See www.bovinetb.co.uk/forum_topic.php?thread_id=46&page=1 and www.bovinetb.co.uk/article.php?article_id=56 for information on the infamous Boxster case. This case has set a legal precedent and it means that any cattle owner who believes that the tests for bTB have not been undertaken properly can challenge through the courts.
The Judge did not accept Defra's expert's argument and came to the conclusion that a test not taken according to the rules is invalid. This sets a legal precedent. Any test not taken according to the rules can now be challenged....
Any farmer who has a problem with bTB tests that were not done according to protocol can scuttle off to court and use Boxster's precendent...Of course a farmer can have a sound legal challenge with a such a test. DEFRA were so desperate not to set a precedent..... instead they have created a dirty great big one.
Disposable plastic electronic sensor for diagnosing bovine TB
29 Jun 2014, 9:31 AM
The UK government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is funding a £1.1 million (€1.4 million) project to develop a disposable plastic electronic sensor for diagnosing bovine TB in a matter of minutes. CPI coalition
Announced on 3 June, the three-year project will see the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) work with healthcare companies Sapient Sensors and CompanDX; and the government agency Public Health England (PHE). Its aim is to develop a cheap disposable printed electronic biosensor to detect markers for bovine TB in the blood of cattle. At the centre of the new detector will be diagnostic sensor technology developed at Sapient. The main challenge for the CPI will be to transition this from its existing silicon format to a printed alternative. The project will include phases for both pilot and full-scale production.
Quick diagnosis The Sapeint technology is being evolved because current tests for bovine TB rely on a skin test. This requires two separate visits from a veterinarian and laboratory testing. It takes up to a week to give an unambiguous result.
The CPI's director of printed electronics, Jon Helliwell, says: 'CPI and the consortium are looking to develop an innovative solution for the testing of Bovine TB, which is one of the UK's biggest rural challenges today. The development of a low-cost, disposable printed sensor will revolutionise current testing methods and is a huge step in dealing with the problems that the disease creates.'
In addition to the time and cost savings, the quicker on-site test package will also allow better decisions to be taken to protect public health and protect the farming industry from the further unnecessary spread of this economically damaging disease.
A wider trend? Using cheap skin-mounted printed sensors to discretely gather information have already been identified as a means to radically cut the cost of human healthcare in the next decade. The technology would be readily adaptable to animals too, if an economic benefit could be identified, as it has been with the recent CPI led project.
In many countries, larger farm animals are already required to by marked with an RFID tag. In future, this could be augmented by sensors to monitor health, grazing habits, and other physiological factors like weight gain; to put an unprecedented level of data before the 21st century farmer.