It is with great relief I can say we are now #tbfree having had our second clear tb test on Friday. This means all movement restrictions and now lifted, so I can now freely trade stock.

It was not really a surprise on Friday as I had been hoping it would be clear and there is a pattern here, as all but my spring calving cows have been housed since our last test and the spring calvers have been on turnips. So the interaction with badgers or feeding where badgers have been is greatly reduced. So as with many farms you go down with bTB in the spring/summer when cattle are grazing grass and are exposed to all wildlife that share the same habitat, and clear it up when the cattle are away from the grass/pasture.

So why do I turn my cattle out to grass, to keep them housed 24/7/ would be totally uneconomic  and it’s also very important that cattle graze our meadows and banks to ensure all the flora and fauna can flourish.

What can I do to keep my #tbfree status, we take all aspects of biosecurity very seriously, and do I believe all I can to prevent tb coming in to our herd. The one thing I currently can’t do is to deal with the source of infection in our badger population; this is paramount to solving the problem I believe. The only solution which is becoming available will be to cull badgers, which will never be popular or easy but essential. I do look forward to a time when we can have cattle and badgers sharing the same habitat without fear of bTB being passed to either species. It will take time but it is achievable. It’s worth saying that I can’t see an easy way around this issue there is no pain free way to achieve the desired result of a #tbfree England.

The weight has been lifted from my shoulders for a while and I hope a long while, fingers crossed for our 6 mts check test.


6 thoughts on “CLEAR TEST

  1. That is fantastic news David, such a massive relief. Sincere, good luck for the future.
    We have just gone down with 10 in-calf cows, some are due imminently…………

    • Many thanks Dawn, our #tbfree status I fear will only be temporary as nothing has changed on farm, hand are tied.
      So sorry to hear about your in calf heifers , when I met George Eustace he said rules were changing on in calf cows/heifers so please let me know if your are able to calve them down before they are taken, my neighbours had the same hideous problem last spring ,they induced two cows and both calves were OK. It’s just an awful situation to be put in and totally out of your hands, the desition makers should have to come and load heavily pregnant cattle and see how they cope with it .
      Please let me know how you get on, do contact if I can be any help.

      • David, after desperately trying to save the close to calving cows unfortunately we were not able to and they have now been taken away. Its not a straightforward story by any means but at least they were taken alive and we didn’t have to go through the whole shooting on farm scenario. Since our reading its been a roller coaster of emotions which hasn’t been helped by being given conflicting information from DEFRA – we were told we would be allowed to calve 2 cows on the farm then we were told this was incorrect and they all had to go.

      • It’s a miserable business it really is. I would ask your MP to ask the farming minister George Eustice to look in to this as he told me this was going to change. Must keep pressure on them do deliver.
        All the best and hope your #tbfree soon

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