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Goats are slaughtered in TB scare

23 July 2008 - BBC News

By Carl Yapp BBC News at the Royal Welsh Show

Twenty-two goats from six herds in Wales and England have been slaughtered after cases of bovine TB were found in animals from Carmarthenshire. The disease was discovered in some rare golden Guernsey goats which were being sold by a Carmarthenshire breeder.

Mr Clayton, from Gloucestershire, a retired vet of 35 years, said the GVS was working with Animal Health, an executive agency of the Defra, which is responsible for management of the outbreak. He said it was only the second of its type in more than 50 years. Bovine TB was diagnosed in a small number of goats in England 12 months ago, but it is not clear at present if that is linked to the latest scare.

A "significant portion" of the rare golden Guernsey breed was now at risk, he said. "Twenty-two goats have been culled and 20 had lesions typically associated with the effects of TB," Mr Clayton added. "Six herds dotted around England and Wales have been tested now and a few cases have been found. We know it (the disease) started in an area where there's a lot of TB in cattle, badgers and deer, but until we get the final results in two weeks we cannot say for certain that the strain of the disease is bovine TB. However, we are 90% certain."

Meanwhile, the British Goat Society, whose members are made up of breeders, said it had been in contact with some of the farmers affected by the outbreak. "We've had contact with some of those who had bought the animals after they were dispersed," said society health and welfare officer, Charlie Peck. "They are very upset and in a state of complete shock, as is the industry. There has been very, very few recorded incidents of TB in goats since World War II."

Unlike cattle breeders, people who bred goats are not entitled to compensation.

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