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Email received from Dianne Summers July 21st 2011 Bovine TB in Alpacas

Dear All

We have updated our website
 on the following Sections:

1. NEWS - 20/7/11 DEFRA Bovine Tb Eradication Programme for England
17/7/11 Better Recording of Camelid Losses to TB
17/7/11 Changes to affected herd totals on home page.

2. INCREASE IN CAMELID TB in the Reducing the Risk section. 2 members of the TB Support Group have now lost their entire herd and several others have sadly lost the majority of their herd.

3. HOME PAGE Green Box now shows number of camelid HERDS affected to Btb up to March 31st 2011. This was provided by DEFRA. A link to the table provided by DEFRA is also included.

4. HOME PAGE MAP New map released from DEFRA yesterday. Hover your mouse over map to enlarge.

Thanks as always to Dr Gina Bromage for her constant work on the Tb situation in camelids. We cannot thank her enough.

We have to give a huge thank you to Mike Birch who not only set up our web site free of charge but updates it at no cost to the TB Support Group. No money from your kind donations have gone towards this website.

Thank you to all the members of the TB Support Group who have given their data to make this website possible. You are making a huge difference and your data is helping others. It may not feel that way when you are going through this traumatic experience but trust me when I say the alpaca industry owe you a huge debt of gratitude. Only 30 Camelid herds are in touch with the Tb Support Group so we have no data nor how many losses the other 22 herds have suffered.

Thank you to British Camelids Limited for your support and listing our website on their website. Thanks also to NFU, and countless alpaca owners who are doing the same. The B.A.S. Board (British Alpaca Society) despite repeated requests from us refuse to inform its members about our website. Mike Birch who was Chairman of the B.A.S. but sadly resigned in 2010 has asked the B.A.S board for a reason why. This will be discussed at the next B.A.S Board meeting. The members of the B.A.S. who sadly succumb to Tb only find out about our website when they receive the letter of consent to test from DEFRA which gives our website and our contact numbers for help. See Letter of consent to test on our website. Our website is not only for those that succumb to Tb but we hope it helps camelid owners reduce the risk of it happening to them. Thanks to DEFRA for giving our details to those that are affected.

A huge thank you to senior officials in VLA DEFRA and AHVLA who work closely with the Tb Support Group.

A huge huge thank you to those who have given us donations both in the U.K. and Europe. We still need donations to continue our work anything from 1.00 will be appreciated. Go to the Donations section of the website.

Lastly, a plea to all camelid owners. Please be responsible - PM all losses and co-operate with Animal Health when asked to do so. Do not refuse to test - please give records to AH about all movements and sales etc. We need to work together. You have a responsibility to not only the welfare of your own herd and yourself but to those who you have sold to and other livestock contiguous to your farm.
The cattle industry talk openly and freely if they have TB in their herd - we should be the same - it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Yes we are a minority and the Tb situation in camelids compared to cattle is minuscule and some say it isn't a problem but if it happens to you then it is a problem. It has ruined

Kindest Regards
Dianne,Gina and Mike

Camelid TB Support Group