TESTS carried out on the carcass of an animal detained at slaughter have proved it did not have bovine tuberculosis, an agricultural college in the region has confirmed.

East Durham College has issued a statement to advise its students and the local community that it has been given a ‘clean bill of health’ by The Animal and Plant Health Agency.

In summer, the college stopped students from having contact with its cattle as a post-mortem was being carried out on one of its cows, which showed possible signs of bovine TB.

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Paul Flynn, the college’s director of farm and commercial activity, said: “I’m pleased to report that the carcass detained at slaughter does not have TB.

“The Animal and Plant Health Agency confirmed that the test was negative.

“As a precaution we have also tested all our cattle, we were given a clean bill of health with no reactors. All tests were conclusive.

“Whilst the test did not interrupt our commercial or teaching operations, coming between our normal sales period, the experience reminded us of the impact this disease can have. Whilst we are largely free of TB in this region, we have taken additional precautions to exclude badgers from housing and feeding areas. We mustn’t take this status for granted.”

“Much of the west and southwest of England carries a great burden through TB infestation.

“I’d encourage all farmers to plan and operate as though in a high-risk area, together we might be able to keep this disease in check, preserving the value of our stock and the viability of our businesses.”

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