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1 August 2011 17:23:27 |News

Communication needed if Animal Health is to keep TB out of Cumbria

’Regular communication between Animal Health, vets and farmers is vital if the agricultural industry is to stop bovine TB from becoming established in Cumbria,’ says the NFU’s North West Dairy Board Chairman.
Russell Bowman, of Castlerigg Farm in Armathwaite, made the comments after chairing an Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories meeting at the Stoneybeck Inn, Bowscar on Friday 29 July which addressed farmer concerns about the spread of bovine TB following an outbreak near Penrith in March.
Animal Health informed the 40 attendees at the meeting that they’d managed to identify the strain of TB found within the herd which suffered the 100 cattle breakdown. It is known as spoligotype 10A (a type of DNA) which is commonly found in the Gloucestershire area but has been found in Cumbria before. The clear message from Animal Health is they are working hard to ascertain exactly where the disease came from and they require the farming community’s help with identifying vectors of the disease.
’Concerns and fears about the TB outbreak in the county have been circulating around Penrith for a month or two now, therefore it was positive to see Animal Health take the time to get in front of farmers,’ said Mr Bowman.
’Hearing facts and figures from the veterinary professionals in the know was extremely helpful. Worried farmers received the answers to their questions direct from the horse’s mouth. Hopefully meetings like this one will become the norm as knowledge and understanding are key to keeping this terrible disease out of the county.

Since the creation of an ’enhanced surveillance zone’ on Thursday 2 June, TB has been confirmed on a neighbouring farm to the holding where the original outbreak took place. Tests are currently being carried out to ascertain what strain of TB has been found on the neighbouring farm.


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