Martin Cox calls for Common Sense


Dear Jeremy Corbyn, Rachael Maskell, Angela Smith .. Lords Falconer, Krebs & Prescott,

It seems to me that by serendipity, you are now in the unique unprecedented position of being able to bring about a long overdue final end to this 45 year old saga. All it needs is a very simple precisely focused Written Parliamentary Question, both Commons & Lords, which of course requires a Written considered response :-

Would the Prime Minister and Minister agree that ;

  1. Since both the Welsh Chief Vet Dr Christianne Glossop and Minister Lesley Griffiths stated unambiguously in launching their current Consultation * on a “Refreshed” Eradication Programme for 2017 ; that they

Ruled out any further widespread indiscriminate badger culls; since clearly the spread of TB is entirely within the cattle population;

  1. It will be a betrayal of farmers if DEFRA Chief Scientists Drs Ian Boyd and Nigel Gibbens, and Ministers Andrea Leadsom and George Eustice;

Do not likewise rule out any further badger cull or vaccination schemes for England next year.

  1. DEFRA’s own Consultations * found that all the new herd breakdowns allegedly caused by badgers are in fact merely, due to newly infected cattle cases, No Visible Lung Lesion reactors hence unconfirmed reactors. The RBCT cull of 11,000 badgers had Nil effect on these unconfirmed breakdowns (ISG 2007), and Donnelly’s latest 2013 model found that the true badger contribution to cattle TB might be a mere 3.7 % , BUT the Confidence Interval ranges from ZERO to 100 % !

* Click to FIVE links below and background.

I would be more than happy to meet and discuss,


Martin Hancox, MA Oxon, ex-government TB Panel

The Contribution of Badgers to Confirmed Tuberculosis in …

Estimates of α; β; the percentage of herds expected to have TB infection newly detected in a year in the absence of transmission from badgers (denoted π(0)); the …

As Morse said, “Neglect of the obvious always leads to unwisdom”. So as regards the most pressing issue currently confronting DEFRA / & Bovine TB Wales, the spread of bovine TB, the answers are so simple that no-one can apparently “see “them .

And as regards the oft-repeated mantra that “Badgers as the main spreaders of TB”; 3 recent DEFRA * & the current Welsh Consultations on “Refreshed” / Enhanced cattle/ badger controls, have actually proved that badgers have never been the problem in the first place .

There have always been two types of reactors to the skin test :- the newly infected cattle which have No Visible Lesion in the lungs, so-called Unconfirmed cases , and later reactors which have reached the Visible Lesion stage. Traditionally, everyone has assumed that these NVL cases were “false positive” reactors and did not have TB. But c. 40 years late, DEFRA have finally now realised that these are merely newly infected cases.

So all the new Unconfirmed breakdowns supposedly “due to badgers” have simply been by bought-in NVL cattle. So, both the DEFRA and Welsh consultations now recognise that the spread of TB has simply been from High Risk Areas , through Edge/Intermediate Risk areas to the Low Risk Areas. The greatest risk that such local movement of NVL reactors will spread TB is predictably from high incidence to immediately adjacent areas : – Cheshire, Derbyshire, and Oxford/Warks. from neighbouring Worcs./Hereford/Glos.; and also from these reservoirs back into the High Risk Border area of Wales from Powys to Gwent.

Strikingly, there were only 40 TB badgers out of 584 sampled over nearly 2 years from the whole of Wales, and 37 of these were clearly spillover from the high cattle TB incidence, there has never been any widespread self-sustaining reservoir of TB in badgers, so badgers are not the problem after all. Between 1972 -1996, there were only 46 TB badgers out of 2363 sampled, half from the original Pembroke hotspot. The hidden reservoir of TB has been within the problem herds with chronic TB in hotspots all along, and a different late TB blood antibody test is the simple answer : ENFER, ENFERPLEX, IDEXX Ab, or RPA/ Phage for bacilli directly. Since cattle normally catch TB from prolonged close aerosol “contact” in barns, it has never been coming from badgers in the first place. Helpful, that both Chief Vet. Dr. Christianne Glossop, and new Minister Lesley Griffiths , have ruled out any large scale indiscriminate badger culls.


Martin Hancox, ex-government TB Panel, Stroud, GL5 1PT


Wales demands ‘objective evidence’ before killing badgers. Whatever next?

Wales has achieved enviable success in reducing bovine TB in its cattle herds without killing badgers, writes Lesley Docksey. The farming lobby is still demanding an England-style cull, but the Welsh government’s ‘refreshed’ policy on bTB remains firmly science-based and no badgers will be killed without ‘objective evidence’ of infection.

Alas poor Brock! The insanity of the badger cull

The lives of all the thousands of badgers slaughtered in the name of TB eradication have been lost in vain, writes Martin Hancox. The cryptic reservoir of bovine TB is the cattle themselves, and no amount of badger killing will make the slightest difference to the problem. Once we have grasped this reality the solution is astonishingly simple: improved TB testing that picks up all infected cattle.











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