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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...

Farmer dies after TB testing

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Handling cattle is a risky business and many injuries go unreported. However, deaths have to be reported. In April 2010, sadly, an 80-year-old farmer died after he was injured by a bullock on his Co Longford farm during a TB test. The incident caused deep shock in the close-knit community of his home. His death brings to 10 the number of deaths on farms in the State from January to April 2010, only one less than in the whole of 2009. The man was named as Frank Kiernan from Moyne, north Longford, Ireland. He was rushed to the Regional Midlands Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Health and Safety Authority are investigating the death.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is well aware of the risks and has issued advice regarding handling cattle. However, little has been done to reduce the need for cattle handling and with the current programme of TB testing demanding more and more frequent testing, these serious risks are being ignored as government's strive for the impossible eradication of bovine TB. The skin test poses real health and safety risks for farmers. About one third of fatalities on farms involve livestock. Constant testing has signifiant health and safety risks that would not be tolerated in any other sector.

The following advice is from the HSE website (http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/topics/livestock.htm)

Cattle - what are the risks? Handling cattle always involves a risk of injury from crushing, kicking, butting or goring. The risk is greater if the animals have not been handled frequently, such as those from hills or moorland, sucklers or newly calved cattle. Certain jobs may increase the risk, eg veterinary work. Attempting to carry out stock tasks on unrestrained cattle or with makeshift equipment is particularly hazardous. Never underestimate the risk from cattle, even with good precautions in place.

Cattle - the race Animals should be able to readily enter the race, which should have a funnel end. Make sure there is enough room in the collecting pen for them to feed into the funnel easily. A circular collecting pen means workers can stand safely behind a forcing gate as they move animals into the race, and keep the animals moving. Animals need to see clearly to the crush and beyond, so that they will readily move along the race. The race may be curved, but should not include tight turns. Animals prefer to move towards a light area than into the dark. The sides of the race should be high enough to prevent animals from jumping over them ; secure them properly secured to the ground and to each other for maximum strength. Sheet the sides of the race to help keep cattle moving by reducing visual disturbances such as shadows and other animals. Contain the lead animal in the race while it waits its turn to enter the crush. Hinged or sliding doors are suitable, make sure you operate them f rom the working side of the race. Never work on an animal in the crush with an unsecured animal waiting in the race behind.

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