importing disease again

The DEFRA site now reports that 18 cattle imported into County Durham have tested POSITIVE for BLUETONGUE.

This has been allowed to happen before vaccination has taken place throughout the area and immunity built up in the North Eastern livestock.

Is there no common sense anywhere? In the farmers who should know better than to jeopardize this nation’s livestock or DEFRA for allowing importation into an area that was only allowed to vaccinate 10 days ago? It takes time for immunity to build up and cattle need two doses 21 – 28 days apart before this immunity begins to build [depending which vaccine is used].

I still believe that we are an Island and special care should be taken over importation.

Surely there is no single farming business so financially reliant on importing stock from a BT ridden zones that it is worth the risks to the entire industry?

I have said it before, this is a bluetongue messand complacency must not win. We have to unite, to vaccinate and not import from disease ridden areas.

Everyone has collective responsibility from the stakeholders, DEFRA, and each individual livestock farmer. Our livestock depend on us making the right decisions to keep them healthy and this includes not taking unnecessary risks such as importing without thinking through the consequences of such acts and the relevant policies.

NB: Bluetongue only affects livestock and does not affect people.

Added 9.20pm 11 Sept 08

For important information regarding import testing please read this ProMed commentary. More information can also be found at Warmwell.




Filed under Country Life, food and farming, rural musings, Politics

3 responses to “importing disease again

  1. John Tuck

    If we were not slaughtering so many TB reactors, and if there was not the risk of bringing TB on to the farm by buying British stock, would anyone want to import cattle?

  2. I understand from talking to other farmers that it is difficult to get good dairy replacements in some parts of the country as so many farms are having to cull cattle on the basis of TB skin test positive or even inconclusive results.

    I have no experience in importing cattle but do not believe this currently justifies buying cattle from abroad, as cattle can be bought from TB free areas in England with the help of an auctioneer [if need be] and of course blood tests. At this particular moment in time the risk of bringing BT8 or even BT1 from parts of the EU is severe and I am convinced these actions need deep consideration as to the potential consequences of imports.

    How representative of the livestock and dairy industry are the importers, it would be interesting to know?

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