First Anthrax Case in Nine Years Discovered in Wiltshire
Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that a cow at a Wiltshire Farm has died of Anthrax. It’s the first case of the disease in the UK in nine years. Movement restrictions have been imposed at the farm in Westbury, near Warminster, while a local footpath that runs close to the affected field has been closed as a precaution.
No animals that had any contact with the infected cow have entered the food chain and the risk to the public is described as very low. Wiltshire Director of Public Health Maggie Rae, believes the source of infection may be a previous incident at the same farm.
“This situation in Westbury, we have a historic link because we do have evidence that the last incident was 20 years ago when again a cow died and when it was tested it had anthrax,” she said. “Obviously the most important thing we needed to do, which we did over the weekend, was have the cow incinerated and make sure it was disposed of safely.” All contacts of the animal have been put under observation for the disease which has an average incubation period of 72 hours.
The last case of Anthrax in the UK occurred in April 2006 when two cows died on a farm in Rhondda Cynon Taf. In July of the same year, a 50 year old artist died after contracting the disease from animal hides he imported to make drums.