A FARMER from a village near Ashbourne is calling for a badger cull after his herd became infected with TB for the third time in four years.
Graham Deville, of Lower Street Farm, Doveridge, said ‘enough is enough’ after nine of his cattle tested positive for the disease.
And Mr Deville said the problem has been shared by several neighbouring farms.
He has written to his MP, transport minister Patrick McLoughlin, about the ‘poor price’ he has received in Government compensation for his infected cattle.
Mr Deville said: “The cattle are being taken away today and will be sent abroad to be processed before being returned to the UK food chain.
“The meat is classed as ‘low risk’ once the lesions have been removed and it’s been treated.
“I don’t necessarily agree with that practice but it’s the Government’s responsibility.
“The Government is meant to give £1,500 per cow in this situation, but I’ve not received anywhere near that.
“I’ve already reduced my herd to 80, which is the lowest level it’s ever been at, but they’ll be tested again in March and I’m already fearing the worst.
“This situation simply can’t go on.
Farmers all over the UK are suffering and I’ve got no doubt the TB is being passed on through badgers.
“I was clear for 35 years until four years ago, and this is the third outbreak I’ve had since then.” According to Mr Deville, badgers have also infected his barley and oat crops.
He said: “This whole thing is very upsetting to say the least.
“There should’ve already been a badger cull in Staffordshire but now enough’s enough.
“I’m living on my nerves right now, in fear of what the next tests are going to come up with. It’s just never- ending.
“If I see a badger on my land, I’m powerless to do anything about it to protect my livelihood and I find that ridiculous.
“If the Government took the protection off badgers and let farmers protect their own land and livestock, they wouldn’t even have to fund a cull.” Mr Deville has also criticised celebrities like former Queen guitarist Brian May, who has campaigned to instigate a vaccination programme instead of a cull to halt the spread of TB.
He said: “These people have done more damage than anyone.”