Gapped Axe wrote:I'd be interested in your work flying in Australia on the Buffs
I have written a bit about the flying we did in Northern Territory on BTB (Bovine Tuberculosis) control for the Anti 1080 lobby but that is all. I will sit down one day now that you have prompted me Gapped Axe and write about the type of flying I was involved in.
It was interesting going from NZ where it was commonly believed that every wild animal we have here in NZ is guilty of spreading TB among our Bovine species whereas the Australians were absolutely opposed to such Ideas. Aussies plain scoffed at the idea that wild pigs possums deer and other wildlife were anything but end hosts within the broad picture.
Bovine Tuberculosis was just that 'BOVINE' tuberculosis and the Australians threw all there resources at what their own scientists told them would be most effective remedy.
The Northern Territory had a big problem with it being a vast land mostly unfenced with many thousands of domestic stock but a large population of wild buffalo and cattle. Many thousands of hectares were aboriginal reserves that carried a high number of uncontrolled animals. The country was a mixture of flood plain, lightly forested hills and plains and thick rain forest. Present were also deer, pigs, banteng, camels, possums, bats, and many other creatures capable of acting as 'End Hosts' for TB.
We mustered the wild mobs of cattle and buffalo into portable yards and what animals that were to be retained on farms were TB tested and the remainder trucked to the works. We aerial shot the areas after each muster to get what remained of the herds. There was a high incidence of TB in some areas 17%-25% far higher than any herd I had encountered in NZ.
Interesting approach from the Australians to the TB problem. Not once were they side tracked into blaming their wildlife and embarking on the scorched earth policies that we have here in New Zealand. Consequently even beginning with a far greater TB problem than NZ because of the vast unfenced spaces and the wild herds, by concentrating their resources on the bovine species and good movement control Australia was able to be declared TB free in 2008.
A recent Official Information Act request by, Waikato Regional Councillor Clyde Graff, turned up the interesting fact that using DNA tests it has been proved that no TB incidences have been tracked back to possums since 2009. The 2009 incidence of a possum causing TB is actually still in doubt. And yet the propaganda churned out for public consumption by our Government Departments make outrageous claims that possums are responsible for 70% of the Tb outbreaks in NZ.
It make you wonder doesn't when two fairly civilized country's like Australia and NZ with our cross culture exchanges that our scientists can have such opposing views on such an important subject. Now it seems our own scientists are more interested in securing their own jobs through the Government Funding program and now belong heart and soul to those who pay their wages.