Disease in Uphill kills cows

A CATTLE-KILLING disease has already claimed the lives of two cows in Uphill.

A CATTLE-KILLING disease has already claimed the lives of two cows in Uphill.

The animals were killed by black leg, an illness caused by bacteria which lives naturally in the gut and can also remain alive in the soil for some years.

Affected animals, often young, well-grown beef cattle, generally pick it up from contaminated ground when they are put out to pasture.

Farmer Peter Hemmings says two of his cows were recently struck down with the disease on Walborough Hill, which is National Trust land.

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Death occurs suddenly and some animals may have shown no previous signs of illness.

Mr Hemmings, who has let his cows graze in that area for 12 years, said: "They were sent away to Highbridge and we were told that is what killed them.

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"Now we know it is here we will vaccinate them next year. I don't think the disease could affect humans."

North Somerset Council confirmed there had been two reported cases of the disease in Walborough Hill, which lies south of Uphill Way.

The Department for Food and Rural Affairs says it has not been told of a problem but that it is a non-notifiable disease which means there is no obligation to report the issue to it.

The Weston & Somerset Mercury tried to contact the National Trust but nobody was available for comment.

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