(By Dot Boag)
No matter how carefully you maintain your bio-security other people might be putting your animals in danger.
Strict guidelines were issued to Tanker companies at the beginning of the outbreak, this is a long time ago now and it is very likely that some companies and drivers have become lax in their observance of these procedures. Tankers travelling from farm to farm, often over great distances are a potential hazard that should not be taken lightly.
If you feel that the milk tanker collecting from you has not been properly cleaned and disinfected, or that it does not have a properly functioning filter in place. Do Not allow it into your premises until the company complies with the guidelines to your satisfaction. contact DEFRA and tell them of your concern, it is possible to claim compensation if your milk has to be disposed of rather than collected..
The stringent rules imposed on these tankers are there because of the serious risk they can pose to the welfare of your animals.
Excerts from Code of practice for hauliers and buyers of milk Updated 11/03/01
d) FMD virus may be excreted in the milk of infected cows for up to four days before the onset of clinical disease.
e) Airborne spread of FMD virus from farm to farm can occur. This may be virus breathed out by infected animals or may be by means of wind-borne virus- laden milk droplets released from tanker air vents when pumping is carried out. The virus may be carried from farm to farm on contaminated vehicles and clothing.
5) Filters on tanker air vents. A MAFF approved air filter must be fitted to the vacuum pump air outlet of vacuum tanker vehicles or the air vent of positive pump tanker vehicles operating within an infected area. This is to prevent the dispersion of airborne milk droplets, which may contain high concentrations of FMD virus from infected animals before any clinical signs are apparent.
Some Extra Preventive Measures
Biolitan is a herbal immunity enhancer clinically tested at an agricultural university in Holland. It is claimed to increase immunity levels by 800% in pigs, 300% in sheep and cattle and generally builds up resistance to disease and greatly improves the quality and condition of animals. It counteracts the debilitating effects of feeding inferior protein. It is supplied by Highperformance BV (agent John Cullimore 01453 890747 or Company Chairman Sjaak Brandes 01335 324108). Recommended Dosage: 1 ml per 100kg of live weight for 10 days, repeated at intervals.
Seaweed is recognised world wide as a conditioner and aid to the immune system. It contains a balanced spectrum of amino acids and trace elements for the promotion of animals health. Marketed under the trade name of Seaquim ~ Telephone 01948880037 for details of suppliers.
Onions are strongly antibacterial and antiviral, and roughly cut up are enjoyed by sheep! (Grated onion covered with sugar to make them more palatable used to be fed to horses suffering colds; personal communication with experienced horseperson).
Borax. Farmers who used Borax 30 in 1967 reported their success and requested supplies. Others who began using the same remedy have reported that aside from staving off the condition they have realized the benefits. Included amongst there are an increase in milk yield, improvement in the quality of the milk and resolution of existing foot problems and lameness in herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. The dosage used has been 10ml per trough daily for three days Then twice weekly for three weeks then once weekly for the duration of the epidemic. With sheep the 10ml is added to a litre of water in a house plant sprayer and given on the nose as the sheep pass a race or gate. The cost of Borax 30 is #25.00 for 100 ml,#40.00 for 200ml, #57.00 for 300ml #67.00 for 500ml and #110.00 for 1 litre. More information can be obtained from our web-site:- www.ainsworths.com or by telephone 0207--935-5330 and 01883-340332 Ainsworths
Crossgates Farm Homeopathic supplier Tel 01756-748585 have made up a mixture for prevention using Borax Psorinum, Syphillinum, Merc- Cor Borax. Has been used in prevention of outbreaks
Helios (Tel 01892 537254) are supplying Borax 30c, a concentrate to be added to water troughs daily for one week, then twice weekly for as long as the outbreak persists they supply a covering note pointing out that it is illegal to treat notifiable diseases.
Licks There are licks/blocks available that include disinfectant. When the animal licks the block it is bathing the mouth and throat which is especially susceptible to the virus.
Feed If possible feed haylage or silage instead of hay. (Low pH 4-6.5, and being plastic wrapped means there is no risk of virus contamination). Hard feed or concentrates can be sprinkled with vinegar (low pH 3.5).
Also If animals are housed, bedding of wood shavings (pine) are preferable to straw. The wood shavings contain essential oils and resins that are naturally antibacterial and antiviral