 years, weaner pig survival improved and returned to where it had been before the ban.

What reversed the trend was Danish farmers’ understanding that it wasn’t enough just to remove antibiotics from meat production. What was necessary was to change the conditions in which meat animals were raised, so that the welfare threats which the antibiotics had addressed no longer existed.

That seems to me to be the lesson that meat production in America needs to learn, if the FDA’s intention to remove growth promoters is going to be meaningful. Simply reducing antibiotic use (if that does indeed happen) isn’t adequate; by itself, it may even be a threat to welfare. Changing the livestock practices that made antibiotic use necessary will improve animal and human health both.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Get a Vet's Approval to Use Antibiotics?

Tom Philpot has got the killer fact. He has spotted the loophole.

The changes in the USA go nowhere near far enough. Britain will prove that once their real figures surface.

Veterinary prescription and banning growth promotion have no impact, apart from filling veterinary pockets with gold. It may even increase inappropriate use.

It gives it a kind of dubious legitimacy and transfers control of the industry from the farmer to the veterinarian and their battalions of expensive lobbyists, cronies, hangers-on and excusnicks.

It becomes a tax on food supporting an antibiotic prescribing and supporting infrastructure.

And the kids, not least the farmers' own, get ill with antibiotic resistant disease.

Full 'Mother Jones' report here

Will Factory Farms Finally Have to (Gasp!) Get a Vet's Approval to Use Antibiotics?

-By Tom Philpott
| Thu Dec. 12, 2013 3:00 AM GMT

…"Of course, there's little distinction between giving animals small daily doses of antibiotics to prevent disease and giving them small daily doses to make them put on weight. The industry can simply claim it's using antibiotics "preventively," continuing to reap the benefits of growth promotion and continue to generate resistant bacteria. That's the loophole."….

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Responsible and Prudent Use of Antibiotics on Irish Pig Farms

The antibiotic resistance scandal in Britain is unraveling in front of our very eyes.

A very long and very frank article in the Pig Site from an Irish government veterinarian.

This is government level whistle-blowing, on themselves to an extent.  But that is pretty smart - getting ahead of the pack. They have worked out this scandal is not going away

Britain's dangerous state veterinary establishment will be grizzling and pleading for understanding shortly, once they find out that blaming someone else, preferably innocent, is not going to  work.

Anyway some of the items that took my eye:

"The level of antibiotic usage on a small percentage of pig farms is high."

"The prevalence of AMR organisms in pig herds is not as easy to quantify as the testing for antibiotic residues in carcasses."

"Does Ireland as a country have data regarding the use of antibiotics in food animals, and moreover on a species basis? The truth is we do not have such definitive data."

"The primary responsibility for prudent use of antibiotics in the pig industry lies with the small number of prescribers (vets) and the end users."

And this is the really important statement leading to very serious corruption right the way to the very top in both Britain (and presumably Ireland.)

"Many pig farms use the services of two or more veterinarians. Which vet prescribes and supplies antibiotics? Does the farmer purchase the bulk of the antibiotics from a vet who is not the primary vet to the pig unit, purely on cost grounds?

Legally, a vet shall not prescribe the use of a medicine for animals unless he or she has visited the farm sufficiently often and recently enough to have an accurate picture of the current health, welfare and disease status of the pigs on that premises.

Do pig herd owners fully understand and appreciate the importance of this statement?"

I do.

Anyway, be sure to read the whole of the article, here. It is the first of a gale of fresh air about to envelop British livestock farming, too.

Responsible and Prudent Use of Antibiotics on Irish Pig Farms

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Denis Healy, a veterinary inspector with the Irish agriculture department, explained the concept of antibiotic resistance and what pig farmers and their vets need to do to minimise risks to the Teagasc Pig Farmers Conference in October 2013...

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Double trotters - the old cast of Del-boy and Rodney - same story line

There have been many complaints in the UK over politicians reporting the same "good news" over and over again as if it was something new. Multiple reporting has become as big a fad as "Let me be clear about this..." inevitably followed by bluster and confusion.

What nobody in the media seems to have realised is that the pig trotter deal has been reported finalised many times before the Prime Minister visited China last week

Why do that?

Well, aside from the obvious political posturing, it helps keep farming criticism at bay.

Ordinary farmers paid to promote the far more controversial dodgy pig semen export deal - one that seems to give them little or no benefit and poses serious risks to both Britain and China: political to Britain, disease to China.

Even the monetary value of this part of the deal seems to have been overstated by the government.

We have no doubt we will now get some convoluted explanations seeking to explain the confusion. "Let's be clear about this..."

On the other hand they might just make it all secret.

Full Meat Trade News Daily report here

UK - Pigs ears, snouts and trotters for China
28 May 2012

China says Yes to British fifth-quarter

British pork will be on menus in China at last, following this week's visit by food and farming minister Jim Paice.

After many false starts it has agreed to accept exports of British pigmeat. The market is worth £50m much of it offal, trotters, ears and other parts of the "fifth quarter" which British diners do not eat.

"China is the most lucrative grocery market in the world and from fashion to food its rapidly expanding middle class has an appetite for Western goods," said Jim Paice.

BPEX chairman Stewart Houston is in China with the minister. He said this morning, "This is something we have been working towards for several years in close co-operation with Defra and the British embassy in Beijing.

"The process has been a long one but I know it will prove to be extremely worthwhile. Pork is the most popular meat in China and some of the cuts which are less popular here command a premium over there." The first consignment of British pork is ready to be dispatched by Tulip.

"The news of the clearance to supply British pig meat into China is the culmination of many months of hard work by the team at Defra, BPEX and the National Pig Association who have played a vital role in
securing this export business opportunity by working in conjunction with the pigmeat processing industry and UK pig farmers," said Andrew Saunders, director of agriculture.

"The commitment by China to use British pigmeat is testament to the quality and standards in place across the United Kingdom pig industry and provides us with an exciting opportunity to enter a developing

Defra is looking to use the experience of developing this trade deal to open up markets for other British products and services. This will be vital in the future work of its food exports action plan.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Pig semen exports to China - a massive PR mistake

For whatever reason, Compassion in World Farming has come out against the export of pig semen and trotters from Britain to China.

You can't ignore CWF with supporters like Joanna Lumley!

Well you can, but she has had the head off one Minister already on the Gurkha issue.

It still seems incredible that Prime Minister David Cameron has associated himself with this trade. If you are going to live by Public Relations, you can't afford mistakes like this.

The Daily Mail has picked up on the obvious joke about the fictional "Trotter International Traders", but it still offers plenty of scope for years for critics to lampoon the Prime Minister and Defra, Britain's hapless agricultural ministry.

Perhaps they plan to buy an old creamery to ramp up production?

Economies might mean government veterinarians travelling in Robin Reliants?

Comparisons with Del-boy Trotter and Rodney roles?

But jokes aside, the connection with doubtful products and dodgy dealing is clear:

Britain's pigs have been sick for years with the only export testing station closed through Circovirus contamination.

Britain should not be exporting semen, embryos or live pigs anywhere.

There will be trouble in Downing Street today, when Del Boy catches up with Rodney.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Cameron back from China to a new animal health embarrassment.

Britain's government veterinarians have been busy in the Prime Minister's absence.

Cameron is due back and by now will know he has been framed into endorsing British pig health in China.

That will cost Defra and the AHVLA dear: the rest of us even more.

Defra's AHVLA (Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency) have been ramping up their PR. Not that PR ever did more than cover up the zoonotic diseases spreading into the wider population.

The veterinarians still manage to praise themselves. They live in cuckoo land.

But you can spot the plot - admit the problems and thrust the responsibility, for a world scale disaster, onto everyone else.

We would not like to numbered among their cronies (aka "stakeholders"). It is the worst place to be. The money has gone, now the cronies pay the bill.

Actually, we agree with that. You do not give losers money. You keep taking it away.

Anyway the headlines from Britain's premier farming papers

Farmers Weekly here

National animal disease detection system tightened

Philip Case
Wednesday 04 December 2013 11:07

An improved surveillance system is being introduced to detect new and re-emerging animal disease threats in England and Wales...

Farmers Guardian here

AHVLA announces shake-up of disease surveillance system

4 December 2013 | By Alistair Driver

THE Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has announced a shake-up of its animal disease monitoring system that will see the closure of a number of its surveillance sites...

Britain's Prime Minister caught selling dodgy pig semen to the Chinese.

This is simply amazing. Is it a Chinese trap?

Britain's Prime Minister has just been caught red-handed selling dodgy pig semen to the Chinese. He was even bragging about it on Chinese and BBC TV

It has got to be. Cameron has just been comprehensively 'stuffed' by his own very corrupt Defra veterinarians.

The Chinese must know the true pig health situation in the UK. Britain's pigs have been sick for decades.

Everyone knows, except the Prime Minister and the people of Britain, and they are going to go crazy when they find out what has been going on.

The killer 'get out' clause is here:

"Though there is agreement in principle, it will still be some time before the deal is finally tied up as Chinese vets need to visit the United Kingdom."

The Chinese know exactly where to look to stop the deal and legitimately too.

This is the scandal of the century.

National Pig Association report here

Trotters trading success
December 4, 2013

News of agreement, in principle, to export pigs' trotters to China is a boost for the industry, says BPEX director Mick Sloyan.

The deal was agreed during the Prime Minister's visit to China this week and is reported to be worth £7.5m a year. China is already the biggest market outside the European Union for the British pig industry, worth more than £25m a year.

"The Chinese market is one we are especially keen to develop as it is the world's largest consumer of pork," said Mick Sloyan.

"BPEX and Defra have been working in partnership over many years to gain access to the Chinese market and the Prime Minister's visit is an important step in developing that trade even further.

"Though there is agreement in principle, it will still be some time before the deal is finally tied up as Chinese vets need to visit the United Kingdom."

The deal also included the export of semen and four artificial insemination centres operated by some of the world's biggest pig breeding companies in England and Northern Ireland are expected to start exporting fresh and frozen semen early in the new year.

Denmark - Human MRSA st398 up by 15 percent in 2012

Britain's corrupt veterinary establishment must by now be lying awake at night, every night. They are certainly not into damage limitation.

The world is going to fall on their heads when Defra, Britain's useless agricultural ministry, finally pluck up the courage to come clean on MRSA st398 in livestock in Britain.

Anyway you can read the whole disgraceful story on the British newsgroup,, searchable on Google Groups.

Ignore the stalkers and harassment. They have done nothing but delay the exposure of state protected crime for the past 13 years.

As always, read in full.

Full news article on Vaccine News Daily here

MRSA cases increase by 20 percent in 2012

Published on December 3, 2013 by Ryan Parrish

The Statens Serum Institut said on Wednesday that the number of reported methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus cases increased by 20 percent in 2012...

...In 2012, cases with MRSA CC398, a pig-related MRSA, continued to increase, and are now recorded separately. Doctors determined that this type of MRSA is spread differently. It is primarily seen in people who work with pigs and their family members, and makes up approximately 15 percent of MRSA cases.

A revised MRSA guideline was published in November 2012 and included pigs as a risk factor for infection. SSI expects attention to the revised guideline to increase the number of diagnosed cases of MRSA CC398...

.. In some cases, the bacterium goes beneath the skin and can cause life-threatening infections in bones, joints, wounds, bloodstream, heart valves and lungs, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

E.Coli 0157 - Scotland the worst in the world

The title speaks for itself.

We have long suspected that the animal health and zoonosis situation was much worse in Scotland, especially Eastern Scotland, and we have said as much many times and attracted organised stalking and harassment for the last 13 years.

We were certainly right in the case of E.Coli 0157.

Prof. Sir Hugh Pennington tells us Britain has the highest rate of incidents in the world, with Scotland the worst in Britain and North Eastern Scotland being the worst in Scotland.

Sir Hugh is Britain's top expert on E.coli outbreaks

This is our kids' lives at stake: not least the children of Scotland who are most at risk.

Obviously, this now is a very serious political and criminal crisis over veterinary corruption centred on Edinburgh.

This is the scandal of the century.

The full Food Manufacture report is here, Be sure to read it in full. Especially the penultimate paragraph.

Further information can be reached by using the search facility on this site or using Google Groups to search

Friday, 29 November 2013

Mystery remains over location of turkey MRSA outbreak

Our readers can never ever have any idea of how this feels for a an elderly couple living out their retirement in the country. 

A 13 year nightmare is over.

Britain's corrupt veterinary establishment are on the run.

The world wide impact is going to be massive, this is indeed the scandal of the century. Nothing will ever be the same again, in Britain, Ireland, Canada or the USA

Later, it will need calm sensitive hands. Now, it needs the tea chucked in the harbour.

Britain's corrupt veterinary establishment believed they were above the law. Alas, they are not.

They will not tell us the truth because they are frightened, as indeed we all would be, if we had been involved in the crime of the century.

Mystery remains over location of turkey MRSA outbreak

Turkey producers remain in the dark about the location of a low risk MRSA outbreak in East Anglia

Michael Pollitt, Agricultural Editor Friday, November 29, 2013 
6:50 PM

Specialist Norfolk poultry auctioneer Fabian Eagle says he has not been given any details of the country’s first case of low-risk MRSA in turkeys.
stakeholder group, said: “We’ve been kept totally in the dark. The AHVLA (Animal Health Veterinary Laboratory Agency) are keeping everything close to their chest,” said Mr Eagle. “I understand that the birds are safe to continue in the food chain,” added Mr Eagle, of the Poultry Farm, North Pickenham, near Swaffham.
The first case, which was found in a single turkey on an East Anglian farm, followed routine testing for another poultry disease. When this case of low-risk Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) was identified, further tests were carried out and two-thirds of the flock was also found to be infected. It was not found in geese on the same farm.
Officials from AHVLA declined to identify the holding and stressed that there would be more surveillance, full cleansing and disinfection once there were no longer any birds on the premises...

The twilight, loony land of our state veterinary service

It is good to see that some farmers now feel able to report the antics of Britain's State Veterinary Service.

Most can't.

They know perfectly well they would be harassed, either directly or by the use of Maff-Defra cronies and front organisations.

We feel for them. They have a vulnerable business to protect and, whatever the law, have little option but to 'put up and shut up.'

We were lucky, not commercial farmers and no longer in business, we promptly appealed to both Mr Speaker and to OLAF for witness protection and made it very clear to OLAF, the serious fraud squad of the EU, that we intended to continue to campaign for state veterinary reform in the UK.

This is, of course, the scandal of the century.

Full 'Western Morning News' article here.

The twilight, loony land of our state veterinary service

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Western Morning News

Once more, we're embroiled in gathering over 300 head of cattle from sprawling miles of moorland, to shove them through the race for yet another TB test...

Thursday, 28 November 2013

MRSA Christmas turkey superbug came from Britain

For the first time the source of a zoonotic disease outbreak is admitted to be Britain, and a serious world class scandal begins to surface.

Where can it have come from? How did turkeys become infected with MRSA st398? This strain is also called MRSA cc398 or pig MRSA.

It can't be pigs, Britain's government veterinarians insist that British pigs, almost alone in the world, do not have MRSA st398, despite having done virtually no tests.

What tests they did do, consisted of a few dust samples from the corners of sheds, years back, forced on them by the EU.

You can find the details by searching this blog (use the box above) or using Google Groups to search the newsgroup for the origins of this scandal more than 13 years ago.

Read the full Daily Mirror report here

MRSA Christmas turkey superbug came from Britain

28 Nov 2013 01:39

Experts investigating how poultry at a farm in East Anglia were infected have now ruled out any foreign source.

The MRSA superbug discovered in turkeys being sold for Christmas originated in the UK, it was revealed last night.

Experts investigating how poultry at a farm in East Anglia were infected have now ruled out any foreign source.

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency has traced it to a location in the UK, but could not confirm where.

It will raise fears that more farms may have been sent infected
turkeys and sold them on.

The AHVLA said: "We are working to trace where the infection came from and where it has gone to."...

MRSA turkeys: Why is it secret?

Not our headline but the Daily Mail.

It is the right question and one we can answer easily.

The government are prepared to sacrifice the poultry industry, and risk public health, to hide up corruption and incompetence in the management of the state veterinary service over the last fifteen years or more.

Not naming the farm, endangers the sales from all other poultry farms: indeed the whole retail operation at the crucial time of year.

Doubtless they will compensate any victims using taxpayers' money in secret with gagging clauses.

Full Daily Mail report here

MRSA turkeys: Why is it secret? Silence on outbreak is condemned by food industry experts 

Food Standards Agency and Defra refuse to name East Anglia farm involved

Have also decided to allow turkeys to be sold as normal for Christmas

Food industry experts have said it is vital consumers are given full facts

PUBLISHED: 00:12, 28 November 2013 | UPDATED: 00:39, 28 November 2013

Officials are under fire for keeping details of an outbreak of the MRSA bug in Christmas turkeys secret from consumers.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra, the food and farming ministry, have refused to identify the East Anglia farm involved...

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

'Pig' MRSA st398 found at English Turkey Farm

Turkeys were found with MRSA st398 in East Anglia a couple of days before the American Thanksgiving and in the run up to Christmas everywhere.

For the record, this is the official British government release on MRSA st398 in turkeys. As you can see, they have put the authority of five government organisations behind it, four with veterinarians from the same government pool.

They have thrown everything behind minimising the story. They must be really worried. 

As usual, they have refused to identify the farm. The birds are already in the food chain.

Britain must be the only country with 'pig' MRSA in everything but pigs!

Britain's government veterinarians do not look very hard for anything that might cast doubt on their competence or integrity.

Press release

Livestock-Associated MRSA found at a farm in East Anglia

Page history:
Published 26 November 2013

The risk to the public from eating meat that is thoroughly cooked is very low. The risk of catching MRSA from an animal is also very low...

Friday, 22 November 2013

After 70 Years, Antibiotics Still Work?

One can almost admire the veterinary determination to continue using huge quantities of antibiotics in meat production.

Determined, and doubtless profitable, but not wise.

Superbugs will mean that we will all pay the price of their refusal to face facts, backed by the hitherto overwhelming influence of the drug-dealing lobby. However, reform is quite inevitable in the end.

In their efforts, in America, they also confirm an important point: the much touted distinction, between growth promotion and health protection, plus treatment, is largely a sham. The bugs don't know why they are being swamped with antibiotics, only that they are.

The ASAS make the case for those of us, in state veterinary-censored Britain, insisting on veterinary reform and tight external regulation of both private and public veterinarians.

"Some say..." makes light of the seniority of the human medical experts complaining in Britain and elsewhere. The apocalyptic warnings of the England's Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies can hardly be discounted.

As always read the whole of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) board of directors statement, not just the quotes given below.

The full text is here

After 70 Years, Antibiotics Still Work!

Nov. 22, 2013 Source: American Society of Animal Science

Following is an official statement from the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) board of directors authored by animal scientist R.L. Preston.

Yes, we can be thankful that antibiotics are still effective in humans and animals since they were discovered over 80 years ago. The availability of antibiotics to treat infectious diseases is a medical miracle that has radically improved the health and well-being of both humans and animals, including pets...

...Some say we are closer than most of us realize to the time when bacterial infections can no longer be treated with antibiotics because of antibiotic resistance ("superbugs")...

...Denmark banned the use of antibiotics in food animals in 1997, except by veterinary prescription. In the five years following the ban, the total use of antibiotics in food- producing animals decreased by only 30%, because there was a 41% increase in prescription use. By 2012, veterinary prescription use in pigs increased about 115% and total antibiotic use in pigs was 80% of what it was before the ban...

During the five-year period, there was increased mortality in baby pigs and antibiotic resistance in isolates from ill humans increased from 18% to 46%. This is a real-time result following a ban of health (growth) promoting antibiotics in food-producing animals...

Thursday, 21 November 2013

HEV in highly exposed persons such as... veterinarians.

We always did say privately that we were British veterinarian's best friend!

Under respected, defamed, abused, stalked, harassed, threatened, ill-treated, but we were always with that burning desire to keep Britain's vetocracy alive, healthy and out of gaol long enough to apologise for their crimes against humanity and to begin the process of veterinary reform.

Regular readers will spot the reference to HEV and realise the alarming implications.

At the last count there were 23 references to the dangers of Hepatitis E on this blog, not least to veterinarians.

The full abstract is here As always read the whole.

Vet Microbiol. 2013 Oct 26. pii: S0378-1135(13)00491-4. doi:
10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.10.018. [Epub ahead of print]

Detection and characterization of potentially zoonotic viruses in faeces of pigs at slaughter in Germany.

Machnowska P, Ellerbroek L, Johne R.
Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Department of Biological Safety, 12277 Berlin, Germany.


Pigs can harbour a variety of viruses in their gastrointestinal tract. Some of them are closely related to human viruses and are therefore suspected to have a zoonotic potential. Only little is known about the presence of those viruses in pigs at slaughter...

 ...However, the GARV and HEV strains were more closely related to human strains.

The results indicate that enteric viruses, some of them with zoonotic potential, are present in pig faeces at slaughter. Application of good hygiene practice is necessary to minimize the risk of introducing these viruses into the food and to prevent virus transmission to highly exposed persons such as slaughterers and veterinarians.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hepatitis E and PRRSV in pig found

Yet again we see evidence of dangerous co-infections in pigs. The combination of Hepatitis E and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRSV) is very worrying.

PRRSV is common in pigs worldwide, often associated with Porcine Circovirus, and we know that Hepatitis E in association with pig farmers and indeed pork itself can cause very serious human illness.

Seemingly endless investigations by the human health authorities in England continue.

Researchers will find many references here to Hepatitis E and pigs - 22 at the last count. Please use the search box above for details.

The provisional abstract can be found on the Virology Journal site here

One case of swine hepatitis E virus and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus Co-infection in weaned pigs

Jingjing Mao, Yue Zhao, Ruiping She, Peng Xiao, Jijing Tian and Jian Chen
For all author emails, please log on.
Virology Journal 2013, 10:341  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-341
Published: 19 November 2013

Abstract (provisional)


Using various methods, we analyzed the cause of death among weaned pigs from a pig farm in Hebei Province, China. All 300 piglets (100% fatality) were identified as moribund, with death occurring within 1 month from the onset of clinical signs.


A single case exhibited obvious hemorrhagic necrotic changes with massive lymphocytic infiltration in multiple organs, in particular the liver, lungs and intestines. Dysplasia and lymphocyte deterioration were common in lymphatic organs. No visible bacterial colonies from liver and spleen were observed in nutrient, MacConkey, and blood agar plates. Using polymerase chain reaction techniques for this case, we attempted to detect a number of epidemic swine viruses in spleen and liver, including PRRSV, CSF, HEV, and PCV2. We found that this sample was positive for the presence of HEV and PRRSV.


We have detected HEV and PRRSV co-infection in one piglet. Severe pathologic changes were observed. The high mortality of weaned pigs which showed the similar clinical syptom was possibly a result of HEV and PRRSV co-infection, which has rarely been reported previously. We speculated that co-infection with PRRSV and HEV might lead to more serious problems.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Norovirus - the real reason the fabulous British NHS is collapsing

It was inevitable that one of the main reasons why Britain's prized NHS was on the point of collapse would eventually be exposed.

Every winter Britain's  hospitals fill with Norovirus cases, close wards, deal with extreme squalor and keep the dying from their relatives. They also wind up their PR machine to the point of idiocy.

We suspected the real source of Norovirus some years ago and the following was published in the United States to some acclaim and even an unlikely award:

We worked hard privately to explain to the cruise industry that their problems lay in the local water they innocently shipped on board at departure ports.

The record is all there to be found for those that need evidence.

Much later, we found that the municipal and local water suppliers did not check for Norovirus when supplying water to you, your family, your hospital or indeed cruise liners.

So, cruise liners are the ideal laboratory.

So are earthquakes.

So is the jug of water alongside your hospital sick bed.

It was inevitable that the unexpected would eventually hit the button to accidentally reveal the real reason why Britain's once fabulous NHS  is on the point of collapse.

A New Zealand Master's student Sonali Weerasekara and a journalist on the New Zealand Herald, Matthew Backhouse, pressed that button and they are due sincere congratulations. They will be famous whether they need it or not.

French Veterinarians Strike over Antibiotic Restriction

The British farming media usually report French agricultural strikes, blockades and civil disorder with admiration and approval.

Not this one though. This is the first report we have seen.

So, the first strike by veterinarians over government regulating antibiotic use in animals has already taken place.

The veterinarians certainly don't like having antibiotics regulated regardless of the damage to human health worldwide.

British government veterinarians don't show their hand so openly: they just have a nice line in encouraging their front organisations to bully, harass and attempt to intimidate witnesses to Parliament and OLAF, the serious fraud squad of the EU.

Full Pig333 report here, as always, read in full.

France: action by the French veterinarians


Monday November 4, 2013/ Ministère de l'Agriculture, de l'Agroalimentaire et de la Forêt/ France.
Wednesday November 6, 2013/ SNVEL/ France.

Last Monday there was a meeting in France between the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Ms. Marisol Touraine, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Stéphane Le Foll, and representatives of the National Council of Veterinarians and veterinarians' unions, during which the grounds of a commitment by the veterinarians for reducing the use of critical antibiotics were established...

...In spite of the agreement reached by the ministers regarding the withdrawal of the distinction measure, the French veterinarians kept the call for a strike scheduled for Wednesday November 6th. The strike, which is the first one in 40 years and that gathered an important number of veterinarians on the streets of Paris...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Denmark - Another new pig disease - NNPDS

More porcine diseases are emerging, and spreading, to torment the world's pigs and their farmers and endanger public health.

Some pose direct health risks to humans. Others indirectly endanger public health by their treatment with antibiotics creating antibiotic resistant disease spreading to human populations and endangering hospitals.

Obviously, something is very seriously wrong with modern pig farming systems.

But, it may not just be the farming systems, and may also be a result of the massive increase in live movements plus semen and embryos, domestically and internationally, over recent years.

Pig people travel more too: workers in Britain, Canada the USA, and elsewhere, are often immigrants. Veterinarians work across national borders too. Disease moves quickly around the world and the interaction between different diseases and strains can increase the problems.

This new pig disease, discovered in Denmark, and named New Neonatal Diarrhoeic Syndrome - NNPDS, is unresponsive to antibiotics.

The highlights of the abstract (Pig333) are given below, the full text can be reached here.

Microbiological, pathological and histological findings in four Danish pig herds affected by a new neonatal diarrhoea syndrome

06-Nov-2013 (yesterday)

Hanne Kongsted, Beata Jonach, Svend Haugegaard, Øystein Angen, Sven E Jorsal, Branko Kokotovic, Lars E Larsen, Tim K Jensen and Jens P Nielsen. Microbiological, pathological and histological findings in four Danish pig herds affected by a new neonatal diarrhoea syndrome. BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:206 doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-206.

Neonatal diarrhoea is a frequent clinical condition in commercial swine herds, previously regarded to be uncomplicated to treat. However, since 2008 it seems that a new neonatal diarrhoeic syndrome unresponsive to antibiotics and common management practices has emerged....

The results of the study supported the hypothesis that a new neonatal porcine diarrhoea was present in the investigated herds, since no known pathogen(s) or management factors could explain the diarrhoeal outbreaks. Based on the findings in the four herds the following case-definition of NNPDS was suggested: Non-haemorrhagic diarrhoea during the first week of life, without detection of known infectious pathogens, characterized by milk-filled stomachs and flaccid intestines at necropsy.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Superbugs in Livestock - America Mobilises

The benefits of a genuinely free press!

It has always been clear that the superbug crisis in Britain's livestock was not going to be exposed by the veterinary establishment or the trade media. Both are too directly or indirectly dependant on drug sales to do more than hinder or oppose exposure.

Britain's corrupt farming ministry, MAFF-Defra, was going to do nothing but sit on their hands, stitch together misleading statistics, issue self-congratulatory media releases and arrange or encourage the harassment of critics, not least witnesses to Parliament at Westminster.

It was going to be the mainstream media driven by expert journalists, outside Britain and almost certainly in the USA who would blow the worst scandal of the 21st century for Britain.

The American pig industry is now reeling from the constant undermining of pig health by Porcine Circovirus and the increasing devastation from PEDv.

Maryn McKenna, author of 'Superbug', correctly deduces that the time has arrived for reform with the essential prerequisite of a well briefed main media now hot on the trail.

As always, read the whole article.

Antibiotic Overuse on Farms: Is the Opinion Tide Turning?

BY MARYN MCKENNA 11.04.135:20 PM

It’s been a busy few weeks here at Casa Superbug — including some conference appearances, more on them later — so the first thing I’d like to do is point out some things that appeared while I was offline.
Notably: In editorials, three newspapers recently challenged the way antibiotics are used on farms and asked why we can’t do better.

Most important, because it has the biggest circulation: USA TODAY, which on Oct. 27 asked:

Want to ensure that miracle drugs can no longer perform miracles?

Then do what some physicians and industrial livestock farmers have
done for years: Overprescribe antibiotics to people, and use them
cavalierly in farm animals to promote growth or prevent infections
before they even occur.

The piece, ascribed to USA TODAY’s editorial board, is skeptical of
the FDA’s plan for voluntary control of growth-promoter antibiotics in
livestock raising:...

...A few weeks earlier, the San Jose Mercury News was even more blunt. in a piece headlined “Stop pumping farm animals full of antibiotics” and also written by its editorial board, that paper said:

When historians look back on our time, one question they’re likely to
ask is this: How could people have been so stupid as to cripple the
lifesaving power of antibiotics by letting farmers pump cows, pigs and
chickens full of them?

It’s a clear case of putting profits before people’s lives, and if the
FDA and Congress won’t act, California should show them how...

...The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif. made similar points with a similar call for action:

The nation’s food supply should not add to public health risks. Yet
the overuse of antibiotics on farms contributes to the growing
weakness of these drugs and the rise of treatment-resistant bacteria.
Congress needs to limit agriculture’s use of antibiotics in healthy
animals, as a public safeguard…

...It’s not uncommon for the op-ed pages of newspapers to feature calls for action. Op-eds, unlike editorials, are written by interested third parties. But when a newspaper speaks from the editorial page, it is speaking with the voice of the paper’s brand and the power of its circulation. Papers usually reserve that firepower for issues of real public importance. That three newspapers did that in the course of a few weeks suggests to me that public opinion may be turning against ag overuse of antibiotics for real.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hepatitis E in humans, pigs and pork.

There have been more papers published recently about Hepatitis E in humans, pigs and both.

We started talking publicly about the human risks from Hepatitis E in pigs more than six years ago.

That puts British government veterinarians on the hotplate yet again. We know there have been a number of cases in Cornish pig farmers.

You can find twenty-seven articles on this blog about Hepatitis E, going back more than three years (use the search function on the page) and many on the newsgroup (use Google Groups Search here).

PubMed abstract here

Vet Res. 2013 Oct 28;44(1):102. [Epub ahead of print]

Direct contact and environmental contaminations are responsible for HEV transmission in pigs.

Andraud M, Dumarest M, Cariolet R, Aylaj B, Barnaud E, Eono F, Pavio N, Rose N.


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) can cause enterically-transmitted hepatitis in humans. The zoonotic nature of Hepatitis E infections has been established in industrialized areas and domestic pigs are considered as the main reservoir. The dynamics of transmission in pig herds therefore needs to be understood to reduce the prevalence of viremic pigs at slaughter and prevent contaminated pig products from entering the food chain.

An experimental trial was carried out to study the main characteristics of HEV transmission between orally inoculated pigs and naive animals. A mathematical model was used to investigate three transmission routes, namely direct contact between pigs and two environmental components to represent within-and between-group oro-fecal transmission. A large inter-individual variability was observed in response to infection with an average latent period lasting 6.9 days (5.8; 7.9) in inoculated animals and an average infectious period of 9.7 days (8.2; 11.2). Our results show that direct transmission alone, with a partial reproduction number of 1.41
(0.21; 3.02), can be considered as a factor of persistence of infection within a population. However, the quantity of virus present in the environment was found to play an essential role in the transmission process strongly influencing the probability of infection with a within pen transmission rate estimated to 2 . 10- 6g ge- 1d-1(1 . 10- 7; 7 . 10- 6). Between-pen environmental transmission occurred to a lesser extent (transmission rate: 7 . 10- 8g ge- 1d- 1(5 . 10- 9; 3 . 10- 7) but could further generate a within-group process.

The combination of these transmission routes could explain the persistence and high prevalence of HEV in pig populations.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Defra Chief Vet"risked bringing the veterinary profession into disrepute." BBC

Something has to give, either the all-powerful British vetocracy or Defra's, Britain's deceitful agricultural ministry and it's in-house veterinarians.

The vetocracy, that's the self-regulating veterinary elite, are clearly worried about Defra and the pressing need for genuine reform.

They know that if they do not force reform, it will be forced upon them all.

The badger cull is just another issue that Defra, and it's predecessor MAFF, have screwed up and by no means the most important. Re-branding the ministry has failed to stop a long series of disasters and cover-ups.

The human health issues arising on a much wider front from sick livestock are the more serious risk to veterinary self-regulation and the future of veterinarians in Britain. A life without prestige, self-congratulation, patronage, easy money and endless gongs looks bleak indeed to their leaders.

It is very telling that it takes the BBC to break this story nationally. There is nothing in Britain's farming media yet, and what will appear will doubtless be behind password protection, watered down and vet friendly.

The trade media are in the pocket of the veterinarians and drug sales advertising. They would not survive if they criticised British veterinarians: they would get no inside tip-offs, no news and no advertising.

BBC report here. As always read in full

28 October 2013 Last updated at 01:23

Advice on badger cull extension challenged

England's chief vet has rejected accusations his advice to ministers
on the badger cull risked bringing the veterinary profession into

In official advice, Nigel Gibbens said extending the culling period
would help to achieve the earliest and greatest possible impact on
bovine TB.

But vets have questioned the grounds for the extension, saying it
risked spreading TB to badgers and cattle...

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

"It is the biggest food fraud of the 21st century"

Not our words, but The Guardian this morning opening yet another investigation into the horse meat scandal. Hard hitting stuff and doubtless justified.

Two governments paralysed by their own civil servants' involvement in, and tolerance of, organised crime. If they investigated properly, many of their vetocracy would finish up behind bars

Is it connected to the various animal health, superbug and zoonotic scandals covered here and on ?

Probably not directly.

It crosses in one or two places and involves some of the same cast of characters, but the horse meat fiasco is far less serious.

What it does clearly show is that the claims to transparency in Britain and Ireland are a sham, and that organised crime runs many activities in rural Britain, led by dubious deceitful Defra: Britain's truly atrocious agriculture ministry.

The British and Irish farmer is merely the first victim of state sponsored crime.

The full lengthy and detailed Guardian article is here

...It is the biggest food fraud of the 21st century; it led to the withdrawal of tens of millions of burgers and beef products across Europe and a promise from David Cameron that everything possible would be done to get a grip on a "very shocking" crime. However, 10 months on, the details of how horse meat came to adulterate large parts of the British and Irish food chain are still being kept from the public...

Sunday, 6 October 2013

USA seeking information worldwide on Circovirus including dogs

Fascinating insight into circovirus in dogs illustrating the potential value of the archives here and on the British newsgroup to the United States government.

The first part of this post on ProMed is familiar from my last post, the second is the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia seeking information on Circovirus elsewhere in the world.

"...I was wondering about the prevalence of circovirus in dogs or other animals in countries outside the USA, especially since this was newly found in pigs earlier this year [2013] in the USA..."

Of course, they might believe the 13 year barrage of stalking, harassment and defamation suffered by the writer.

On the other hand, they might wonder why someone thought it worthwhile to organise such an operation and what might be the purpose of fabricating material easily disproved by checking the official British government records.

Either way, they will find plenty of interest here on this blog or on the newsgroup. All my very extensive records, including much not published, save anything subject to the British Official Secrets Act, are, of course, available to the authorities in the USA.

Friday, 4 October 2013

"Dog-killing illness may affect humans" Michigan vet

And, do you know, she might just be right!

If there is any connection between Porcine Circovirus and human health, we have something potentially very dangerous, and probably to those most vulnerable.

Anyway, we can’t see a veterinarian saying anything like that publicly in Britain: the subject is taboo.

Circovirus certainly does not travel alone. It seems to prepare the way for other otherwise unconnected illnesses in pigs. Why not in man?

We have been writing about Porcine Circovirus under its many names and manifestations for thirteen years. This Michigan veterinarian is not the first to suspect risks to humans.

You will find many references to Circovirus and its dangers on this site, please use the search function on this page.

Be sure to read Kathy Lynn Gray's article in full here.

Dog-killing illness may affect humans, Michigan vet says

By  Kathy Lynn Gray

The Columbus Dispatch Thursday October 3, 2013 11:38 AM

A Michigan veterinarian said this morning that a virus believed to be killing dogs in Ohio may be what has been sickening and killing dogs in her state for more than a year.

And she said the virus might be passing from humans to dogs and from dogs to humans.

Dr. Lindsay Ruland said her clinic in Ann Arbor, Emergency Veterinary Hospital, has seen hundreds of cases of dogs with the symptoms attributed to canine circovirus: vomiting and bloody diarrhea, quick onset of lethargy, abdominal pain and severe inflammation of the intestinal tract.

“This is like nothing we’ve ever seen before, and I don’t know if it’s multiple viruses in combination or just the circovirus,” said Ruland...

...Ruland said the symptoms have shown up at their emergency clinic during the human flu season, beginning in August, and appear to show up in dogs whose owners also have flu-like symptoms. She said she and her staff have had flu-like symptoms after treating dogs with the symptoms.

She said human symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea and breathing issues...

...She said her clinic has seen 20 to 30 cases since August and had six dogs with the symptoms die in the last month.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Hepatitis E in Pigs and Pork - Wikipedia

It took years of evidence, and shouting from the rooftops, to get Defra, Britain's truly awful agricultural ministry, to acknowledge that they had a major animal and human health problem with Hepatitis E.

It will take even more pressure to get them to do something constructive about it.

Some of the more intransigent livestock veterinarians in Britain and abroad are still arguing the toss, but most are finessing their position as fast as is consistent with their dignity.

But, when Wikipedia, taken as the ultimate oracle by so many, has it, it has to be right or, at the very least, un-ignorable.

The full extensive Wikipedia entry is here

Some selected quotes on Hepatitis E:

"In the United Kingdom the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) said that the number of human hepatitis E cases increased by 39% between 2011 and 2012."

"DEFRA said that there was evidence that the increase in hepatitis E in the UK was due to food-borne zoonoses, citing a study that found 10% of pork sausages on sale in the UK contained the virus. Some research suggests that food must reach a temperature of 70°C for 20 minutes to eliminate the risk of infection. An investigation by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency found hepatitis E in 49% of pigs in Scotland."

Thursday, 26 September 2013

British NHS tracking down hospital C.Diff to pigs

For sure, this BBC report is accurate. The NHS and medical profession in Britain are starting to recognise the seriousness of the threat of zoonotic diseases, originating in animals, reaching the hospitals.

…Researchers said there was a growing awareness of animal and community sources of infection…

…"I think we're eating it all the time, probably from animals, and most of us get it and it doesn't matter."…

And from contact with animals!

…"But there is a growing feeling that community-acquired C. diff is equally important and there are also studies suggesting possible transmission to humans from animals. This has quite clearly been demonstrated from pigs to humans in the Netherlands"…

Obviously, you can’t be too clean in a hospital, but it does not address the underlying problem. People are vulnerable in hospital, and that’s all of us at some time or another. That is why patients are there, often under treatment regimens, making them vulnerable.

Merely using the words “pre-existing condition,” a frequent explanation, or an equivalent, does not excuse anyone. Much antibiotic resistant disease originated in livestock from the wild irresponsible use of antibiotics and was completely avoidable. 

But nothing was done in Britain due to the intransigence and greed of an over-powerful veterinary elite protected and pampered by government and their veterinarians. It is a very serious long running scandal, not least in pigs, that will have to be tackled.

If dangerous drugs, in this quantity and doing this much damage to human health, were sold on the high streets of Britain, the dealers would be hunted down, prosecuted and gaoled.

The hospitals are still not asking the right questions of patients:

"Do you work with pigs or pork?" 

 for example, and providing the right tests, accommodation and treatment for those that do.

The Dutch, and others, are way ahead and have been protecting their hospitals for years.

On a personal note, that’s all three of the human diseases mentioned under my signature for years, firmly linked to pigs, in major sources in the last few days. 

Alas, there are others: equally important, equally dangerous.

26 September 2013 Last updated at 02:17

Most C. diff infections are 'not hospital spread'

Most cases of C. difficile are not actually caused by the bug being spread round hospitals, a study suggests.
A team from the University of Oxford said "more and more deep cleaning ain't going to do any good".
Analysis of every C. diff infection in Oxfordshire for more than three years showed less than a fifth of cases had been spread between hospital patients.
Researchers said there was a growing awareness of animal and community sources of infection.
The gut bug is one of the most feared "hospital infections". It can be difficult to treat and deadly, especially in the elderly.
I think we're eating it all the time, probably from animals, and most of us get it and it doesn't matter”
Prof Tim PetoUniversity of Oxford

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Hepatitis E - Scotland - pigs - evidence of infection in 49 per cent

You can see why we have been complaining about Hepatitis E in British pigs for years,

- the activities of government veterinarians based in Scotland even when on duty in England,

- investigations of irregular activities by Scottish vets in England taking place in Edinburgh,

- and, indeed, harassment from Scotland over many years.

This could well become an issue in the Scottish independence campaign.

Don't forget a decade ago, pigs refused slaughter in Scotland were shipped south for killing with the comment "Let the English eat them if they like."

We don't thnk many people, either side of the border, would find that very acceptable.

So, independence or not, we are all going to have to take a lot more interest in government veterinary activities in Scotland and the state of Scottish pigs.

"Zoonoses Report
UK 2012
September 2013

...Infection in Animals

Hepatitis E does not cause disease in pigs and there are no routine surveillance systems  in place. The AHVLA investigated seroprevalence in Scottish pig samples as part of the  Chief Scientist Office (CSO) funded project investigating epidemiology and potential transmission routes of autochthonous HEV infection in Scotland. In this project, evidence  of infection (IgG) was found in 49% of pigs (Grierson, personal communication).

A pig abattoir survey will be undertaken in early 2013 (as part of a multi-agency project  with PHE, Defra, FSA and AHVLA) to better understand the possible role of infection in pigs on human disease incidence. Further detail will be available in next year’s report...

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Tel: 020 7238 6000
© Crown copyright 2013 "

Thursday, 19 September 2013

More and more Danes infected with MRSA.

This report from the  Technical University of Denmark, says it all really – the superbug in livestock crisis deepens, and in one of Europe’s most important pig producers.

Everyone else is not only owning up to a human health problem ignored by Britain’s hopeless state veterinary service, but trying to quantify and protect the population from agricultural excess and veterinary mismanagement.

For Danes, living as they do off a hog's back, that is a lot tougher than it would be to devious Defra: Britain’s infamous and dangerous agricultural ministry.

...“The continued increase in the number of cases of MRSA, particularly in people who are in contact with pigfarms, causes problems both for those affected and for the healthcare system,” explains Areahead, MD Robert Skov from Statens Serum Institut...
...Contact to pigs has been included as a risk factor for MRSA, and patients are asked about contact to pigs when admitted to hospital...
...Compared to 2011, the number of MRSA-positive pigs for slaughter has increased significantly: From 44% in 2011 to 77% in 2012...
 The full report is available here.

More and more Danes infected with MRSA bacteria

In 2012, 1,556 Danes were found positive with methicillin-resistant staphylococci - MRSA. This represents an increase of 20% from 2011. In fact, the total number of cases has almost doubled since 2009. MRSA bacteria are resistant to antimicrobial agents that are essential for treatment of treating life-threatening infections in humans...

...The figures are from the 2012 DANMAP report—the 17th time this report has been published. Each year, the DANMAP report accounts for the use of antimicrobial agents and the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in animals, food and humans. The organisations behind DANMAP are National Food Institute, National Veterinary Institute, both at the Technical University of Denmark and Statens Serum Institut. The DANMAP report is prepared by National Food Institute and Statens Serum Institut

The DANMAP report is available in PDF format at

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Pig-manure fertilizer linked to human MRSA infections

The story in America takes us to yet another familiar scandal gathering strength and another dereliction of duty by those paid to protect public health in Britain.

The problem has been understood for years, but Defra's careful culturing and management of the media, largely kept it from public view in Britain. It is another case of state PR gone potty. You cannot treat zoonotic disease with bullying, favouring cronies and slick public relations.

Now, American and the international media reports threaten to break through a carefully managed wall of silence and disinformation in Britain.

You will find many references to MRSA and pigs on this site, and on the newsgroup dating back years.

Just a couple of headlines:

from 'Nature' here.

Pig-manure fertilizer linked to human MRSA infections 

Living near livestock farms and manure-treated fields associated with higher rates of antibiotic-resistant infection.

16 September 2013

Pigs on industrial farms are known to harbour antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

People living near pig farms or agricultural fields fertilized with pig manure are more likely to become infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, according to a paper published today in JAMA Internal Medicine...

From 'USA Today' here.

Community-spread MRSA infections related to pig manure

Liz Szabo, USA TODAY 4:07 p.m. EDT September 16, 2013

Living near pig farms or where pig manure is used increases the risk of superbug infections, a new study says...