DEFRA HAS indicated that it thinks that the outbreak of brucellosis in Cornwall during March was an isolated incident. 

Detailed investigations have been carried out on behalf of DEFRA by the State Veterinary Service and the Veterinary Laboratory Agency.

But the two organisations have found no evidence that the disease may have spread further than the single case recorded in Liskeard earlier in the year.  

They also admit that they may never identify the origin of the disease. 

The original source of the infection may no longer be alive or because the disease was not able to become established elsewhere. 

Although the case was discovered in March 2004 the available evidence suggests that the infection became established sometime between Spring 2002 and Spring 2003. 

DEFRA is still urging all cattle keepers to remain alert for signs of the disease. 

All premature calvings and abortions must be reported to the Divisional Veterinary Manager at the DEFRA Divisional Animal Health Office. 

This message has been endorsed by the British Cattle Veterinary Service and by the National Farmers Union. 

“Brucellosis is a devastating disease not only for animals but also for those humans who contract the infection,” said Carl Padgett, BCVA honorary secretary.

“We must do our utmost to prevent its reintroduction to mainland Great Britain, farmers with their vets must be encouraged to implement biosecurity health plans to achieve this.”