1. ITV Report

One farmer's battle with bovine TB

Paul Gould's herd is locked down until October Photo: ITV News West Country

As the Governments affirms its commitment to badger culling, Duncan Sleightholme went to meet one farmer who's been battling with TB.

It's 24 hours after Government vets came to test these cattle and farmer Paul Gould doesn't have the result he'd hoped for. No animals tested positive, but for the second test in a row, an inconclusive result in just one cow means this herd is now locked down until at least October. Moving the cattle is restricted and they can't be sold on the open market.

Four months ago, the slaughter wagons rolled into his yard, TB taking a painful bite from the herd. Routine tests showed almost a quarter of the pregnant cows were infected and they had to be killed. It was the second major breakdown in six years.

We spoke to Paul at the time:

Four generations of Paul's family have farmed this dairy herd. They breed their own stock, not bringing animals from other farms. So they think TB must have come from the wildlife.

One of the most frustrating things for farmers here in Dorset is the Government's decision not to extend the pilot badger culls as it had originally planned. Dorset was, and is still a reserve site. Therefore farmers here are prepared and ready to go, should the culls be extended.

Four months ago Paul was forced to send almost a quarter of his cattle to be killed Credit: ITV News West Country

In the next few weeks a 140 calves will be born here. Normally some are kept with the majority sold to be reared for meat. That can't happen while the farm is under TB restrictions, so Paul now has to choose whether to kill them or pay to rear them himself.

The next test will be in October. Only a negative result will bring a positive outcome.