Bournemouth EchoTB a threat to Dorset's dairy farming industry (From Bournemouth Echo)

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TB a threat to Dorset's dairy farming industry

Bournemouth Echo: Dorset's dairy industry 'at risk' if TB threat isn't tackled Dorset's dairy industry 'at risk' if TB threat isn't tackled

DORSET could lose its dairy farming industry if steps are not taken to combat bovine TB, the head of the National Farming Union has said.

Meurig Raymond, president of the NFU, was speaking on a visit to the Dorset farm owned by Paul Gould, the county chairman of the union.

It follows a devastating herd test revealing a quarter of Mr Gould’s in-calf animals will have to be slaughtered, as reported in the Echo.

Mr Raymond said the NFU will be doubling its efforts to lobby the government to roll out a badger cull in affected counties to tackle a ‘reservoir of disease’ in wildlife.

Mr Gould has farmed a closed herd for more than half a decade, meaning all of the cattle are born and bred on his North Dorset farm.

He believes the source of infection could therefore only come from wildlife.

Mr Raymond said government politics concerning the cull are causing ‘immense anger and frustration’ among farmers.

He added: “Farmers can’t understand how politics has taken over sensible decision making.

“I am calling on the government to have strength in their convictions and drive this policy forward to give farmers hope for the future. Other countries have eradicated the disease, and we need to look to them.

“We will keep fighting.”

The NFU is supportive of badger vaccination, Mr Raymond added, but believes this can only be effective in clean animals living in edge areas, unlike Dorset in which the disease is ‘endemic’.

“We want healthy cattle and healthy wildlife. Consumers nowadays want to see cows out in pastures, but sadly that is where they are most vulnerable because they are coming into contact with diseased wildlife.”

More than 38,000 cattle were slaughtered last year in England and Wales after testing positive for bovine TB.

Mr Raymond said: “It is the emotions you go through in these circumstances, the loss of milk production, the years of breeding that you have put into it for this to happen.

“It is the absolute despair.

“My rallying call is for the government to get on with it.

“Otherwise we won’t have a livestock industry left in parts of this country.”

Comments (5)

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10:39am Wed 23 Apr 14

anotherfatslob says...

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Modern farming practises have proved to be useless,and just cost the economy money.

Save money on farming subsidies, early onset diabetes and heart disease healthcare costs by turning Dorset into a bike park.
. Modern farming practises have proved to be useless,and just cost the economy money. Save money on farming subsidies, early onset diabetes and heart disease healthcare costs by turning Dorset into a bike park. anotherfatslob
  • Score: 3

11:31am Wed 23 Apr 14

Frogmarch2 says...

I am in my early 50's and I'm Bournemouth born and bred. In my childhood not once did I ever see a dead badger at the side of the road. I had to go to Leeson House to see my first badger aged 11! Now these badgers are as common as squirrels & pigeons and need to be controlled in the same way. Badgers are no longer threatened wildlife but a danger to farmers, the backbone of our country for centuries.
I am in my early 50's and I'm Bournemouth born and bred. In my childhood not once did I ever see a dead badger at the side of the road. I had to go to Leeson House to see my first badger aged 11! Now these badgers are as common as squirrels & pigeons and need to be controlled in the same way. Badgers are no longer threatened wildlife but a danger to farmers, the backbone of our country for centuries. Frogmarch2
  • Score: -8

12:27pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Morrigan says...

Farmers really do need to clean up not only their act, but also their farming practices. If their cattle had not been forced to live in squalid barns, all huddled together they would not have passed Bovine TB onto each other and ultimately when released to pasture, they passed it on to badgers and possibly other wildlife. It is called BOVINE TB for a REASON, not BADGER TB .....

Stop farmers allowing their herds to become infected in the first place and infecting our wildlife!!!

Only when CATTLE stop passing it around, will a badger cull - if necessary - be a success - but in the meantime VACCINATE, VACCINATE, VACCINATE!!
Farmers really do need to clean up not only their act, but also their farming practices. If their cattle had not been forced to live in squalid barns, all huddled together they would not have passed Bovine TB onto each other and ultimately when released to pasture, they passed it on to badgers and possibly other wildlife. It is called BOVINE TB for a REASON, not BADGER TB ..... Stop farmers allowing their herds to become infected in the first place and infecting our wildlife!!! Only when CATTLE stop passing it around, will a badger cull - if necessary - be a success - but in the meantime VACCINATE, VACCINATE, VACCINATE!! Morrigan
  • Score: 9

1:39pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Nats1086 says...

Bovine TB can actually be carried by deer, cats, goats, pigs and other mammals as well as Cattle and badgers. Do you suggest that all animals that may carry this disease also be slaughtered?

Unfortunately, Bovine TB is a nasty illness but it cannot be controlled by a badger cull alone. Whilst I was as uni I learnt that Badgers cannot be successfully tested against TB whilst they are alive, meaning nor can they be treated. I really hope that this has evolved since then and they are on their way to finding a cure/vaccination to this horrible disease and our farmers can continue.
Bovine TB can actually be carried by deer, cats, goats, pigs and other mammals as well as Cattle and badgers. Do you suggest that all animals that may carry this disease also be slaughtered? Unfortunately, Bovine TB is a nasty illness but it cannot be controlled by a badger cull alone. Whilst I was as uni I learnt that Badgers cannot be successfully tested against TB whilst they are alive, meaning nor can they be treated. I really hope that this has evolved since then and they are on their way to finding a cure/vaccination to this horrible disease and our farmers can continue. Nats1086
  • Score: 2

10:52pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Wesoblind says...

Its not the badgers! thats been proven they massivly over excaggerated this!
Its not the badgers! thats been proven they massivly over excaggerated this! Wesoblind
  • Score: 0

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