Dutch farmers angry over bovine tuberculosis export calves

The Dutch farmer organisation LTO is calling for a ban on British calf exports after 12 British calves, infected with bovine tuberculosis, were sold to The Netherlands.

Dutch farmers are already boycotting cattle from the UK after 27 farms in Holland were placed under TB restrictions and 12 cattle tested positive for the disease.

The calves were traced after reactors were found on a British farm which exported the animals on 22 May.

Although this took place two months ago, it took the Dutch department of agriculture until 11 July to make an official announcement.

The delay has angered the LTO and wants Brussels to take official action against the UK.

“In England, the control and registration of bovine tb doesn’t seem to work properly, allowing for the export of cattle from infected farms as we see now.

“To stop a further spread, Brussels should impose an export ban on the UK,” said Siem-Jan Schenk, chair of the livestock commission of LTO.

Mr Schenk and other board members visited the UK earlier this year.

“I don’t think we can expect any improvements in the British control procedures.

“The government thinks it’s a job for the industry and the industry thinks it’s a job for the government. So the UK is getting nowhere.”

Visit FWiSpace to read UK farmer reaction.