March 31/April 1 2008 ~ bTB - the answer lies in the soil
Very little notice has been taken, it seems, of the conviction expressed over the past years by ex-colonel Danny Goodwin-Jones, director of the Carmarthen-based Trace Element Services Ltd, that "once you put back the trace elements all the creatures that live in the soil recover and they keep it healthy" (see earlier posts).The 2003 - 2004 EFRA Committee report on bovine TB ( pdf file 85 pages) took Col. Goodwin Jones work on trace element restoration seriously: Extract
He maintains that restoring trace elements into the soil cuts fertiliser and vets’ bills " Now, the Western Press' Steve Dube reports that Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones wants officials to look into the use of micro-nutrients or trace elements in tackling the disease in badgers as well as cattle. The 2003 - 2004 EFRA Committee report on bovine TB ( pdf file 85 pages) took Col. Goodwin Jones work on trace element restoration seriously, adding, " There is also anecdotal evidence that trace element treated farms are free of TB, while their neighbours are going down with it."
"3.1 Soil trace elements are restored following soil analysis and stock health appraisal. Optimum levels for total selenium should be 0.8–1.2 ppm. Goodwin-Jones finds they are seldom more than 0.3, and frequently undetectable. Available zinc should be 12–15 ppm, and is often as low as 3.0. Available cobalt should be 1–3.0 ppm, copper 10–12 ppm and total iodine 6–8 ppm3. The trace elements are mixed in the hopper with fertiliser or seaweed and spread evenly by the farmer. Soil restoration means the cattle take up the nutrients in their most available form. The widely used mineral licks, boluses and injections are only band-aids. 3.2 It can be anticipated that badgers also will become TB-resistant through the raised trace element content in the worms and beetles of their diet."
Apr 1 2008 by Steve Dube, Western Mail
WELSH ASSEMBLY officials have been asked to investigate a new approach to the problem of bovine tuberculosis.
The order from Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones comes as the Badger Trust expressed fears that the Welsh Assembly Government could sleep-walk into culling badgers as part of a three-year £27m bTB eradication programme.
Ms Jones wants officials to look into the use of micro-nutrients or trace elements in tackling the disease in badgers as well as cattle.
It follows evidence from former farmer and army officer Danny Goodwin-Jones of his work on hundreds of farms across Britain.
Mr Goodwin-Jones is director of the Carmarthen-based Trace Element Services Ltd, a company he founded in 1982 after a series of trials on his underperforming 150-acre Carmarthenshire farm.
“By trial and error I discovered the vital importance of trace elements or micro nutrients to our stock and was able to correct the problems we were having very quickly,” he said.
Since forming his company Mr Goodwin-Jones has developed techniques of treating pastures with small amounts of missing elements, and he has an archive of correspondence acknowledging success in improving animal health.
“About 10 years ago I began to realise that the increasing incidence of bTb was related to a lack of natural immunity in cattle caused by the imbalance of trace elements,” he said.
Results from farms showed that treatment with trace elements, particularly with selenium and iodine, produced outstanding results. He even maintains that restoring trace elements to an impoverished pasture cuts fertiliser and vets’ bills, reduces problems with lambing and produces more dairy heifer calves than bulls.
“I have no doubt that bTB can be greatly reduced if Wales were to raise the health status of its cattle – and badgers – by improving micro nutrient levels in our land,” he said.
“It would cost only £5m to treat all the pasture land in Wales and the effect on livestock and wildlife, and on up the food chain to human health, would be enormous and save a great deal more than that amount of money.
“My company isn’t big enough to do that, but the remedy is clear, and at the very least some form of intensive localised trial should be implemented in a heavily infested bTB area as soon as possible. Early results should be forthcoming very quickly, probably in a year or so.”
A WAG spokeswoman said Mrs Jones was interested to hear from Mr Goodwin-Jones on the potential benefits of his approach.
“She has asked her officials to meet with him to discuss this further,” she said.
The news comes as Badger Trust bTB adviser Trevor Lawson said a badger cull to tackle bovine TB would be a senseless slaughter.
The National Assembly’s rural development committee has recommended a trial cull of badgers in a closely defined area to assess its potential as part of a series of measures to eradicate the disease.
Mr Lawson drew attention to a new report from the trust that showed Wales with the highest incidence of bTB among cattle in the UK. The report blames the problem on the import of TB- infected cattle in the wake of the foot-and-mouth epidemic, particularly from south-west England.
Mr Lawson said the recommendation for a trial cull was “a cheap political quid pro quo for the farming unions, disguised as scientific research” and would add nothing to the scientific evidence already available.
“There is a very real danger that the Welsh Assembly Government will sleep-walk into badger culling despite the overwhelming evidence that it doesn’t work,” said Mr Lawson. “Such a cull will cost Welsh tax-payers millions, wreck tourists’ perceptions of rural Wales and do nothing to control or eradicate bovine TB.
“We very much hope that Elin Jones will have the political wisdom to reject the culling proposal and instead focus all her resources on cattle, which are the real reservoir of bovine TB infection.”