A FARM near Burton has now back to square one after another test revealed its cattle has been hit by bovine Tuberculosis (bTB).
Louis and Gillian Bothwell’s Lower Lynbrook Farm, in Newchurch, Hoar Cross, saw its entire herd wiped out in March by the deadly disease thought to be bought on by badgers and now faces a second slaughter adding to their financial burden.
The new comes as the controversial badger culling is due to get under way in two pilot zones on Monday.
After disinfecting and badger-proofing their farm, animal health inspectors gave the Bothwells a licence to buy cows from TB-free farms.
In May, the couple travelled to Germany to buy 130 cows and they have to have two clear tests to be able to trade cows again.
However, Mrs Bothwell said: “We had a clear test in May which was fantastic and thought we had overcome it all but then we had the second test in July and we went down with another six cows which was heartbreaking so we are back to square one.
“We are still in limbo in that we cannot trade cows so we have a large number of cows still here but we do have milk.
“We are now housing cows indoors all the time because the risk is too high but at least we know they are safe.”
The next test will be next month but the farm has been left with a massive financial burden.
While they are still not able to sell cattle, they are able to sell milk and suppliers are standing by them.
Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, has given farmers in the pilot zones of Gloucester and Somerset permission to shoot badgers because he believes the animals spread bTB.
However, the RSPCA, Humane Society International, League Against Cruel Sports, Humane Society International, and Animal Aid are just some of the groups ready to protest.
Mrs Bothwell said that while the badger population should be controlled, she did not believe in ‘free shooting’ and said each farm should be investigated on a ‘farm by farm basis’.
She said: “I don’t think that free shooting is the right way forward. They should be looking at it on a farm by farm basis and then they should be isolated, investigated and setts should be tested.
“No farms want to see badgers wiped out, it is about controlling the wildlife in the most humane way.”