AN ORGANIC dairy farmer from Bentley has been left devastated after nearly a third of his cows tested positive for tuberculosis (TB) and will now have to be slaughtered.
Graham Gibbs, a third generation farmer at Lower Bentley Farm, heard the news last week after a routine TB test resulted in 105 of his cows testing positive for the disease.
They will be taken away to be destroyed in the next few weeks and Graham now faces up to a two month wait for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to conduct another test on the remaining herd.
Graham said: “It is just awful what has happened.
“The disease could have been spread by other wildlife, including badgers and deer, or brought in from another farm but that is highly unlikely as we conduct tests when the cows come into our farm.
“Once the cows have gone we have to do another test to see if any more have been infected.”
The last dairy farmer in the Bentley Parish, Graham will have to restock to keep his business running and said he was now ‘out of pocket’ as a result.
“My grandfather started the farm nearly 70 years ago,” he added.
“Because we are an organic farm the premium on organic cows is higher than on conventional cows and we don’t get that money back.
“We also won’t be compensated for the food for the cows nor the milk lost in production.
“It has been a terrible situation but we want to thank the vets MacArthur Barstow and Gibbs for all of their help.”