Hundreds of agricultural workers met last night to discuss how to prevent an outbreak of bovine TB.
At the meeting, at Lincolnshire Showground, vets gave advice on testing and talked about the devastating impact the disease can have.
Beef farmer and NFU council delegate, Jonathan Brant, said: "Bovine TB could cause significant financial hardship for all cattle farmers in Lincolnshire if preventative steps are not taken.
"The aim of this meeting is to discuss these steps and explore what we can do to ensure testing is not increased; movements are not restricted further and ultimately we want to reduce the losses of animals to bovine TB."
Farmers across Lincolnshire are joining forces to take action to stop tuberculosis infecting animals in the county. The disease, which has been spreading amongst cattle and wildlife elsewhere in the UK, has caused the industry major problems, and in some cases, has devastated businesses.
TB is already present in some neighbouring counties of Lincolnshire. It's hoped a meeting later this week will help develop ways of keeping the disease under control. Kate Hemingway reports.
VIDEO: Farmer says "TB is a huge threat to communities"
A farmer is warning others that action is needed to prevent TB from spreading between cattle from neighbouring counties to Lincolnshire in the future. At the moment there have only been a handful of cases in the county, but the disease is travelling at 30 miles per year. Kate Hemingway reports:
Gloucestershire farmer: "TB is very difficult to get rid of"
A farmer in Gloucestershire, who has just had his business temporarily shut down as a result of TB, says it's vital cattle farmers in Lincolnshire take action to keep the disease out of the county.
"You're gonna get it through cattle movements, so it's making sure that farmers when purchasing animals actually look at the TB history of the animals and the farm to make sure that they don't bring TB on to the holding. Because once they've got it, it's very very difficult to get rid of it."
– Rob Harrison, Dairy Farmer in Gloucestershire
The NFU says TB is travelling between cattle herds and wildlife at a rate of approximately 30 miles a year. There have already been several cases in Lincolnshire's neighbouring county of Derbyshire, but only a handful of cases in Lincolnshire itself.
"It would increase your paperwork, it would have movement controls, this would affect your livelihood on a financial basis. But it would also affect you on a mental basis, affecting your family, affecting other farmers in the surrounding area and it would also impact on the wildlife."
– Jonathan Brant, Lincolnshire farmer and NFU Council Delegate
Farming community urged: "Keep TB out of Lincolnshire"
Farmers across Lincolnshire are joining forces to take action to stop TB infecting animals in the county. The disease, which has been spreading amongst cattle and wildlife elsewhere in the UK, has caused the industry major problems, and devastated some businesses.
An open meeting is being held with guest speakers at The Epic Centre, Lincolnshire Showground on Thursday 14th March at 7.30pm for the farming community.
The Health Protection Agency is planning an urgent meeting with the University of Lincoln following the death of a student from TB. Craig White who was 21 and from Boston, died just over a week ago, but until today the cause of his death was unknown.
An inquest into Craig's death has been opened and adjourned. Kate Hemingway reports:
Patients are being contacted in Rotherham after a person at the hospital was confirmed to have Tuberculosis. The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust is now offering a TB test to a small number of patients as a precautionary measure.
They stress that any possible infection risk is low. The disease is only passed on after prolonged close contact with an infection person who has TB of the lung. In most cases, TB is curable with a course of special antibiotics.
Close contacts of the patient have also been identified and offered precautionary screening for TB. As a further precautionary measure, a small number of staff members have been made aware and informed of the signs and symptoms of the disease. At this stage no further individuals have been identified who need to be offered screening. We know that TB exists in our communities and so we should all be aware of the signs and symptoms
of the disease.
– George Thomson, Medical Director
Symptoms of TB of the lung include a cough, which lasts for over two weeks, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and weight loss, fever and sweating and extreme fatigue and tiredness. Anyone who thinks they may be affected by these symptoms is being asked to contact their GP.