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I qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1990 and have spent my time since then working as a farm animal vet in the central south of England. During this period I have seen the TB testing requirements for cattle on farms within our practice area change from adults only every four years to all animals every six months (with premovement testing required before an animal is sold if it has not undergone a routine test within the previous 60 days), and the anticipation of a clear test, with the identification of an inconclusive reactor being a noteworthy event, changing to the frequent identification of infected animals. I have therefore taken great interest in the government’s plans to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and in the debate about whether culling badgers can have any meaningful role in achieving this aim. …
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