A livestock farmer injected five cattle with a type of diesel in a bid to fake a positive bovine TB test and claim compensation.
The farmer, who has not been named, made a full admission of guilt and accepted a caution to the offence of interfering with a TB test.
The TB test of the herd in Ceredigion, west Wales, was carried out in December 2016.
After the vet’s visit to carry out the test, the perpetrator injected the cattle with a hydrocarbon liquid to mimic the results of a positive test for TB before the vet returned to check the test results.
But investigations revealed that in five animals the TB injection site had been tampered with.
In a statement, the farmer admitted the offences, blaming increasing financial pressure on the family business.
The significant compensation that would have been obtained per animal was the main motive.
Animal Health officers from Ceredigion County Council said the perpetrator had knowledge of others interfering with TB tests – and took advice from an, as yet, unidentified acquaintance.
The substance was verified using advanced forensic techniques that detected the presence of a diesel-type substance, the council said.
Officers from the council worked in partnership with colleagues from government departments to identify charges.
Councillor Gareth Lloyd, Cabinet member for Public Protection in Ceredigion, said: “The council will always work in the public interest to bring such offenders to book and to highlight such fraudulent actions.
“It’s simply not acceptable that this abhorrent practice is taking place, as it tarnishes all law-abiding and responsible farmers. The council will not hesitate to deal with such cases as they arise, to stamp out such blatant criminal activity.”