Select Committee on Agriculture Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter from Mr T Appleyard (J1)

  I note that in the committee's coming sessions there is to be a badgers and bovine tuberculosis follow up.

  Many have taken movement of infective agents from one view point only. Of late we have seen mention of scrapie, foot and mouth, BSE, Creutzfeldt-Jakob-Disease and others. No one seems to be looking at transfer mechanisms as a whole and there is the process of isolation in each case for each problem. The starting point is with badgers and the end point is with cattle, but no one investigates the processes between these stages or if both animals have a common factor in that both are infected at the same time. No one seems to say why dogs distemper affects seals. Are they associated with each other?

  The mad cow disease is now highlighted but no one seems to ask how long this problem has been noted. There were certainly cattle before 1940 who wobbled about on their feet. They were slaughtered but nothing was said.

  No one questions if the problem is also associated with poor food hygiene and the fact that you no longer cook food but put it in the microwave heater. No mention is made of food which is only cooked on the outside and still shows red on the inside which comes on many food outlets menus.

  What we are not told is if the water that is drunk contains the problem. Water is certainly used from rivers for human consumption which runs through farm land and bore holes are used in farming areas for the water supply. Is it the same for cattle with bugs?

  It is known for certain that France, Belgium and Ireland have BSE problems so is it a world wide problem? Other infections are there also, but we are never told about them.

  Is the infection system just normal or is it being highlighted because we now know more about the subject, we want perfect animals and everyone is more aware of the problem.

  Has no one thought about the processing of the food after the demise of the animal and the lack of effective heat treatment in the process called cooking?

  Is bovine tuberculosis like all other problems which is noted at the final event and not in the stages up to this point? Can you take tuberculosis as an isolated case?

  I do not know if the above is in relation to the present sessions or for some future time.

5 August 2000

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