Farm owners' devastation over bluetongue

DEVASTATED owners of the Baylham House Rare Breeds farm have today thanked people for their support after one of their most popular cows had to be killed as a result of the bluetongue virus.

DEVASTATED owners of the Baylham House Rare Breeds farm have today thanked people for their support after one of their most popular cows had to be killed as a result of the bluetongue virus.

Richard Storer who runs the farm with his wife Ann released a statement today revealing how Debbie the highland cow became the first animal in Britain to be found with the virus.

He said their traumatic week started on Monday when they called the vet after they feared they cow was showing signs of foot and mouth.

He said: “Having reached the point on Thursday when we were assured that we had not got F & M on the farm, the drama began all over again when we were told on Friday that all our stock would need to be checked for Bluetongue. “This brought with it a host of new problems, not least of which was the requirement to take blood samples from all our ruminant animals, some of which are not in situ here at Baylham House.

“This testing process is still ongoing. In the meantime we have lost “Debbie” a highland cow who was a great favourite with our regular visitors.

“However the future is hopeful and we are so grateful that we have not had to endure the terrible trauma that farmers in Surrey must be going through.

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“In conclusion we would like to say that the veterinary teams from DEFRA have been wonderful, both in their dealings with us and the care and consideration that they have shown for our animals.

“The police have also been most helpful and we could not have asked for this incident to have been handled in a more professional and sympathetic way.

“We would also like to thank the masses of people who have sent us messages of support, messages that have made it easier for us to deal with the crisis.

“We will hopefully be able to open our doors to the public very soon and will let you know when this will be.”

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