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Are there greater risks than TB?

 Added by  becky
 21 Jun 2011, 10:16 AM

We are frequently told that bovine TB is one of the greatest threats to the farming industry - the policy though, not the disease! However, is there an even greater problem looming? The Independent recently ran a report (www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/vets-urge-ban-on-adverts-for-antibiotics-to-farmers-2299297. html) on the alarming rise in the use of antibiotics in farming which has apparently risen up to eightfold over the past ten years and is contributing to growing resistance to bacteria in humans. It must be serious as it is vets that have raised the issue ('Vets urge ban on adverts on antibiotics to farmers' ). Britain is the only country in Europe that permits advertising of the drugs, but proposals to end the practice contained in draft regulations were withdrawn last April by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).
However, surprisingly no ban on advertising is to be imposed. A Defra spokesperson is quoted as saying "The usage of antibiotics on farms is carefully monitored to ensure responsible use. It was felt that farmers were experts in rearing livestock and could understand the issues. Farmers are not allowed to use antibiotics without the approval of a vet." For more reactions and debate see http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-intensive-farming-methods-2299909.html
We are constantly being told that bovine TB is THE disease crippling the industry and causing so many problems for farmers. However, this does not appear to be the case if one reads the First Annual Report of the Government's new 'GB Cattle Health & Welfare Group'.
The group asked a number of GB cattle sector organisations to come up with their lists of the top ten cattle health and welfare issues, to obtain an understanding of what the industr y itself feels are its main problems.
The list below shows there is a remarkable degree of similarity between the dairy and beef sectors - yet bovine TB is not even mentioned under the beef section and it is way down the list in the dairy section!
Top Cattle Health and Welfare Concerns across GB for Beef
Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea
Johne’s Disease
Liver Fluke
Calf Pneumonia
Calf Scour
Parasitic Gastroenteritis /Lungworm
Top Cattle Health and Welfare Concerns across GB for Dairy
Bovine Viral Diarrhoea
Johne’s Disease
Bovine Tuberculosis
Calf Pneumonia & Scour
Calf Scour Parasitic Gastroenteritis /Lungworm

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