Saturday, May 21, 2011


May not be the panic-maker it used to be.

The mass culling of cattle to control outbreaks of foot and mouth disease may soon be a thing of the past, according to scientists who have made a breakthrough in understanding how the virus is transmitted.A study has established a hidden "window of opportunity" between the point when a cow becomes infected with the foot and mouth virus and the time when she is able to transmit the virus to another animal.Scientists said that this discovery, combined with the realisation that cattle are only infectious for about a two-day period, means it should be possible to identify infected animals and eliminate them from a herd before they can pass on the infection. [More]
While I understand and agree with the draconian responses needed to control FMD, I can't help but wonder if the testing materials won't be priced right at the max-profit level where many farmers will elect to avoid detection rather than know for sure.

The pattern of reaction to this type to discovery has been to extract maximum shareholder value first. I have no real objection with that, but wonder if a longer term outlook might benefit both the test manufacturers and the livestock industry simultaneously.
If it is possible it will likely occur in the EU before here, IMHO.

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