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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...

TB Outbreak in Scotland

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In the summer of 2010 around twenty 20 farms in the Keith area of Moray were caught up in a bovine TB scare, leading to more than 100 animals being slaughtered. However, one farmer who was given the all-clear, hit out at the authorities for not acting quicker - and for causing extra cost, stress and anxiety. Alison Watt's Birkenburn was one of the farms placed under restrictions following a confirmed bovine tuberculosis (bTB) case on a local farm which involved an animal, believed to be originally from Ireland, which was tested and culled almost a year ago - and bTB was confirmed after its death. Ms Watt said it was only in April this year that the Scottish Government and the Animal Health agency contacted the neighbouring farms to the source of the outbreak, to test their herds and place severe restrictions on trading and cattle movement. With 116 pedigrees and commercials, the awarding-winning British Blondes breeder said her hands were tied for 60 days while repeated testing was carried out. "We couldn't sell any of our stock through market and couldn't sell privately from farm to farm. We could only sell under licence direct to slaughter," Ms Watt said. "There was a lot of stress and anxiety, after a hard winter when we had sheds caving in under heavy snowfalls. Our financial position was obviously affected by the restrictions on trading, and we incurred extra costs through needing additional labour for the testing, which also had an effect on some animals' health, and there were costs from extra feed and bedding. "I had to have two of my pure breeds and four commercial cattle put down, and the tests afterwards showed negative for bTB. What a waste. "I take great pride in our pedigree stock and it was very upsetting for me to see them go like that." Ms Watt is at a loss to understand why it took the authorities so long to respond and to contact neighbouring farms. "Why did they wait all that time? It could have been catastrophic for us, not knowing that there had been a bTB alert. If they had acted earlier, the testing could have been done during the winter and not at calving time, and when we have other important work to do. "It has left me totally dismayed by the powers-that-be. As someone said, if we can put a man on the moon why can't we get our act together for testing cattle. We should not be killing cattle that don't have to be killed." Ms Watt was approached by neighbours to organise a meeting. "We all felt aggrieved and stressed," she added. The Scottish Government announced shortly after a change to bTB protocols, which will mean that testing of neighbouring farms around confirmed TB outbreaks will be limited to those 'where nose-to-nose contact is possible', and that follow-up tests at six and 12 months will no longer be required. The breakdown of follow-up testing will be changed to allow it to be done at the most convenient time of year. Voluntary slaughter of inconclusive reactors and where there is no evidence of TB at post-mortem or culture, will now trigger only a routine test after a year unless they can be related to an existing outbreak. There is also to be a shift in responsibility for managing the risk of TB incursion from cattle imported from non-TB-free member states to traders, rather than taxpayers or the wider cattle industry. The changes, agreed by Scotish Rural Affairs Minister Richard Lochead, the Moray MSP, were welcomed by Ms Watt. "But why so late," she said. "The authorities were obviously working on these while we have been going through all this trouble," she said. "They won't admit the failings, though." A regular exhibitor at North-east agricultural shows, she wasn't able to join this summer's circuit until the beginning of August, but has managed to chalk up championship wins for her British Blondes breed at Turriff, Black Isle and this week at Keith. Information from a report 13 August 2010 by Mike Collins of the Northern Scot http://www.northern-scot.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/10077/Farmer_s_anger_at_slow_reaction_to_TB_scare.html

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