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Farm under quarantine after mysterious deaths of cows

A Devonshire farm has been placed under quarantine after eight cows died in three days.The last cow died yesterday. An area resident raised the alarm and private veterinarian Dane Coombs, Government veterinarian Jonathan Nisbett, the Environmental Health Section of the Department of Health, the Chief Medical Officer and the US Department of Agriculture are now investigating the cause of their death.

The Department of Environmental Protection is now attempting to determine what caused the death of the animals at Belhaven farm.

Staff are ensuring the cows' carcasses are “carefully and safely disposed of” and tissue samples of soil, hay, faeces and feed are to be sent to the US for analysis.

“Staff from the Department of Environmental Protection are currently visiting other farms across the Island to ensure the illness has not spread but so far believe it has been confined to this single site,” a Government spokeswoman said.

“Until the cause of death is determined, precautions are being taken to ensure that if there is a disease involved, it is not spread. Steps have been taken to quarantine this farm and no animals have been permitted to enter or leave the farm. Officials are taking special precautions when entering and leaving the premises to ensure there is no cross-contamination between farms. ”

Continued the spokeswoman: “The Department would like to stress that these cows were 'dry cows', meaning that this site is used to place cows that are not producing milk.

“Therefore there is no direct danger to the local milk supply as the cows at the Belhaven site are not being milked. Furthermore, these animals were also not scheduled for slaughter so there is no possibility that there has been human consumption of this meat.”

Belhaven farm, in Devonshire, where eight cows have died in recent days.

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Published November 18, 2011 at 8:00 am (Updated November 18, 2011 at 8:58 am)

Farm under quarantine after mysterious deaths of cows

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