'Years of work destroyed': Farmer loses 70 cattle to bTB

Welsh farmer said he lost all his show cows and his best genetic cows to the disease (Stock photo)
Welsh farmer said he lost all his show cows and his best genetic cows to the disease (Stock photo)

A struggling farmer has said 20 years of work has now been 'destroyed' following the loss of 70 pedigree cattle to bovine TB.

Carmarthenshire farmer Ian Harris has spoken of his heartache after losing 70 of his 140 pedigree cattle in the last six months.

The news is something he's still struggling to come to terms with.

In the 12 months to April 2019 there were 722 new herd incidents reported in Wales, official figures show.



During this period 11,977 cattle were slaughtered due to bovine TB control.

This is a 19% increase on the previous 12 months, when 10,088 cattle were slaughtered.



Speaking to ITV News about his ordeal, he said his 'work has been destroyed'.

Mr Harries said: “We lost all our show cows, all our best genetic cows and to me that was the bitter pill to swallow, that I couldn't cope with it.

“It was something that I'm still struggling to come to terms with it.

“It's only 6 months down the line but it's 20 years of work that to me has been destroyed.”

He added: “I'm not ashamed to say that when we tested [for the disease] I cried... when we loaded them up I cried again and I've cried several times after that.”

It follows the Farmers' Union of Wales urging the Welsh government to provide more information on the financial impact of a bovine TB breakdown and the subsequent mental health impact.

The number of farming businesses which are suffering from stress and anxiety from bovine TB is likely to be high, it says.



Earlier this month Ceredigion MP Ben Lake said 'little thought' is given to farmers going through the effects of bovine TB.