TB Outbreak Forces Kimblewick Hunt To Kill Nearly 100 Hounds
Almost 100 foxhounds were put down after an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis swept through their hunt kennels.
A kennel worker tested positive for the disease after the outbreak at the Kimblewick Hunt’s headquarters near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, an investigation has found.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh said that the risk of transmission from dogs to humans was “plausible and real”.
Their findings will raise fears that hounds can spread TB to other animals, which farmers have called “the greatest threat” to the dairy industry.
The first infected dog was found in December 2016 and a further 96 of the hunt’s 164 dogs tested positive and had to be destroyed.
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A spokesman from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said bTB is not a “notifiable disease in dogs” and was unable to confirm how many hounds were culled.
An APHA spokesperson said in a statement: “Options for managing bTB in dogs include further testing to identify all infected animals, treatment and euthanasia.
“Treatment of animals is not recommended due to the difficulty of achieving an effective cure, the risk to handlers of infected animals, and the potential to cause resistance to drugs that are important to treatment in humans.
“This is a decision for the hunt kennels, to be made in consultation with their private vet.”
The APHA said it had “offered advice to the hunt kennels on options for managing this case”.
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