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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...

Cattle test positive for bovine TB on a farm in Cumbria

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In a recent incident sixty-four animals, on a farm in Cumbria, reacted to the skin test. They have all been slaughtered. The farm concerned is a closed dairy herd near Penrith and it is understood that lesions were found on cattle there (presumably after slaughter or in carcass checks at the abattoir prior to the incident).

It is understood that the cattle were tested for bTB using the skin on 7/3/11 and numerous reactors were found. According to the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), post mortem results are expected to confirm the disease.

Gonzalo Sanchez, north west veterinary lead for the AHVLA, said contiguous testing on surrounding farms was being carried out and stressed that everything possible was being done to identify the source of infection. He added: “Bovine TB outbreaks in Cumbria are very rare and there are serious implications for the affected cattle owner. We’re pursuing epidemiological investigations to find where it has come from and where it has gone to. We’re working really hard to locate the source of infection. We’re trying to assess how long the farm was infected – there was a previous clear test there 18 months ago. It is a very closed herd and there has not been movements of animals off or onto the farm recently. There is no evidence of wildlife infection.”

Mr Sanchez added: “Test results will be available in about three weeks and will tell us which area of the country this has originated from. Farmers in the area are well aware of the measures they can take to protect their herds. Bio-security must be kept to a high standard. All farmers must ensure they buy animals from three to four year bovine TB testing areas to reduce the risk of bringing the disease in.”

A wildlife survey is likely to be conducted in the area around the farm if all other testing does identify a source of infection. Most cattle in Cumbria are tested for bovine TB every four years. There were three bovine TB outbreaks in Cumbria last year. The county is relatively clear of the disease, unlike in the south west of England where it is said to be endemic and it is having a devastating effect on hundreds of dairy and other farmers who have to test at intervals that can be as short as every six months, in addition to pre movement testing.

Posted 24/4/11
In a recent incident sixty-four animals, on a farm in Cumbria, reacted to the skin test. They have all been slaughtered. The farm concerned is a closed dairy herd near Penrith and it is understood that lesions were found on cattle there (presumably after slaughter or in carcass checks at the abattoir prior to the incident).

It is understood that the cattle were tested for bTB using the skin on 7/3/11 and numerous reactors were found. According to the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), post mortem results are expected to confirm the disease.

Gonzalo Sanchez, north west veterinary lead for the AHVLA, said contiguous testing on surrounding farms was being carried out and stressed that everything possible was being done to identify the source of infection. He added: “Bovine TB outbreaks in Cumbria are very rare and there are serious implications for the affected cattle owner. We’re pursuing epidemiological investigations to find where it has come from and where it has gone to. We’re working really hard to locate the source of infection. We’re trying to assess how long the farm was infected – there was a previous clear test there 18 months ago. It is a very closed herd and there has not been movements of animals off or onto the farm recently. There is no evidence of wildlife infection.”

Mr Sanchez added: “Test results will be available in about three weeks and will tell us which area of the country this has originated from. Farmers in the area are well aware of the measures they can take to protect their herds. Bio-security must be kept to a high standard. All farmers must ensure they buy animals from three to four year bovine TB testing areas to reduce the risk of bringing the disease in.”

A wildlife survey is likely to be conducted in the area around the farm if all other testing does identify a source of infection. Most cattle in Cumbria are tested for bovine TB every four years. There were three bovine TB outbreaks in Cumbria last year. The county is relatively clear of the disease, unlike in the south west of England where it is said to be endemic and it is having a devastating effect on hundreds of dairy and other farmers who have to test at intervals that can be as short as every six months, in addition to pre movement testing.

Following update posted 13/6/11

More than 20 farms in Cumbria will be tested for bovine tuberculosis after the outbreak on the farm near Penrith, which led to the slaughter of 100 animals.

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has now extended testing to cattle within 3km (1.8 miles) of the outbreak. Any dead badgers or deer in the zone will also be tested.

Update 29/6/11 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-13965798

According to the BBC a second case of bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been discovered in Cumbria, near Penrith. It was found asas a result of the additional testing in the surveillance zone following the April outbreak..

The National Farmers Union said that while the new case was a "worry" for farmers, it was not unexpected given the amount of tests being carried out! Further testing and tracing work is now under way to find out if the case is related to the original TB case, but results are not expected for a number of weeks.

Info sources:
http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/cattle-culled-on-cumbrian-farm-in-suspected-bovine-tb-outbreak-1.830415?referrerPath=home

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-13708482

Update 17/8/11

According to the MP, Rory Stewart, writing in the Herald 23/7/11 there are some 200,000 cattle in Penrith and the Border and he believes the bTB answer can't just be "less restrictions and less badgers". He says the latest outbreaks did not come from badgers but almost certainly from cattle coming in from the South West. He cites the possible reasons as pre movement testing only picking up 70% of infected cattle; dealers can leave their cattle for a short time in non infected parishes then sell them at a auction mart as though they had alays been in a clean area; and it seems that a farmer can link a field to a field in a completely different county as a single holding and thus get round the necessity for pre-movement testing.

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