Bovine Tuberculosis was introduced to the Southern part of the Kruger National Park many years ago when the section of the Southern fence was stolen by the local communities, and their cattle, which were infected with TB, as it is an exotic disease originating from Europe especially cattle. The cattle came into contact at that point with Buffalo in the Kruger Park, highly susceptible because it is an exotic disease, our wildlife does not have an immune response to the disease, which resulted in the disease spreading through the Kruger Park like wildfire, and of course it has jumped the species barrier as the preferred prey of choice for lion is buffalo. So up to this stage we have positively diagnosed Bovine Tuberculosis in buffalo, lion, kudu, bushbuck, impala, cheetahs, wild dog, a few others, baboon as well. Most recently we have had reports as well of a positively tested elephant for a human strain of Tuberculosis. Micro Bacteria and Tuberculosis as opposed to Micro Bacteria and Bovis. This puts a whole new spin on the hunting and exporting of game from the region perspective. So we have to treat every animal now as if they could be potential carriers or victims of human Tuberculosis as well. But it’s an interesting field because of the difficulty of getting rid of the disease. There are even murmuring talks of the varying TB endemic to this area now, which will then make it part of the ecosystem, which will allow us to not try and eradicate the disease but rather manage it as part of the ecosystem.

How would that be done?

Of course management from a veterinary level from governments side which would imply more strict regulations and the enforcement of the trade, as well as moving of the animals…


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