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Bovine TB

19 Nov 2018
Bovine TB

The beginnings of something profoundly interesting to the farming and wildlife supporter’s community.... 

Welcome to what are the first stirrings of what could be very exciting results using Colloidal Silver to treat cattle showing signs of TB infection. Because we are only just beginning with our trials we are keeping the exact details of where the farm is and who the owners are a secret for the time being. It is hoped that as we get more information we will share it as soon as we can release it. 

The background to the problem:

Source DEFRA. 

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease of cattle and one of the biggest challenges facing the cattle farming industry today, particularly in the west and south west of England. It is caused by the bacteriumMycobacterium bovis (M. bovis),which can also infect and cause TB in badgers, deer, goats, pigs, camelids (llamas and alpacas),dogs and cats, as well as many other mammals. 



  • 5.5 Million – total number of TB tests on cattle in England in 2011.
  • 28,000 – approximate number of cattle slaughtered for TB control in England in 2012.
  • 3,900 – approximate number of new TB incidents in 2012 (herds where at least one animal tests positive for bovine TB, when the herd had previously been TB free).
  • 11.5% of cattle herds in England were under cattle movement restrictions at some point in 2011 (the 2012 statistics will be published once additional quality assurance checks have been completed).
  • 23.6% of cattle herds in the South-West were under cattle movement restrictions at some point in 2011 (the 2012 statistics will be published once additional quality assurance checks have been completed).
  • £500 million – the amount it has cost the taxpayer to control the disease in England in the last 10 years.
  • £1 billion – estimated cost of TB control in England over the next decade without taking further action.
  • £34,000 – the average cost of a TB breakdown on a farm, of which around £12,000 falls to the farmer.

Our trial farm in question is on the Shropshire/Powys border. It was started in 1975 with just 30 acres and gradually overtime the present owners acquired a couple of nearby farms to complete their present holding of 200 acres. Their main stock is a 50 strong herd of native British Pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle raised for their beef which is highly prized as the meat is naturally marbled with fat, making it exceptionally tender and full of flavour. 

For all cattle owners in this part of England there is the seemingly ever present spectre of bovine TB. It used to be confined to the southwest of England but has since spread as far north as Derbyshire and Staffordshire. 

It is vital to check on cattle for exposure to TB and for this the vet is most likely to use something called the ‘delayed hypersensitivity test’, this test is the standard method for detection of bovine tuberculosis. It involves measuring skin thickness, injecting bovine tuberculin intradermally into the measured area and measuring any subsequent swelling at the site of injection 72 hours later. Additionally blood based laboratory tests can be undertaken, whilst the traditional mycobacterial culture remains the gold standard method for routine confirmation of infection. The farming community is close knit and word soon gets around as to what the results are from the latest visit by the ministry vet. All around tested cattle on surrounding farms were showing signs of exposure to TB. Who are the main suspects for carrying and spreading TB? Badgers of course - it is well known that badgers carry TB and that the farmers are constantly seeing signs of badger activity. In fact its not uncommon to see badgers trailing through cowsheds in winter or excavating so much earth that it raises the land enabling cattle to clear fences. 

Our farm was visited by the ministry of agriculture vet and the cattle tested for signs of TB by an intradermal injection previously described on the 25th of Feb this year. On the 28thof February it was found that two of the herd were showing an ‘inconclusive’ reading that meant they were not clear. A retest was scheduled for 29th of April but it hung a cloud over the farm and caused a great deal of stress, ‘what if the next test showed a reactor or presence of TB?’, the implications for the two valuable cattle would be dire ,let alone heightened quarantining and restricted movement for the farm. The farm owner’s daughter on hearing about her parent’s plight from her nearby farm started looking on the internet to see if there was anything that might just tip the scales in favour of an all clear reading next time the vet returned. It was after a while she came across Optimised Energetics who manufacture colloidal silver solutions used for horses, cats and dogs as well as variants for humans. The daughter was particularly taken with the fact that colloidal silver as a matter of public record has been effective against six hundred and fifty different types of bacteria, fungus and viruses and had an excellent safety record. Perhaps this could help her parent’s cattle? A call to the business owner Michael Hayward and a conversation ended with Michael saying’ I’m not sure if it could work but it’s worth a try’. 

Michael sent 2 x 300ml bottles of his companies Amber 80% enhanced Colloidal Silver and they were given to the affected cattle in their own 200 gallon water tank with 1/3 of a bottle added every 3 days. The vet returned on the 29th of April to retest the cattle and four days later the results were against all odds - clear. The vet was very surprised because in her experience an inconclusive reading invariably lead to the second test showing a reactor to TB. So on the face of it this is noteworthy but hardly conclusive as the dilution of colloidal silver was virtually at a homoeopathic level. However it is enough for us to want to explore further whether the Colloidal Silver really did make a difference. As soon as we have more to share we will pick up where we left off in the hope that maybe, just maybe Colloidal Silver could really make a difference to both the farmers and their cattle and the wild badgers that are facing a bleak future....

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