Farmer's two-day wait for anthrax
A FARMER whose cattle were at the centre of an anthrax scare
that he and other workers had to wait too long for antibiotic
Ewan Campbell, 55, says he did not receive medical treatment
until two days
after coming into direct contact with a cow which died from
The problems began last Friday, when Mr Campbell’s
31-year-old son, also
called Ewan, discovered the animal at Balcorrach Farm,
near Lennoxtown, East
The Campbells and three health
workers then manoeuvred the animal into a van
before it was taken away to be
However, they did not receive treatment until Sunday
Mr Campbell said: "It was a bit of a shock to find out the cow
had died from
"We phoned our vet who took a blood sample,
which is a standard precaution
for a sudden death.
"He phoned me back
two hours later to say he had found anthrax spores and
had contacted the
government vet," the farmer added.
"We loaded the cow on to a van to be
burned and we razed the ground around
where it had fallen. It was not until
the next day that we were told to
contact medical authorities to get
antibiotics because we had touched it. I
was in very close contact with
The cow is believed to have contracted the disease by eating
contaminated with soil-borne microscopic spores.
usually about five cases of cattle dying from the disease every
year in the
UK. However, this is thought to be the first incident of the
Scotland since an outbreak in North Lanarkshire in 1997.
caused by the bacterium bacillus anthracis and causes a sudden
rise in body
temperature in animals, as well as staggering, respiratory
convulsions and, ultimately, death.
Although the disease is not
contagious, humans can contract it through
airborne spores or though
If contracted in humans it may develop localised swelling and
lesions or, if
the bacterial spores are breathed in,
Yesterday, a ban still remained on animals being moved from
while the farm was disinfected.
The area around the
enclosure, in the Campsie Fells, had already been
cordoned off by police on
Council officials said yesterday there was no danger to public
admitted those who touched the infected cow could be at
David McLavin, a spokesman for East Dunbartonshire Council, said:
public are not at risk.
"Only those who came into direct contact
with the animal would have been
exposed to anthrax spores.
did handle the animal have been placed on antibiotics as a matter
"While not common, anthrax does occur around sheep and
cattle," he added.
"It is in no way as sinister as the purified form used
terrorist attacks in the United States, and there is no cause
Forth Valley Health Board, who administered the antibiotics,
available for comment last