New research by national charity The Farming Community Network (FCN) seeks to better understand the impact of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) on UK farmers’ health and wellbeing.

The study is exploring the emotional, financial and physical impacts of bTB and the long-term ramifications these may have had on the farmer, farm family or farm business. The researchers are also hoping to hear about farmers’ experiences of government policies to control and eradicate bTB.

As part of the research, FCN is running a survey that will help the charity to better understand how farmers and farm families perceive the threat of bTB – helping to improve its support to those at risk or affected by a bTB breakdown.

The survey, which is open for responses until mid-August, is available here  https://www. Welsh-language version of the survey is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.  and there is also a click through on the FCN website:

It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Farmers who have experienced a bTB breakdown are being encouraged to fill the survey in and to share their experiences. The charity is also inviting those who fill in the survey to take part in an optional longer-form interview from September onwards.

Dr Jude McCann, Chief Executive Officer, The Farming Community Network, said: “We know all too well the devastating impact bTB can have on farms in the UK. The anxiety associated with bTB testing, and the unfortunate outcome when a bTB breakdown does occur, can cause irreversible damage to a farm business and can significantly impact the health and wellbeing of farming families.

“We hope this study will help to shed light on this issue, provide farmers with the opportunity to share their own experiences with bTB, and help FCN and the agencies we work with to better support farmers affected.”

The study follows a report in 2009 conducted by FCN (Stress and Loss – a report on the impact of Bovine TB on farming families). This included interviews with 68 livestock farmers in the bTB hotspot areas of South West England, and eastern Wales.

The findings highlighted the serious and widespread impact of bTB on farmers and demonstrated that this impact commonly extended across all family members as evidenced in their psychological and physical health, as well as in their overall financial and social wellbeing.

FCN say please pass this survey on to friends and family you think might want to take part. The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. In addition to local groups of volunteers, FCN runs a confidential national helpline (03000 111 999, open 7am11pm every day of the year) and e-helpline (

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