Government officials on the island of Jersey are still continuing to investigate how 100 Jersey cows on just 1 farm died just before Christmas.
Over the duration of just a few days the 100 cows, part of the main milking herd at Woodlands Farm, fell ill and died, while the young stock and dry cows were unaffected.
It is thought that the feed the cows ate may have been contaminated. The results of samples sent off for analysis are still being processed.
Jersey is a small island in the Channel Islands, just north of France, and is home to the worldwide famous Jersey breed of cattle.
All milk collected from the farm, and other dairy farms on that particular day, amounting to 33,000 litres, was disposed of as a precaution.
Eamon Fenlon, managing director of Jersey Dairy, said: “Everyone at Jersey Dairy is totally devastated with what has happened at Woodlands Farm and our thoughts are with the Le Boutillier family and all their team at this very tragic time.
“Losing part of a herd like this is heart-breaking. We can’t imagine how difficult this is for Charlie, his family and all at Woodlands. Words cannot express the heartache we feel for them, and we cannot begin to understand the shock that they must be feeling.
“We hope they can find the strength and guidance to bring them through this difficult and tragic time. We are very grateful to all who rallied around over the weekend to help at Woodlands in this time of need. It was heartening to see that community spirit.”
Eamon added: “Jersey Dairy places great emphasis on quality and food safety. All our products are subjected to rigorous testing at our laboratory. Our Quality Management System is designed to ensure that policies, procedures, specifications, HACCP, and BRC standards, plus customer and regulatory requirements are consistently followed. Our overall objective is to ensure that all products leaving Jersey Dairy are safe for our customers and consistently of a high quality.
“We have been working with Public Health to ensure that there is no risk to consumers and would like to assure our customers that none of our products contain milk from the affected farm.”
All the dead cattle were disposed of at the animal carcass incinerator on the island and did not enter the food chain.
Jersey’s Minister for the Environment, deputy Jonathan Renouf, said: “We don’t yet know, for sure, what has caused this devastating loss of so many of this dairy herd, and my thoughts are with all those at the farm having to come to terms with what’s happened.
“I’m reassured to hear that no milk from the specifically affected sub-herd has entered the food chain, and that every precaution has been taken to safeguard public and animal health. Discussions are underway about how best to dispose of the milk currently in storage.
“I’m thankful to the local vets, government of Jersey officials, and fellow farmers who have responded.”