There are fears for the future of the pedigree cattle sales industry in Pembrokeshire with the introduction of tough new bovine TB rules.

Three months after the Welsh Government announced a raft of new disease controls, those changes came into force on October 1.

Every farm must comply with enhanced disease controls according to their geography because a new three-tier classification system now places them in either a low, intermediate or high TB Area.

These regions are directly correlated with the level of TB herd breakdowns.

Pembrokeshire is classified as a high TB area and this will have implications for the dairy and beef industry, particularly cattle sales.

Jeffrey Evans, who farms at Upper Broadmoor, Wolfscastle, and is county chairman of the NFU in Pembrokeshire, believes the new controls are a move in the right direction but has concerns for pedigree breeders.

“I think it could finish the pedigree industry in Pembrokeshire because who is going to buy bulls from the high TB area?’’ he said.

Some farms in Pembrokeshire have been under TB restriction for more than 10 years and during that time testing and compensation has cost the taxpayer an average of £200,000 for each farm, the government said.

The new controls are designed to protect cattle in the low TB area and drive down disease in the Intermediate and high TB areas.

One of the most controversial new measures is the culling of badgers on around 60 holdings with long-term TB breakdowns, some of which are in Pembrokeshire.

Some farmers say the cull doesn’t go far enough but wildlife groups argue that this approach could significantly worsen bovine TB in the surrounding area.

Badgers will be trapped, tested and humanely destroyed if they test positive for TB. Those that don’t will be microchipped and released.

New actions applied to these 60 holdings include more sensitive TB testing, removal of cattle showing inconclusive reactors and directives to raise biosecurity standards.

The boundaries of the TB areas will be reviewed after 12 months.