Could vets manage Covid-19 better?

16 May 2020

Brown, R.

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I read the Editorial and the Debate article by Joe Brownlie and Dick Sibley in the same issue with some concern (VR, 18/25 April 2020, vol 186, pp 429, 462-463), which made me think about whether vets would manage the Covid-19 outbreak better.

First, Covid-19 is a human health problem.

Second, we are a profession deeply involved in a decades-old attempt to control a major – potentially zoonotic – disease caused by an infectious agent – bovine TB. In living memory we have also been involved in two large foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks. And there is no 100 per cent sure way to control Johne’s disease. So why should the government trust us?

Third, the matter of trust in partners you work with is crucial to government. For example, the government was told ventilators were needed, and lots of them, and now the clinical effectiveness of ventilators is being questioned....