25 hounds at the Kimblewick Hunt have been put down following an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis – an infectious disease that affects cattle and is usually associated with badgers.
The Kimblewick Hunt released the following statement:
“On 10th December 2016, one hound from the Kimblewick Hunt was suspected of having contracted bTB [bovine tuberculosis]. Subsequently further tests were carried out on other hounds within the pack during December.
“Following receipt of post-mortem results and tissue cultures on 31st January 2017 bTB was confirmed. Since then, approximately 25 hounds have been euthanised.
“The full pack of hounds has not been euthanised. There are over 120 hounds remaining in kennels which continue to be monitored closely and testing is ongoing.”
Can Hunts Can Be A Cause Of TB Spread?
Whilst it is generally associated with badgers, many experts believe that hunts could be another cause of tb spreading around rural areas.
The hunt often pride themselves on the free service they offer to farm owners, taking away their deceased cattle and feeding it to the hounds, this saves the farmer a job and saves them money, so it’s likely the carcass they were given was affected with the disease. In this case, the hounds could have spread TB across neighbouring farms had it not been identified early.
In addition to this, TB can survive in cow feces for up to 8 weeks, when hounds trample through the mess (20 – 40) hounds per hunt – there is no doubt that some of this is transferred with the hounds.