Video: Farmers living on the frontline of bovine TB

For farmers living in a high-risk area, bovine TB has a huge financial and emotional impact.

We visit two farms in south-west Wales which have endured long-term breakdowns.

Stephen and Daniel James who run 350 dairy cattle, have been affected by bovine TB for 25 years.

The financial toll has cost them more than £50,000 over two or three years through lost milk production, time lost to testing days and additional feed costs due to rearing calves indoors when under restriction.

See also: Expert advice: What happens if my herd fails a TB test?

Alun and Seimon Phillips have lost 250 cattle to TB over the past five years. We visit them on testing day which results in 12 animals lost, in the previous test they lost 33.

They tell of the emotional strain and sadness at losing cattle and the pain it causes them to shoot cows on the farm.

“Our best animal, number seven, it gave us 11,000 [litres] last year, it’s a nice animal, we’re very fond of it. It affects you greatly.

“The cattle that are due to calve, we have to shoot them on the farm. That’s a tough day. What’s worse is losing the next generation. Bloodlines end.”

See also: How to badger proof your farm

 

Ffermio is the only television programme in Britain that specifically deals with agricultural issues, as well as providing all the news relevant to farmers and the wider audience.

It is a weekly magazine programme for S4C that discusses a wide range of topics from animal health to food production and conservation.

Join the presenters, Daloni Metcalfe, Alun Elidyr and Meinir Howells, for the latest agricultural stories.

Ffermio presenters (left to right Alun Elidyr, Meinir Howells, Daloni-Metcalfe

Ffermio presenters (left to right) Alun Elidyr, Meinir Howells and Daloni-Metcalfe