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A young lad is forced to slaughter his pet cow because of the current bovine TB policy.  read more...read more...
A 33 year old farmer and father of two in Shrophsire was killed by a bull as he tested cattle for bTB. He was conducting routine bTB testing on cows at Ashwood Farm in Whitchurch on 3 December 2013 when he was fatally injured by a bull  read more...read more...
There is such a focus on badgers that the fact that bovine TB is a cattle based problem has been set on one side. History has shown us that the incidence of TB in cattle can be brought down to a very low level by cattle based measures alone. Add to this the vaccination of badgers in hot spot areas and even their implication can be dealt with.  read more...read more...
Looking at some of the anti cull websites and having kept a close eye on media reports during the trial culls that have recently finished in Gloucestershire and Somerset, it would seem that if the culling is rolled out into other areas the level of opposition is not going to get less and could even worsen, meaning that policing costs alone (paid for from public funds) are going to be exorbitant.  read more...read more...
This article is a summary of the significant legal proceedings relating to incidents re cattle and bovine TB.  read more...read more...
In this well researched article by Mike Rendle he poses this question: 'Are badger infections following, not leading, bovine TB infections in cattle? ' and discovers some very interesting facts about cattle, badgers and bovine TB.  read more...read more...
Bovine TB - the views of a farmer based on field-based observations over many years. Peter Aspin was a herdsman, then a dairy farmer. He is now a beef farmer and also has a contract rearing dairy heifers for a local farmer. He was conventional and is now organic. He also run the Shropshire Agroforestry Project. All on 40 acres. To understand bovine TB one must first understand how significantly livestock husbandry practices have changed in recent years. I was on a dairy farm a couple of years ago - a closed herd (one that reared all its own replacement youngstock) - which had had its first bTB breakdown. Two veterinarians had arrived to do the follow-up sixty day retest. Talking to them I asked what they thought was the source of the problem. Their immediate response was that the adjacent dairy farm had purchased imported cattle the previous year, this herd had subsequently developed bTB and passed the infection either directly or via a vector to the neighbouring herd. Whether the imported cattle were themselves carriers of bTB or whether they had no immunity, I do not know and I assumed the vets did not know but the issue of cattle importation is a major concern for both farmers and vets. Ever increasing numbers of dairy cattle are being imported simply because they are cheaper if large enough numbers are purchased. I know of a herd of over two thousand dairy cows where not a single replacement animal is home-reared, every single one arrives on a lorry from mainland Europe.  read more...read more...
Dairy farm worker, Steve Jones, is not happy about the future of the dairy industry, or the current policy to cull badgers. The industry has many problems. Bovine tuberculosis is just one.'The cattle industry is long overdue for reform', he says. Here he sets out his comments.  read more...read more...
Farmers break law in bovine TB hot spot area. Mother and daughter Kathleen Wallis, 61, and Sarah Wallis, 23, of Appleton Farm, at Wick St Lawrence, near Weston-super-Mare, admitted 18 counts of providing false information as to the location of a number of their cattle when they appeared before Bristol Crown Court. The farmers admitted to failing to adhere to cattle disease control laws and were branded "ignorant, rotten and cruel" by a judge.  read more...read more...
A Tewkesbury farmer has been fined after selling milk from cattle with bTB. The cattle which had tested positive for TB but the farmer, Timothy Juckes, refused to believe the cows had the disease. He sent four cows without the disease to the slaughterhouse instead of the infected animals, Gloucester Crown Court heard on 28th June 2013. He then took compensation from Defra for the livestock, which should have been destroyed.  read more...read more...

Another farmer killed during bTB skin testing of cattle

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A 33 year old farmer and father of two in Shrophsire was killed by a bull as he tested cattle for bTB. He was conducting routine bTB testing on cows at Ashwood Farm in Whitchurch on 3 December 2013 when he was fatally injured by a bull. Adrian Owen was knocked backwards by the bull after the animal reared its head, believing it was about to be fed.

A West Mercia Police spokesman said the dairy farmer was airlifted to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire but died shortly afterwards. Mr Owen, who had been reaching to fix a yoke used to secure bulls for testing, hit his head on metal bars and fell to the ground, according to a statement by Christopher Gittins, a herdsman at Ashwood Farm in Ash Parva, near Whitchurch, where the accident happened.

Mr Owen was a popular member of the local farming community, having been involved in NFYFC. He was also well known in the Mid Wales area, having farmed at Sychlyn, Pools Quay and Lower Varchoel, near Guilsfield.

The inquest at the Guildhall in Shrewsbury was told the farm’s 600 cows had been tested on December 3 last year and the final test of the morning was to be on the farm’s two-year-old bull, which lived in an enclosure on its own.r Gittins’s statement, read out by coroner’s officer Gordon Dolan, detailed how Mr Owen, a 33-year-old father of two girls aged three and six, reached through the bars of the bulls enclosure, placing his head in proximity to the yoke.

“The bull, anticipating it was going to be fed, lifted its head hitting Mr Owen,” said Mr Gittins in his statement. I was unable to see clearly but Adrian moved backwards and hit his head on the bars. He then fell in to the passageway with blood coming from his nose and ears.”

A vet who was visiting the farm on the day called the emergency services. Mr Owen, who moved to the farm in 2011 with his partner Jane Edwards their children, was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire by air ambulance.

A post mortem examination was carried out by Dr Cerys Burrows, who recorded the cause of death as head injury caused by trauma.

A report from the Health and Safety Executive stated that Mr Owen, who set up Ashwood Farm with his grandfather, was preparing to yoke the bull and noticed the chain to secure the bull was tangled. “The herdsman was standing nearby with a bucket of feed,” said the report. “The bull pushed its head through the yoke, flinging the farmer’s head up.”

Constable Joanne Carroll, of West Mercia Police, attended the scene. She told the inquest: “The bull was not aggressive.”

Mr John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said that, based on the statements he had read and the reports received, Mr Owen’s death was accidental.

Info from: www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/03/07/shropshrie-farmer-killed-in-bull-test-tragedy/

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