John Snow famously showed how cholera is spread by contaminated water and by taking the handle off the Broad Street pump in 1854 and stopped an outbreak in its tracks. Nowadays we have the word biosecurity, meaning prevention of contamination by breaking the pathway of infective agent. There are a number of diseases of cattle that are infectious and are also zoonoticTuberculosis, Brucellosis, Weills disease for example. Zoonoses are disease that can spread from animals to humans and vice versa. In the early days at eCow we were always keen to dismantle returned boluses to find out why they failed and we could sometimes find the battery terminals and power them up to extract useful data. Some of our customers have used this service but we have decided to stop it because of biosecurity. Although the rumen liquor will destroy pathogens it is possible for a bolus to become cotaminated from cow or human contact on extraction. When we receive a used bolus for checking we give it a thorough cleansing if only to suppress the smell of rumen liquor but we are concerned that eCow premises may become a centre of contamination and so we have decided to cease offering a data recovery service.
Illustration 1: Original map by John Snow in 1854 where each black dot was a death from cholera. Against protests he took the handle off the Broad St pump and the deaths stopped. Soon afterwards London was equipped with a public water supply and the use of the artesian wells ceased.
Our biosecurity policy is that each bolus that leaves the premises is new from the mould and is given a through cleaning with a biocide before packing and shipping. Similarly any bolling gun or other product has never been to another farm.
Our staff are trained in biosecurity measures as they live in an area of England with many cattle, sheep and badgers. Boots are washed with biocide between each farm visit and in the case of the farm trials Arnaud has a dedicated set of boots and overalls at each farm. Toby rarely has contact with cows but being the boss wears a freshly laundered boiler suit for each farm visit.
When returning a failed bolus as part of a warranty claim please give them a good cleanup and send all the files from the bolus folder and sub-folders as we can inspect the history and deduce the cause and date of failure.
Please continue returning failed boluses as we can remanufacture some of the parts. They are sterilised before re-use.
Returned boluses are cleaned with biocide on receipt and kept in a dedicated area and not mixed with new stock. At eCow we take biosecurity seriously and try to ensure the health of our staff and customers and their cattle.