Friday, August 27, 2010

How will Defra count ... bison?

A herd of 30 bison at a tourist attraction in South Gloucestershire is under TB restriction, after 5 of the animals at "Cattle Country Adventure Park" near Berkely, failed the TB test.

The story is here. Owner, Tony Cullimore commented on the outbreak:
We are only the second bison herd in the country to get it, but bison are cattle, so there is no reason why they can't.
Tuberculosis is a zoonosis, and there is 'no reason' why any mammal should not 'get it' - but let that pass.
"But it's more of a heartbreak when it's bison. They will have to be slaughtered."
As 40,000 cattle were in 2008 / 09 ? And several hundred alpacas? Why should an owner's 'heartbreak' over bison be any different at all? Losing any animal to tuberculosis is 'heartbreaking'. And stressful and bloody unecessary.

The bison are likely to be slaughtered over the next few days.
Mr Cullimore said three Highland cattle at the attraction also tested positive, which prompted tests on the bison. The Highland cattle will have to be slaughtered and the number of bison lost to the disease comes to six – one died after another knocked it down during the testing process, which bison find particularly stressful.
Most animals find testing 'stressful'. Early abortions in cattle are frequent and calves may get crushed and damaged as their mothers 'stress' in confined situations, leading to broken bones. We note that without access to the highland cattle for routine testing under TB regulations, Defra would not have found these bison.

And we also note that the previous outbreak in bison, to which Mr. Cullimore refers does not yet appear in Defra's 'other species' statistics. We await with interest to see if his animals are ever logged.

1 comment:

Dianne Summers said...

Heartfelt sympathies to Mr Cullimore and well done for speaking out. Lets just say I know how you feel.
I wish more Alpaca and llama owners would tell their stories of how BTB has devestated their lives.
The more open we are the better for everyone.
Good luck and our thoughts are with you
Dianne Summers
Camelid TB Support Group