- A herd of dairy cattle from a farm near Cheddar has been
quarantined after a suspected outbreak of BSE, more commonly known as mad
- The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra) imposed movement restrictions on the herd at 2 sites, Draycott
and Rodney Stoke, after 2 cows which had been slaughtered showed possible
signs of BSE. Further tests are now being carried out on the carcasses
to establish whether or not the animals had the disease.
- The outbreak was discovered after the cattle's owner,
Bryan Churches, was banned from keeping cattle for 3 years after being
convicted of causing pain and suffering to animals on his farm.
- He was given 3 months to dispose of the cattle and it
was while he was doing this that signs of BSE were discovered.
- Mr Churches, who farms at Bridge Farm, in Draycott, and
Yew Tree Farm, in Rodney Stoke, had 36 cattle which didn't have cattle
passports. These are needed so the source and history of the cattle can
be traced and because of this, the 36 animals were slaughtered.
- A spokesman for Defra said: "We can confirm that
in order to comply with a court order which prevents him from keeping livestock,
that needs to be complied with by 23 Jan 2006, Mr Churches removed 36 unpassported
cattle from his farms. These were slaughtered and tested for BSE. 2 animals
showed possible signs of BSE. Further checks are required to check that
these animals did in fact have the disease. Movement restrictions have
now been applied to the remainder of the herd."
- The cattle suspected of having BSE were born after a
ban on the animal feed, thought to be the cause of the disease, was introduced
in 1996. Despite the ban, at the moment, there are around 200 suspected
cases of BSE in the UK.
- But, according to Defra, one possible explanation of
cases which have occurred since the ban was introduced is that the infection
may have lingered in feed stores.
- The causative agent of BSE -- a prion -- is extremely
resistant to widely varying environmental, physical, and chemical conditions.
Contaminated animal feed, such as concentrates including residues of meat
and bone meal (MBM) or feed cross-contaminated by contact with such, maintains
its infectivity for many years. If the suspected cases are confirmed, remnants
of such feeds on the farm could be the background to the current born-after-ban
- The number of recorded BSE cases in the UK is steadily
decreasing: since 2000 throughout 2005 (Data as of 30 Sep 2005), OIE respective
annual UK figures (totals) are the following: 1443, 1202, 1144, 611,
343, 151. - Mod.AS
- Patricia A. Doyle, DVM, PhD- Bus Admin
- Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board.
- Also my new website:
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health