Farming community 'devastated' over death of 100 Jersey Cows

Phil Wellbrook went to see how the deaths have affected Jersey's farming community.

More than 100 Jersey dairy cows have fallen ill and died since Thursday (15 December).

The deaths affected cows at Woodlands Farm, which is family run and based in St Helier.

Samples from the cattle's feed and the animals have been sent for analysis, while 33,000 litres of milk collected across the island last week - which included some from cows on the farm - will be disposed of as a precaution.

Eamon Fenlon, managing director of Jersey Dairy, says: "Everyone at Jersey Dairy is totally devastated with what has happened at Woodlands Farm and our thoughts are with the Le Boutillier family and all their team at this very tragic time.

"Losing part of a herd like this is heartbreaking. We can’t imagine how difficult this is for Charlie [farmer], his family and all at Woodlands.

"We hope they can find the strength and guidance to bring them through this difficult and tragic time. We are very grateful to all who rallied around over the weekend to help at Woodlands in this time of need. It was heartening to see that community spirit."

The cause of the cows' deaths is not yet known and investigations are ongoing.

Jersey Dairy says it is an isolated incident and no other farms are affected. Cattle in a separate part of the Woodlands herd have also been unaffected.

Credit: PA

Jersey's Environment Minister Deputy Jonathan Renouf added: "The analysis of the samples will tell us more, but this can take around a week due its specialist nature.

“I’m reassured to hear that no milk from the specifically affected sub herd has entered the food chain, and that every precaution has been taken to safeguard public and animal health."

The dead cattle have been taken to Jersey's Animal Carcass Incinerator.

Jersey's Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, says islanders can be "reassured that there is no risk to health" as the milk is being disposed of.

"We’re working with colleagues across Government and the situation will be monitored closely over the next couple of days.”

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