The unexpected has happened again in animal health. Things go quiet, and all hope of ever dealing with veterinary crime, and the resulting human misery and deaths, departs. Then the light of real science and integrity shines through the darkness.
The French and Germans together, with the extremely critical Swiss, have started to move to stem the flow of antibiotic resistant disease from livestock to people.
The Scandinavians might still be squabbling, with the Danes in the dock, but now the heavyweights of Europe have started to move to get their veterinarians brought under proper control.
Incidentally, Germany seems to have only half the vets as the UK! How is that possible?
Die Welt, the top German paper, has published a series of stinging articles, naming names and exposing the vast profits that veterinarians make by selling antibiotics to industrial scale farming.
The more they supply, the bigger the discount from the suppliers and the more money they make. We are talking massive profits for endangering human health.
The major livestock veterinarians have every financial incentive to maximise the use of antibiotics.
Much of the information and the criticism comes from within the veterinary industry.
One veterinarian apparently even left Germany for England to avoid being involved!
That may have been a journey from the frying pan into the fire!
Anyway, here is a reference to help readers trace the story in Die Zeit.
"Continuously fabric by the doctor Without antibiotics, many animals would not survive until slaughter - a good deal for veterinarians BY CHRISTIAN FUCHS"
The writer was aware that discontent was rising in Germany and France and that protesters, usually other professionals, were working cross-border to get the sale of veterinary drugs out of veterinarian hands.
That won't be enough to solve all the problems, of course, but it is a necessary step to protect human health.
The Die Zeit articles and their content came as a surprise. We first saw comment published in English here, And now much re-published in the British media, reproducing comment supporting veterinarians from the German farmers' association.
Revered Paper Attacked For Antibiotics Prejudice28 November 2014
But, of course, it is very difficult for any farming publisher. They rely on advertising and you can see the huge share of journal income provided by the pharmaceutical industry.
Anyway, British veterinarians and dreadful Defra, Britain's appallingly corrupt farm ministry, will be well aware of the activity in Germany. They will not be happy. They still, improbably, claim that British pigs are free of MRSA cc398.
Maybe things are changing. The FSA, the closely associated British Food Standards Agency, stood their ground and published the results of the depressing campylobacter tests on chickens, naming names despite industry protests. (Tesco came out best!)
Food Safety and Public Health professionals in countries like Australia and Canada have long been highly critical of the performance of Britain's Food Standards Agency: in protecting human lives, in their secrecy and their grovelling towards an inadequate food industry. They also are asking some very interesting questions and giving some forthright advice to the consumer!
Read in full here.
UK supermarkets named and shamed over Campylobacter on chicken contamination