Tuesday, 1 April 2014

TB from cats and dogs to children


We have been waiting for the initial reports of TB passing from pets to children to die down before commenting.

The reports have been a little confused and contradictory, with the British tabloids, to their credit, touching on some of the contradictions. In a wide ranging crisis we will just pick on the items that seem to have insufficient coverage and comment.

First, there seem to have been delays in publishing and some shenanigans.

Government has known about bTB in British cats for fifteen years, but gave it little publicity. There are signs that an old report was dug out of the archives and republished!

There was a feline outbreak in Berkshire dating back a year. The case of latent TB in the child, probably from a dog, was known about in November, but only published in late March.

Secondly, all the human cases had links to veterinary practices.

The cats seem to have acquired their TB when being treated. Commendably, the practice has said as much. The dog to child case is acknowledged to have a veterinary connection but no information is given.

Call for Reform

Now the writer has been emphasising the dangers to veterinarians and their families from zoonotic disease for years, not least the very serious Hepatitis E from British pigs. We did not expect domestic pets to emerge as a major risk.

In Britain, most small animal practice is dominated by young women, who are not going to be keen to take TB home to the young family.

They have the numbers, it is now up to them to use their votes to force veterinary reform from the top down by getting rid of their corrupt and dangerous establishment.

It is a veterinary crisis and we have not even talked about antibiotic resistant TB, badgers or cattle or the veterinary calls to slaughter all cats found to have TB, immediately.

This scandal has a long way to run.