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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...

Slaughtered but no visible TB lesions

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Our cow Mavis was born in April 2005, the offspring of an Angus bull and a Hereford cross suckler cow. She became in calf for the first time and, after an uneventful pregnancy, started calving in June 1977. It was a difficult calving and eventually the bull calf was born dead. It had to be pulled and this process damaged Mavis. She had severe swelling around her rump and possible internal damage.

The vet prescribed both antibiotics and anti-inflammatories which were started the day after the calving. She had a total of 100ml Streptomycin at the rate of 20ml per day for five days and a total of 30ml of Metacam at the rate of 15ml on two occasions at a three day interval. Hibiscrub antiseptic wash was also used to keep her rear area clean over this period.

Twelve days after the last dose of Streptomycin and 13 days after the last dose of Metacam, the first TB test was carried out on the whole herd. Mavis was still significantly swollen and in some discomfort. The second TB test was carried out after 3 days as usual. Mavis tested positive but the rest of the herd was clear. Mavis was given a further 15ml of Metacam and 60ml of Engymycin by the vet who carried out the TB test. She was also treated with 250ml of spot-on insecticide the day after this positive TB test.

Towards the end of August 2007, almost six weeks after testing positive, she was killed on farm. The post mortem and laboratory tests received just over two months later showed no visible lesions and negative results from the tissue cultures. A further TB test was carried out on the remainder of the herd after 60 days as required by the Regulations. All animals tested negative and the movement restrictions imposed after Mavis tested positive were lifted at the end of October 2007.

Reasonable compensation was paid for Mavis (around 600) , especially as it seemed as if she had suffered permanent damage and was unlikely to calve again. It seems however very questionable whether she ever had TB but rather that the positive test was due to a combination of stress following the calving and possibly interaction with the medication she subsequently received.

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