Sharing Kiwi TB control expertise abroad
Source: Animal Health Board
The Animal health Board’s TB Eradication and Research Manager, Dr Paul Livingstone QSO, has recently returned from an International Vaccination Symposium in Belfast organised by Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Paul joined delegates to discuss a TB vaccination strategy for wildlife in the UK and Ireland to potentially reduce the incidence of TB. The TB epidemic in parts of the UK is reaching crisis point. In recent years the UK government has had to decide between culling and vaccinating badgers (the main wildlife source of infection, and their equivalent to a possum in that regard). In the Republic of Ireland badger culling is already being carried out, with some success.
Paul attended farms, research centres and met officials throughout Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Ireland, to gain an insight into their respective TB situations. He heard of their intentions as culling and vaccinations went ahead as well as the impact funding has on their separate TB strategies.
He also met with Irish veterinarians to assess a comparative study on tuberculin that had been agreed between New Zealand and Ireland.
As a vet on the West Coast in the 1970s, Paul made the initial discovery that TB-infected possums were transmitting the disease to cattle. His pioneering work has helped design the TBfree New Zealand programme, which is regarded as world-leading.
More on this story...
Paul Livingstone talks to BBC Radio 4's 'Farming Today' programme as part of a discussion on TB control in the UK and abroad (interview begins at 23.30 mins)
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