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email received April 22 2006 from Sheilagh Kremers. See the chronology of DEFRA and the killing of the pedigree calf.

Dear Mary,

so sorry about the delay in writing the next instalment of our story. On Friday the 7th April, after I had agreed to let Fern go at last, I was hoping for a low valuation in some ways, so that I could refuse to let him go again, and DEFRA would have to go to court to get a slaughter warrant form A.

But the independant valuer made me a very good offer, one that reflected Fern`s worth to us, and I was tired of fighting, so I let them shoot him.

I was never going to win, because all the evidence I had about deafr related to the first test, and how they altered the test results.

My husband, Mark, went with Fern to Cremtor and the post-mortem.

Four SVS personnel searched diligently for lesions. None were found in the lungs or stomach areas.

Eventually a small, calcified abcess was found in one of the throat glands.

It was not an open lesion. Linda Evans, the SVS vet at the crem, told Mark and Brian - from Farming in Crisis (who has been absolutely marvellous) that it had been there some time, and this would be sent to the laboratories to be cultured, to see if it was indeed bTB.

The results would be known in six weeks.

Imagine my shock when the Western Morning Newspaper phoned me on the Monday to ask if I would " like to comment on the deafr statement that had just come to them from head office".

I have only just received a letter from deafr this week.

The journalist read out a stream of sentences which said Fern had shown typical signs of bTB at the post mortem. This validated their tests. Etc.etc.

It is amazing how facts change when they get back to head office.

Of course I knew that they would eventually say he had it.

Mind you I was told, ( in pressure for me to give him up, on the 3 January by Linda Farrant SVS, when I queried that it was unusual for a calf to react - n fact cattle are not even tested in Hampshire under 15 months old) that this would mean that the infection would have spread rapidly through his system, and he would be very diseased, so he must be dealt with very quickly.

He was in isolation for another 3 months and only the one abcess was found - calcified in his throat (where it entered? If indeed it does culture and show bTB I would say his thyroid and immune system had dealt with it.

I await the results of the culture.

Mark said that he is not even sure that the gland was Fern`s, since so many people were passing pieces of him around, who knows?

Unfortunately deafr can take suspects alone! No proof is needed now, since the government passed yet another law to stop us stopping them. I am now awaiting the next letter to tell me when they are coming to re-test the rest of my herd at twice at 60 day intervals, and let me know who they wish to murder next.

I still do not believe that Fern had the disease, and I do believe that my herd is clear, but it is moving into our area, so it wont be long....

. I would not mind if the government had made a decision to gas infected badgers and to vaccinate my cattle who were clear. The trouble is that the goal-posts change now, and that if any of my cows become inconclusives and move even 1 mil. they will now be called reactors and murdered.

Even tho` before they would have been given a second chance.

This cannot be right. A standard is a standard. How can it be altered. Oh, sorry it`s DEAFR, I forgot! By the way, contrary to deafr`s statements, there is a vaccine because I have spoken on the phone to a scientist who is working on PCR to show the difference between a cow who has been vaccinated and one who has developed the disease.

But, of course we are not allowed to vaccinate, even at our own expense - poultry or birds against bird-flu or cattle against bTB. I used to believe that we lived in a democracy, but now I know better.

Many thanks to everyone who has listened, helped, supported and cared. I only hope that I have given others the courage to stand up for their principles, their cattle, their valuations and their birds, should the time come to them.

With feeling - Sheilagh Kremers.

Test row calf Fern had bovine TB

A post-mortem examination has confirmed that Fern the Devon calf at the centre of a row over TB testing definitely did have the bovine form of the disease.

South Devon farmer Sheilagh Kremers spent weeks trying to persuade officials to give Fern a second TB test, arguing the first was flawed.

Fern reacted to the second test at the East Ogwell farm and was put down.

Mrs Kremers, 63, said she was against government policy of killing cattle but not badgers, which also spread TB.

A second test was agreed to after the government admitted the original test had not been carried out properly