Pneumonia cure keeps livestock foot-and-mouth free says farmer
12:40pm Wednesday, 28th March 2001
A farmer claims a prevention and cure for foot-and-mouth is available and currently in everyday use.

Tony Cleasby, from Penrith in Cumbria says an everyday cure for pneumonia which is in common use by farmers nationwide can also be used to tackle foot-and-mouth.

Mr Cleasby, whose family farm of Barton Church Farm, Tirril, has 250 cattle and 180 sheep, is in the middle of one of the areas worst hit by the disease.

However, his animals have been healthy for the past month, despite surrounding farms falling prey to the rapidly spreading virus.

He has been using a licensed pneumonia product called Airwave ever since the first outbreak of foot-and-mouth more than a month ago and is convinced that it is one safeguard to protect his livelihood.

He claims that the idea for the cure came from a study of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth in Germany in the 1930s in which thousands of farms were affected, except for one farm which had a saw mill on its grounds.

Acids released when timber was cut acted as an antidote to airborne viruses which ravaged the country's farming population.

Mr Cleasby said the Airwave pneumonia treatment - which is a blend of organic acids, eucalyptus and herbs - mimicked the effect that the timber acids had on livestock in the German outbreak.

Cattle, which are being shielded in the farm's barns are subjected to twice daily "fogging" - an operation where the pneumonia solution is mixed with water and heated until it forms a fine mist which coats the nasal and throat passages of the cattle and stops airborne viruses including foot-and-mouth from infecting the animals.

The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food says the pneumonia treatment was not a solution to the outbreak that had yet been considered but officials are open minded about any potential way to halt the disease.

(c) Copyright Ananova Ltd 2001, all rights reserved.