Monday, June 27, 2005

Cornwall's Longest Serving (tb) Prisoner is Released.

Six long years, over 30 consecutive 60 day tests on his home bred herd, 130 cattle slaughtered, but now Roland Uglow has had a 2 clear tests and Cornwall's longest serving Tb prisoner is free - until the next test at 6 months?

Roland told the Guardian newspaper that "the worst thing, is having to hold down bull calves, healthy and full of life, to give the man from the knacker's yard a clean shot at them. You don't want to be there, you'd rather be miles away - but someone has to keep them still".

For a herd under tuberculosis restriction, the only movements allowed for any class of cattle are to direct slaughter. Very occasionally, and with strict ministry licenses, stock may be moved to dedicated finishing farms. So Roland Uglow's distress in holding these fine healthy calves as they are shot is a situation we all face. A 'benefit' of being under restriction, our Minster of 'Conservation', Mr. Bradshaw may say.

Wildlife campaigners argue that cattle to cattle is the route of Tb transmission. Roland Uglow had a 'closed herd' until Tb struck. Read my lips - No Bought in Cattle.
Roland is a farmer, not a 'wildlife campaigner' but his is a 'wildlife friendly' farm. He plants barley to encourage very rare 'corn buntings', and the farm supports deer and foxes as well as badgers. In 1999, prior to his Tb breakdown Mr. Uglow found a sick badger in his yard. Three months later the herd was placed under restriction at a routine annual Tb test - and has been there ever since. Six years and 2 months. No time off for good behaviour and another couple of dead badgers found as well - in the cattle yards.

For the moment, Roland's cattle - all of which he regards as part of his 'family' - have a respite from the relentless 60 day testing jabs, but he is realistic;
"We are clear for now, and can trade. But we know that the next time we are tested the disease may be back.........."

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