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Outbreak of TB hits in Scotland
August 11, 2017

Cattle on Skye have been slaughtered after testing positive for bovine TB, a disease that can spread to humans.

Infected animals are usually destroyed to prevent its transmission and the disease can have a devastating impact on farming.

Fears were recently raised that bovine TB could spread to Scotland after it was discovered in badgers in Cumbria.

It can pass to humans through unpasteurised milk and dairy products, causing fever, weight loss and a persistent cough.

The risk of transmission is low, however, and the infection can be treated using a complex combination of drugs.

The farmer which the cows belonged to, who has not been identified, released a statement through the National Farmers Union (NFU) on Thursday.

“This is an extremely worrying and very difficult time for me,” he said. “The cattle that tested positive on the farm have been slaughtered and further laboratory tests are now underway to see if they have TB.

“Waiting for those results is very stressful but I want to get to the bottom of this, get my herd restrictions lifted and get my TB-free status back as quickly as possible and I will work with the authorities to do that.”

A spokesman for NFU Scotland said they were working with the farmer at what they called a “terrible time”.

A Scottish Government Spokesperson added: “An outbreak of bovine TB has been confirmed in a herd of cattle on Skye.

“The infected herd is currently under restriction whilst further testing is undertaken.

“The source of the infection is under investigation.”

It is unclear how many cattle have been infected and the Scottish Government has not revealed when the disease was discovered.

A small number of cases are detected each year in Scotland but the country is still technically TB free as fewer than 0.1% of herds have been affected in the last six years.

Scottish beef exports were recently declared officially clear of BSE. An outbreak of “mad cow disease” in the mid-1990s caused major disruption to the farming industry.

 

Source: Stv news


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