FFA warns of Bovine TB affecting humans

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Farmers for Action has claimed that there are unconfirmed reports a person in Northern Ireland has contracted Bovine TB.

And they have warned that there could be more cases if the problem of TB is not tackled once and for all.

The comments were made in the group’s formal response to consultation submitted this week to the TB Strategic Partnership.

The document lodged by the Northern Ireland Steering Group continues: “Farmers For Action wish to begin with shocking revelations coming from the South of England in connection with bovine TB that are getting forgot about in the debate, the point being, this is where Northern Ireland is fast heading and the proof is already here.

“In the South of England bovine TB has jumped species into pigs, goats, lamas, alpacas, cats, deer and worst of all humans! Among those people an alpaca owner, a veterinary nurse and a toddler who contracted it from a domestic cat, worst of all is the death of an abattoir worker in the North Midlands,” the submission continues.

“The solution must follow from the following two facts:

“The Isle of Man has no bovine TB, nor does it have any badgers, this is also the case in one or two other European regions

“In the late 60’s a knowledgeable vet was given the latitude by Government to implement the following experiment in the sea-leg of Cornwall including Penzance, which was then a TB hotspot. With water on three sides it was easy to isolate the land connection, all the badgers were eradicated within the area and bovine TB disappeared.

“The worse mistake that can be made in Northern Ireland is to dilly-dally for a few more years before taking proper action, as by that time we will be in the same mess as the South of England has got itself into by pandering to badgers voters, who actually don’t seem to care about badgers having TB. In Northern Ireland a herd of privately owned deer has already been culled due to having TB and it is claimed that a wild deer entered the herd, spreading the disease.

“Commonsense action is required – make it clear to the general public that Government is no longer willing to see badgers, cattle, deer or humans in Northern Ireland suffer bovine TB, nor is the Government willing to see it jump species further and the following action needs to be taken:

“In TB hotspots, ie any farm or farms in an area with three or more confirmed TB cattle, must have a circle placed around the area and all the badgers within culled, similar to the southern Ireland TB policy, which is obviously working and this must be repeated throughout Northern Ireland until TB is eradicated, time is of the essence! Do not forget if this phase was completed you then have to tackle TB in wild deer where vaccine and/or cull needs to be implemented to eliminate any trace of a TB reservoir in Northern Ireland,” FFA stated.

“In truth you are now dealing with TB in badgers, cattle, deer and possibly humans as FFA have an unconfirmed report of a Northern Ireland person with bovine TB.

“The outcome of this consultation will test whether you are capable of dealing with reality or want to bury your heads in the sand for a few more years and allow TB to spread like wildfire, until some of your family contract bovine TB.”