* SO bluetongue is "closing in" on our county (The Cumberland News, March 21). http://www.cumberland-news.co.uk/opinion/viewarticle.aspx?id=820618
If only garlic could be used to help control the midges which spread bluetongue disease (Letters, March 21)!
We have long been familiar with the wonderful, natural, safe disinfectant and health-giving properties of garlic, and use it daily ourselves.
Coincidentally, John Treeby of Tarn Road Nurseries here in Brampton, also suggests using it to deter greenfly on roses.
Farmers would find it so much safer both for themselves, their stock and the environment than toxic disinfectants.
However, we fear that the usual vested interests in other directions will once again prevent such measures being adopted. We do wonder though, how consumers will feel, knowing that their meat may be contaminated with insecticides.
Following our own letter regarding homeopathy and bluetongue which was printed the previous week, we had hoped that someone - a local farmer, vet or MP perhaps - would have contacted us for more information.
Ironically and sadly, such contact has come only from a sheep farmer in the Netherlands. Betty Stikkers wrote: "In our country there were several big herds that were treated with homeopathy last year and it worked well. I just made a plan with a friend who is a homeopathic vet to prevent BT in our flock. Vaccine will be too late for us."
She later wrote that she and her friend (who she says is president of the International Association for Veterinary Homeopaths - and please note that all homeopathic vets are also fully qualified ‘normal’ vets) are now starting with the special treatment in the hope of preventing the disease. They will also give them willow branches "which did a great work last year, and the sheep love them" together with "selenium licks to enhance the condition of the animals".
Betty offers help to anyone wishing to know more.
We have to ask why ‘officialdom’ in the UK is so reluctant to look at natural and safe alternatives, especially in view of the shortage of vaccines - and why so many of our farmers appear to comply with this stance, to the detriment of both themselves and the local economy, of course.
COLIN & SUSAN THORPE