Cirencester vet Rob Darvill's emotional letter about TB epidemic in cattle read by thousands of online users
AN ONLINE letter written by a Cirencester vet about the heartache of slaughtering cattle infected with tuberculosis has been viewed by over 10,000 people.
Rob Darvill, of Benson and Babb Vets, wrote the letter to fellow vets explaining the turmoil of “condemning cows to death”.
The 520 word letter was published in the Veterinary Times and then posted online by the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) and TB Free England.
Speaking to the Standard, Rob said: “I wasn’t expecting that it would be seen by so many people as I was just writing for my colleagues.”
In his letter, he explained the difficulties faced by vets and farmers due to bovine TB spreading throughout Gloucestershire.
He wrote: “I'm not trained to send animals to slaughter. But more of my time is being spent delivering devastating news like this to farmers because of bovine TB.
“It's a disease you always hope you're never going to find in a herd.”
Mr Darvill’s letter said that the slaughtering of cattle is like “watching a disaster unfold in front of you.”
“You're essentially watching yourself destroy the business of someone who, until that point, you've been helping by treating and curing their animals so they can thrive. Nothing can prepare you for that.”
The letter has become something of an internet sensation and has attracted views and comments from people all over the globe however, not all the responses have been positive.
Mr Darvill said: “Some vets have responded negatively to the letter, there’s definitely been a mixed response but I accept that. I’m happy to engage with people on both sides of the argument.”
A badger cull is due to take place in parts of Gloucestershire later in the year and could see more than 5,000 badgers killed as a result.
The Cirencester vet explained to the Standard that although badger culling has been met with fierce opposition, it seems to be the only effective solution at the moment.
He said: “I think we have to pursue every avenue we can. Badger vaccination should be pursued but so far it’s not really effective and vaccinating cattle is some ten years away.”
Rob Darvill's letter can be read in full at www.tbfreeengland.co.uk.
Comments are closed on this article.