Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Viva! Biosecurity Investigation

We uncover what could be the real reason for the TB epidemic – and it’s not badgers

Biosecurity measures (disinfectant foot dip) were ignored

We have long suspected that Biosecurity failings at markets plays a much bigger role in spreading the disease than contact with wildlife. Biosecurity measures are put in place to minimise the risk of spreading disease on clothing and foot wear.

In March/April 2011, we filmed at three markets in and around the Intensive Action Area in Wales (where the killing of badgers will take place).

Welsh markets

As part of the investigation we uncovered the following:

  • Carmarthen market

    At Carmarthen market 97 per cent of people attending ignored a biosecurity measure (disinfectant foot dip) (only 7 out of 277 dipped their feet even though this goes against official advice and may even be breaking the law as they all entered areas that housed animals)

  • Whitland Market

    At Whitland Market there was no biosecurity measures in place as animals were unloaded, even though it was a TB/Red Market where TB infected animals are traded for slaughter

  • Whitland Market

    At the same market we speak to an Animal Health Official who admits she was left “seething” after observing serious biosecurity infringements (where tested and untested animals were allowed to mix extensively against guidelines)

  • Cardigan Market

    At Cardigan Market (which is inside the Intensive Action Area) we did not observe a single person dipping their feet (bar our investigator) – and we spoke to a man who admitted that sheep tag swapping is widespread (cattle tag swapping to keep high yield infected cattle is under investigation in England)

Our investigations in England have started to reveal a similar picture there.

Watch the investigation yourself and then decide: are badgers really to blame for TB or are they scapegoats? We think the answer is pretty obvious!