Farmer wins support in battle to save bull calf

A Devon farmer who is continuing her fight to save a bull calf from being slaughtered as a TB reactor has received many messages of support in her battle against DEFRA.

Sheilagh Kremers, of Newton Abbot, is refusing to allow DEFRA access to slaughter one of her 12 pedigree Dexter cattle on the grounds that the tuberculin skin test is unreliable and was poorly carried out.

“Only 13-20% of cattle slaughtered for TB are positive, which simply isn’t good enough,” she said.

“But DEFRA is refusing to allow us a second test, even if we do it privately.”

Mrs Kremers has complained to the Royal Veterinary College, questioning the validity of the TB tests.


“I’ve had loads of phone calls and letters from farmers supporting us, and although I’ve never knowingly broken the law in my life, I am just going to go on until they say: ‘OK, you’re arrested’.”

Two other farmers in Worcestershire are also refusing to comply with DEFRA on similar grounds. DEFRA is charging Nicola and Andrew Morris, of Eatons Farm, Tibberton, for obstruction and the case will be heard in court on 30 and 31 January.

Samantha Qureshi, of Lower Snead Farm, Pensax, is meeting Trading Standards on 19 January to decide whether to grant
DEFRA a warrant to remove reactors from her premises.

“Of the five cattle slaughtered as reactors in recent years, all have proven negative,” she said.

“DEFRA has been absolutely foul and there is no way we are giving up these animals without a fight.”

Bill Wiggin, local MP and shadow minister for agriculture and fisheries, will raise the subject in Parliament.

The actual charge against Mr Morris is: Obstructing a veterinary surgeon in his duty to carry out a diagnostic test for bovine TB.

Mrs Morris is being charged under a different act for helping Mr Morris.