TB hits Magilligan farms

More than 100 cattle have been removed from 10 farms in Magilligan because of TB, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

The Department of Agriculture confirmed a cluster of farms in the area are currently under TB restriction because of suspected or confirmed TB.

One of the farmers affected spoke of his heartache at losing dozens of cattle to the disease. The man, who has been famring all his life, said a number of his cattle were removed for cull on Thursday.

“I never dreamt of anything like this. It’s definitely a shock,” he said. “That’s a good bit of next year’s crop of calves away. I’ve never heard tell of anything like this before in this area.”

“Ten farms are involved and control measures are in place on these farms, including the repeated testing of all cattle for signs of disease. Cattle which have already left the farms are being traced and those herds from which animals have recently been added are being assessed. for evidence of disease,” said a Department of Agriculture spokesperson. “Possible points of contact with neighbouring cattle farms have been identified and the risk testing of cattle in those herds arranged where necessary. In total, 115 individual animals have been removed over the past five months because they were diagnosed with TB.”

The Department said as yet, no primary source of infection has been identified, but veterinary investigations are still ongoing.

“Farmers who are in direct contact with cattle in the infected herds have been given specific public health advice.There is no significant health risk to the general public in the Magilligan area although all members of the public are reminded to take normal sanitary precautions after contact with any farm animals,” aded the spokesperson.