October 23, 2003



296 Cattle Slaughtered in Scotland Due To Bovine Tuberculosis


Nearly 300 cattle will be slaughtered next week on a farm in Scotland because of an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis.


The Scottish Executive has confirmed the entire herd of 296 cattle at Townhead Farm, Dolphinton in South Lanarkshire will be culled after tests revealed 63 TB reactors.


According to an executive spokesman, the origin of the outbreak is still being investigated. "But early indications are that it may be associated with animals bought in from high risk areas," he said. 


Ross Finnie, rural development minister, said: "Whole herd slaughter may be unusual but it is not unknown.


"The TB testing regime has proved to be effective in detecting disease and decisive action taken by my department is designed to prevent any further spread."


Although Scotland has a number of TB reactors on farms each year, with almost 100 other positive cases this year, the whole herd slaughter has to be thorough due to the widespread of disease within this herd.


In 1996, an entire herd was also slaughtered when 115 cattle on the island of Arran were culled.


A spokesman for NFU Scotland said the latest outbreak should act as a reminder to all farmers of the need for extreme vigilance when buying cattle.


Producers should ensure the herds have either been tested for TB prior to arrival or are isolated and tested immediately on arrival, he said. 


The union has also suggested that all cattle imported from England and Wales into Scotland should be considered for vigorous testing.
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