The cattle which had tested positive for TB but the farmer, Timothy Juckes, refused to believe the cows had the disease. He sent four cows without the disease to the slaughterhouse instead of the infected animals, Gloucester Crown Court heard on 28th June 2013. He then took compensation from Defra for the livestock, which should have been destroyed.
The court heard Juckes was not motivated by greed to commit the crime, but by his previous experiences of losing cattle because of the TB regulations of Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
Juckes was ordered to pay back £5,398 in compensation to the government department.
He was also told to pay back the £12,592 he made from continuing to milk the infected heifers and sell their produce.
The 36-year-old was also fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs after he was prosecuted by Gloucestershire's Trading Standards department for 10 counts of fraud in connection with selling the milk.
Judge Hart said it was an expensive lesson for the farmer whose reputation had also suffered as a result of his actions. The court heard no public or animal health offences were committed.
Three cows were found to have the disease in October 15, 2010, and another the following month.