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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 19:10 GMT
Farmer blocks calf slaughter bid
Fern, the pedigree Dexter calf
Sheilagh Kremers wants Fern to be re-tested
A Devon farmer battling to prevent the slaughter of a calf which may have TB blocked attempts to have the animal valued on Wednesday.

Sheilagh Kremers, 63, has pledged to go to jail rather than allow Bull Dexter calf Fern, who tested positive as a bovine TB reactor, to be destroyed.

When a Defra official and valuer arrived at her farm near East Ogwell she refused to let them on to her land.

The animal must be valued before slaughter can take place.

Negative results

The positive test means Fern may have come into contact with the disease - and under government rules, cattle thought to be carriers of the disease must be shot.

"It had to be done, I am not going to let them take him away," said Mrs Kremers, who branded the TB test "totally flawed and totally unreliable".

Now another valuer is expected to be appointed by Defra.

"They say they are coming back with another valuer, and I shall say again I am not going to let them in," said Mrs Kremers.

"I feel I have right on my side," said the farmer, who wants her calf to be re-tested, and has offered to pay for the procedure.

She is also raising a petition calling for accurate tests; new measures to combat the disease at source - such as wildlife - and allow vaccination of domestic and farm animals.

Defra has said they had a right of access to the land under the Animal Health Act, and a court order could be obtained if necessary.

The other 11 cattle in Mrs Kremers' herd had negative results to the TB tests last month.


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