Farmer calls it quits after losing 206 cattle

Waimaro dairy farmer in Tailevu Baljindar Singh at his milking shed. Most of his cattle were affected with TB and slaughtered. Picture: RAMA

“WE are not interested in dairy farming anymore.”

These were words of cattle farmer Baljindar Singh of Waimaro in Korovou, Tailevu, after he lost 206 cattle to the bovine tuberculosis (TB) disease since 2014 — recording a loss of about $300,000.

The 45-year-old started his cattle farm in 1983 with 400 cattle, but with these incidences, he is now left with only 50 milking cows.

“We do not know about this bovine tuberculosis or where it comes from,” he said. “We are all farmers and we are doing what we are supposed to do. We know about milking and rearing of cows, but not TB.

“They (Ministry of Agriculture officers) come and inject the cows.”

On Monday, 30 of Mr Singh’s cattle which were infected with bovine TB were taken to the slaughter house.

“Imagine $1500 per head,” said the disillusioned farmer.

“There has been a big loss in our stock and it really takes a lot of time to replace those stocks. For the calves, it takes four years to rear them. It is a long process for us.”

Mr Singh said as a result of the loss, they have had to reduce the number of labourers on their farm from eight to two.

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