Warnings in Uphill as dog mess causes cattle to abort

PUBLISHED: 20:49 28 August 2007 | UPDATED: 11:27 24 May 2010

VISITORS to Uphill are being warned about picking up after their dogs following a spate of abortions from the cattle grazing on the hill.

VISITORS to Uphill are being warned about picking up after their dogs following a spate of abortions from the cattle grazing on the hill.

The first cow to abort from Uphill Hill has been tested positive for neospora caninum.

Two others have since aborted and test results are awaited, although it would seem likely that the same bug is to blame.

North Somerset Council's executive member for environment, Cllr Carl Francis-Pester, said: "The vet who tested the animal is of the opinion that dogs appear to be the host of neospora caninum. This bug rarely causes disease in dogs, but can be very serious if it does.

"Carrier dogs shed eggs in their faeces, which can be ingested by anything coming into contact with them.

"Cattle being grazed on footpaths where dogs are allowed to foul without owners clearing up behind them are at particular risk of infection.

"While most dog owners are responsible and clear up after their animals there are obviously some who are not doing so and this is having very serious consequences."

In addition to the hill's grazier having lost three calves, the cows affected by the bug will not be suitable for future breeding. This is because the bug can remain in the uterus, so disrupting future pregnancies, resulting in abortions or the birth of carrier animals.

Under current byelaws everyone must pick up after their dog or risk a fixed penalty ticket with an automatic fine of £75.


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