Blackleg warning for farmers

Scottish Agricultural Col-
­lege vets are warning farmers about a rise in the incidence of blackleg in cattle after the disease was diagnosed recently in five of its Disease Surveillance Centres at St Boswells, Ayr, Dumfries, Edinburgh and Perth.

These DSCs believe the recent wet weather may have triggered the increase in cases of this fatal disease, caused by the bacterium Clostridium chauvoei.

According to Alwyn Jones, VIO at the Disease Surveil­lance Centre, St Boswells: “Cattle between six and 24 months old are particularly susceptible to this disease. Affected cattle are often found dead, although occasionally they may be lame and have a swollen upper limb before they die.”

The bacterium can sur­vive in soil for years as highly resistant spores, tough enough to withstand even frost.