Bovine TB: 'Two cows calved on Monday and were shot on Tuesday' says Pembrokeshire farmer

Credit: ITV Wales

A North Pembrokeshire farmer says he nearly lost 10% of his herd last week and says the situation is "quite hard to see."

Trefigyn Farm in North Pembrokeshire has been under Bovine TB restrictions since 1999, when dairy farmer Carwyn Phillips was just a boy.

Now 33, he works on the farm and said: "We had two cows that calved on Monday and were shot on Tuesday."

More than 8 out of 10 of Welsh farmers who have had cattle with bovine TB say the disease impacts their mental health.

The Welsh Government set out their strategy to eradicate Bovine TB in Wales earlier this year.

Mr Phillips acknowledges the situation is difficult for those in the sector trying to keep their cattle disease-free.

He said: "We lost 58 cows and our milk tank has gone down 2000 litres since they've left so as you can imagine.

"Unless we can replace those cows, we're gonna be losing that financial benefit there.

"We're sort of in a routine now where we TB test every two months and that is life.

"Very frustrating, yeah, feel like no one's helping at the moment."

DPJ Foundation is a charity which supports agricultural workers with mental health problems.

Charity Manager Kate Miles said: "There's one person we're working with who ended up in hospital, because of the fear, when their neighbour went down with TB.

"So many people are running on such a knife edge in the run up to the test, and that's what we really see is the fear and anxiety around the testing regime."

TB is a disease that is worldwide, and Roger Lewis who chairs the TB Focus Group says "different countries have tackled it very differently".

He said: "Unfortunately here in Wales we aren't using all the tools in the box and I think that's the biggest frustration particularly for farmers."

A refreshed Bovine TB Eradication strategy was published by the Welsh Government in the Spring, with a determination to get rid of the disease.

They say they are "very aware of the challenges of TB in Cattle and the distress that it causes for farmers" and add "they're providing ongoing assistance to farmer support and mental health networks".

If you have been affected by anything in this article, help and advice can be found here.

Samaritans is available day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at, or visit to find your nearest branch.

The Mental Health Helpline for Wales is available to take your call any time, day or night. Freephone 0800 132 737 or text 'help" to 81066 (charged at standard network rate)

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