More Testing Times

cattle grazing aug 15

We are btb testing tomorrow the 1st of September and reading the test on Friday the 4th. I had planned this 6 month check test for this date thinking harvest would be finished. It should have been but the combine has not moved for 12 days due to the wet weather. This does add to the pressure of a test week, I’m not looking forward to it at all as I have no idea what to expect on Friday when we read the test. We have the added worry that there was a suspect case at the abattoir (for tb) in early June which so far has not been confirmed an has been sent for re-culture testing, so the 6 month check test is probably a short interval test now but on standard test reading unless the culture test is positive then the test will be read on severe reading. Confused? Join the club.
So far as bovine tuberculosis goes I’m certainly no expert and have never suggested that I am, but for 48 years I have lived and worked on the family farm , and I think I have a good understanding and experience. The importance of having livestock on a Cotswold farm cannot be underestimated. They enrich our very thin soil and give it much needed fertility , and the fact they graze our banks ,valleys and meadows has enormous environmental benefits , so I firmly believe cattle are very important for the reasons just mentioned and for the meat they produce to feed people who enjoy eating meat. I do take exception when an aging celebrity rock star with a non-meat eating agenda suddenly has become an expert on btb and how to control it and eradicate it, is miss informing the public and being only interested in one species, the badger, at the expense of all others – including humans .Is this rational? I think not. What about the 30,000 cattle a year slaughtered because of this disease and the many people who are devastated by the loss of their cattle. Do ageing rock stars give any thought to them? No! What about the other species that are being infected? What thought to them? Unfortunately btb will not be brought under control in a cute and cuddly way as some celebrities may like to think it can. It will take harsh measures which only get harsher because of delays in dealing with it.
With weak government and hollow promises, and continued pressure from misguided so called animal welfare groups this disease will continue to spread. This is not and has never been about cattle or badgers – it’s about getting the UK #tbfree and all measures will be required. Do we not want an environment free from tb for future generations to enjoy? I had some friends stay with us earlier in August from the USA. His father and uncle ran a sanatorium nearby – a sanatorium for tuberculosis. This was just one generation ago. We now have antibiotic resitant tb in the world; I wonder what our grandfathers would think of the totally reckless way we are dealing with this disease?