Farmer tell of loss, appeals for help

Waimaro dairy farmer in Tailevu Havindra Singh with his left over cattle yesterday. Most of his cattle were affected with TB and slaughtered. Picture: FT FILE/RAMA

RAISING cattle was one of the best parts of farming for Havindra Singh.

In particular, he enjoyed producing and contributing to the high quality milk of the industry.

But this dream was shattered in 2015 when his family’s cattle farm was completely closed because of bovine tuberculosis (TB).

Mr Singh told this newspaper that his father started with 400 cattle, which were later subjected to TB in 2015.

“It was all gone, we had them injected and they said to have had TB and were taken away to the abattoir for slaughtering,” he said.

“After every month or two, about 10 to 20 cattle would get TB, the numbers kept decreasing until there was no more.”

The 29-year-old of Waimaro in Tailevu said it was late in 2016 when they started rearing calves and managed to at least buy another 12 cattle.

However, the growing incidence of TB did not stop as they watched another six of their cattle taken away for slaughtering last month.

“We knew we had to replace our stock but then again buying them is just too expensive because for one cattle it can cost us more than $1000.

“We have been living here for more than 40 years, and our cattle farm helps in paying of our lease. “We request the relevant authorities to assist us with our stock, because all the cattle farmers face the same thing. They need to find a solution to this.”

Mr Singh said they were now producing 50 litres of milk per day.

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