Monday, 28 May 2018

Bovine Tuberculosis in France

Tuberculosis was detected in the French cattle herd in the 1950s and vaccination of cattle became obligatory. After veterinary checks, the  Fédération Nationale des Groupements de Défense du Bétail issued blue plaques saying "Stable Unaffected by Tuberculosis", to be fixed on the doors of the cattle sheds concerned. The checks were performed by (or for) the government vets of each département (county). Each healthy animal had a registration number and could only be sold with its ID card.


We saw one of the plaques on Saturday, attached above the door of a building between Charnizay and le Petit Pressigny. I assumed that it was 19th century, simply because it just looked like it, so was amazed when I got home and researched it to find it was relatively recent.

I was also amazed that as far as I can remember, I haven't seen one of these before. Judging by the number for sale on Delcampe and Ebay millions must have been issued.

In 2001, France was officially declared free from bovine tuberculosis.

4 comments:

  1. I've never seen that! I know I would remember as I would have been, like you, very curious. And we are surrounded by cows.

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    1. I think I've once seen a similar, but not identically worded sign somewhere else local, but it is curious that they seem to have largely disappeared from barns on to the second hand market.

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  2. And did they manage it without culling badgers? Not that (I imagine) there would have been many qualms about doing so if it had been thought necessary.

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    1. You are quite right. Badgers would have copped it if there had been any thought that they were contributing to the problem. Badger hunting is still legal here, and in my experience the hunts and their practices are thoroughly unedifying. However, the real reason the French succeeded in eradicating BTB was because they were prepared to vaccinate properly, thus saving thousands of cow lives and farmer livelihoods. I find the UK approach inexplicable and cruel.

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