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FREE Conference to highlight developments in TB Testing in Northern Ireland

hosted by the Pedigree Cattle Trust and supported by Glanbia Cheese

 Thursday 25 January 2018

7.30 pm to 9.30 pm

Seagoe Hotel, Portadown, BT63 5JE 

Guest speakers include 

Richard Sibley

A pioneering vet trialling early detection methods for bTB 

David Simpson MP 

Victor Chestnutt, UFU 

Fraser Menzies, DAERA Veterinary Epidemiology Unit 

Followed by tea/coffee and biscuits and the opportunity

to talk with colleagues about the current consultation paper 

Please click here to register by 12 noon on 24 January 

We have a very distinguished panel of speakers who will share their knowledge and experience with us and more details on them can be found below.

Please feel free to forward this email to other contacts you think would be interested in attending. 

Registration for this FREE event is essential and e-tickets will be available on a first come first served basis until 12 noon on Wednesday 24 January.  Simply click here or log into https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bovine-tb-conference-tickets-42076674466 to join us for what promises to be an interesting and stimulating evening.

Brian Walker
Chairman, Pedigree Cattle Trust 

Speaker Profiles

Richard Sibley, Vet

Pioneering vet, Richard Sibley has been carrying out research which may help eradicate bovine tuberculosis without a single badger being killed.

He is trialling two new tests, the first of these detects bTB in cows months before they test positive with the traditional “skin test”.  To find out if they are infectious, a second test detects bTB in dung, showing if a cow is “shedding” – spreading – the disease. If it is, the cow is slaughtered even though the conventional test suggests it is healthy.  He is also looking at ways to prevent the spread of the disease by changing the conditions in which the cows are kept and measures to ensure mothers are not passing the disease to new born calves. 

David Simpson, MP

 Upper Bann MP David Simpson is a senior partner in a highly successful business in the agri-food sector which has been operating for more than 30 years.  It currently trades in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, the EU and Far East.  He won the Upper Bann Westminster seat in May 2005 and retained the seat in the subsequent elections of 2010, 2015 and 2017.  He is the DUP Westminster spokesman on Business, Skills and Innovation and Environment, Food & Rural Affairs  and he also sits on the EFRA Committee. 

Victor Chestnutt, Deputy President, Ulster Farmers’ Union

Victor Chestnutt is a fourth generation farmer based on the North Antrim Coast, near the Giants Causeway. The family farm is run by Victor, wife Carol and son David. As a former Greenmount student Victor has shown a life-long commitment to farming. Firstly managing a sheep and suckler herd and producing feed for the livestock, rearing calves and undertaking a bull beef finishing system. Since then Victor has also introduced several pedigree beef herds: Aberdeen Angus; Charolais; British Blue and Limousin, and more recently a major decision was taken to extend the existing enterprises to incorporate a new dairy unit.  Victor’s farm is also well-known for pedigree Texel sheep which have been bred there since the early 1980s. Victor has held several UFU and industry positions, including; County Antrim group chairman, President of the Texel Sheep Society and chairman and co-ordinator of Causeway Coast Quality Lamb group

Fraser Menzies, DAERA Veterinary Epidemiology Unit

Fraser qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1982 and spent five years in farm animal practice in Northern Ireland prior to joining the Scottish Agricultural College’s Veterinary Investigation Service after completion of an MSc.

He returned to Northern Ireland in 1990 to work as a veterinary epidemiologist at the then Veterinary Research Laboratories, Stormont.  His interest in population medicine has led to work across many species and diseases; from farmed salmon to badgers and from campylobacter in poultry to bovine tuberculosis. He obtained his PhD from Queen’s University of Belfast which investigated some of the economically important diseases of cattle (cause of bovine mortality, coliform mastitis and liver fluke). 

Fraser joined DAERA’s Veterinary Epidemiology Unit (VEU) at its formation in 2003, which he currently manages.  The bulk of VEU’s work revolves around the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis and evaluating the risk and mitigation measures from preventing exotic animal diseases entering Northern Ireland.