'Why is the life of a diseased animal worth more than the life of a diseased cow?'
A FARMER who has lost his herd of rare cattle to Bovine Tuberculosis wants to know why badgers are "worth more" than his cows.
Dai Bevan spent his life building up his herd of Longhorn Cattle — but dozens were shot last month after testing positive for TB.
The cull has left the 50-year-old Llanarthne farmer angry and at a loss for what to do next.
Many farmers believe their cattle are contracting TB from badgers. Supporters of badgers argue transmission of the disease from badgers to cattle has never been proved.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
A lot of cattle farmers want a cull of diseased badgers, while badger supporters want a vaccination programme.
Mr Bevan is expecting most of his remaining stock to be slaughtered this week.
"In the end I will be left with two cows and a calf," he said.
He does not know what he will do next, but he will have to wait for two clear tests, which will take at least four months, before he can consider restocking.
"I can't go and be anything else," he said, but added: "There's no way I can go out and buy pedigree cows because the wildlife is still going to harbour a residual source of infection.
"Pedigree breeding in this area is a nonsense."
Mr Bevan said the badger was protected in 1980s to stop badger baiting and nobody wanted the return of baiting.
But he argued the problem of TB has grown up since then and "no one has the balls to stop it".
Mr Bevan said: "Why is the life of a diseased animal worth more than the life of a diseased cow?
"They're going to take out cows and leave the diseased badgers.
"All around us there are farms going down.
"Farms that have never got TB — we are going down like dominoes one after the other.
"There are hundreds of cows that have been lost in this area in the last month.
"How is it acceptable that all this money is being spent protecting an animal that is diseased?"
Mr Bevan also warned valuable rare animals and decades of breeding are being lost. He said: "As a concern, the vulnerability of the cattle and their genetics is being ignored as is evidenced by the removal of three White Park from Dinefwr, an ancient and historical breed connected with the history of Wales and the Princes of Deheubarth, whose involvement in the cultural, progression and laws are noted in the Mabinogion.
"This breed of cattle today number about 360 breeding females. There are approximately 1,000 giant panda left in the world.
"If we were killing three giant Panda, the world would be in uproar and yet nothing is done or said because they're only cows. Why?"
Mr Bevan believes campaigning by celebrity badger supporters has skewed the debate.
He said: "I'm not a badger-hater, but I abhor the fact that members of wildlife organisations have a greater say on how the countryside is run than I do. I'm the one that lives here."
The farmer argues vaccinating badgers will be ineffective because it will not stop animals that already have the disease from spreading it.
And he believes diseased badgers should be culled.
A Welsh Government spokesman said it hoped to begin vaccinating badgers in early summer.