Cornwall

Human faeces blamed for tapeworm 'riddled' bullock

  • 22 February 2012
  • From the section Cornwall

A Cornish farmer has claimed to have lost up to £1,000 in income after one of his "prized bullocks" was found to be infected by human tapeworm.

Beef farmer Robert Trezise said a west Cornwall abattoir found the animal to be unfit for human consumption.

He said people using his fields as an "impromptu toilet" could have been the cause.

He claimed the abattoir told him the only possible way it could have been infected was by "eating human faeces".

Mr Trezise said: "I got a phone call from the auctioneer saying the abattoir had told them one of the animals had been put in the bin because it was riddled with human tapeworm.

"I just worry for the next lot that the same thing is going to happen."

Lostwithiel vet Nicky Paull said in her 30 year working life it was the "first time" she had ever come across such a thing.

"It used to be more common over 100 years ago when perhaps hygiene wasn't as good and perhaps when farmers and their livestock lived in much closer proximity," Ms Paull said.

"Nowadays one wouldn't expect to see this at all.

"On the whole cattle are fairly fastidious with what they are eating and you wouldn't expect them to normally eat human faeces.

"One has to accept that if you have footpaths across your land, someone, perhaps even a small child may be caught short."

Ms Paull said it was important that the abattoir spotted it and was able to "take it out of the human food chain".

"I don't think we need to get in a panic about it. This isn't going to be a massive outbreak."

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