A Northern Irish farmer has been issued a fine after he was found guilty of tampering with a bovine TB test.
Mark Watters, from Co Tyrone, was convicted of one charge of interfering with the result of a TB herd test.
The 47-year-old was also charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a number of cattle.
The control of bovine TB is dependent on identifying reactor animals at tests conducted by NI's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Current bovine TB levels in Northern Ireland have risen to levels not seen for several years, the department explained.
"Interfering with the results of a TB test undermines the confidence of the general public in the honesty of the farming community," DAERA said.
It added that such an act was 'misrepresentative' of the majority of farmers who were affected by disease.
“The majority of herd keepers fully comply with the requirements of the TB eradication scheme.
“The department gives high priority to the welfare of animals and operates a vigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.
“Any breaches are investigated thoroughly and offenders prosecuted as necessary,” DAERA said.
Mr Watters appeared in Dungannon Magistrates’ Court on Monday (8 March), where he was fined £700 plus £15 offenders levy.