Defra: Change the governments ruling of bison being bovine.
HELP US SAVE OUR BOUVERIE LODGE BISON HERD
All we ask, is for you to read this information and then judge for yourself and hopefully you will then sign our petition. Due to the recent “horsemeat scandal”, the “powers that be”, are now trying for want of a better expression, to cover their own backsides. As a result, please read on.
1. We, by law, have to hold a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence to keep Bison.
2. We are asked to classify these animals as bovine i.e. domestic cattle. They are NOT. Bison are a wild animal in every way – NOT cattle. This is purely to tick a box and has no animal welfare concern or health & safety concern for the people carrying out this procedure. i.e. ear tagging and TB testing. We have been fighting for many years now to have our own category for Bison and this is why we now find ourselves in this situation of” stale mate”.
a) You cannot ear tag these animals with any level of accuracy – Other Bison keepers do this but admit they get it wrong but keep quiet about it because of the fear of the authorities, and in doing so, lose many animals to stress. It is totally illegal to knowingly abuse animals in this way. Why do we need it – they never leave the farm!
b) We have letters from Vets all over the country who support our concern.
c) TB testing – we carcass monitor, in exactly the same way as we do for the same deer, that live here on the same farm! Our animals never leave the farm unless they are dead. There is no risk.
d) Under a Dangerous Wild Animal Licence, we have the highest bio security possible and an inspection is carried out annually by a vet.
3. Stress is THE biggest killer of bison. E.g. if a cattle animal runs amok, its cortisol levels (stress) would be 90. To put a bison in a crush before you have even started to carry out a procedure, it is at 190. We have scientific evidence to support this.
4. We can successfully keep these animals as game, and supply a safe, secure, and much sort after product for you, the customer , in exactly the same way as we do for the deer.
5. We have always been open and honest in everything we do on our farm, on how we keep our animals, how we slaughter and butcher our animals, to both you the public and to the relevant authorities.
6. Bison cannot be killed in the normal method at an abattoir. The skull is 6 - 10 times thicker than that of a domestic cow and therefore has to be shot with a high powered rifle. Hence we use a trained rifle slaughter man, to dispatch the animals in the open field whereby the animal knows nothing about it and is in a safe area for this to be carried out.
We as a small farmer will now have to go through hell and high water to make our voices heard. This is where we desperately need your help.
There is no greater traceability for our bison meat, than to see them in the fields as you drive up to our shop. We are now stopped from killing our own animals, purely to satisfy bureaucracy and tick boxes, forcing us to import meat in order to keep trading. We now ask for your support, and hope that you will sign our petition, either here today or on our web site at www.bisons.org.
The answer is easy – give us sensible interpretation as is allowed in European regulation and allow us to keep these animals as game.
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