A Cornish farming family is devastated after a fifth of their herd has been shot following bovine TB (bTB) tests.

The Harveys run a small dairy farm in Lanivet, Bodmin, and had 125 milking cows and 100 young stock which they rear themselves.

On January 8 the animals were tested for bTB and 25 cows tested positive.

Three of the cows were due to calve in the following couple of weeks.

These three were shot at the farm that same day as they could not travel, but the other 22 were taken away the following day and destroyed.

Debbie Harvey said: "When I see my husband and son work seven days a week in all weathers for not a lot of money and then we get hit with the worst news ever in our lifetime, it breaks my heart.

"It’s not something I would wish anyone to go through what we are as a family right now.

"This news is absolutely devastating and something I don't want to experience again in our lifetime."

This pregnant heifer was shot on the day of the tests

This pregnant heifer was shot on the day of the tests

Emotions aside, it has left the Harveys with the very practical problem of £6000 less a month, which is 20 per cent of their income.

They are losing 700-800 litres of milk a day at 28 pence a litre.

What's more, the Harveys can't replace the livestock because of the bTB restrictions - and neither can they sell any cows.

Debbie said: "The cows need to be fed and in farming it's all big amounts of money.

"We can't find the money as we can't sell and we can't buy in.

"Hopefully we will find a solution - but if we can't find the income it is set that we will have to sell our family farm and home.

"I have lived here since I got married 23 years ago, my husband Fred and our son Jack have lived here all their life and in one quick TB test we are set to lose it all.

"The government will pay us some compensation for the cows, but not for what they will cost to replace and nothing for the loss of income.

"Then in 60 days' time we have to go through all of this again in retesting all the remaining animals."

Having to sell the farm was the last thing on their minds when they recently invested significant amount of money into the cow sheds.

Debbie said: "Since Jack wants to carry on the farm, we invested in the sheds.

"When I go into the new shed I always think it's like a yoga retreat.

"We've given them the best environment to live in. They have beds that are like tempur mattresses, rubber floor so it's soft where they stand, lots of fresh air, sunlight and fresh water all to hand.

"It's like a five star hotel."

In an effort to try to keep the farm, the family set up a Go Fund Me page which has already received £7,000 from nearly 200 people.

Debbie said: "It's not nice to put our story out there but I cannot believe the generosity we're being shown.

"Last week I was in tears at each donation, we've been blown away.

"Yesterday I received a letter with cash in it from someone we don't even know.

"It's unbelievable, especially in these Covid times."

The Harveys plan to use the money donated to get them through the next 60 days until the second round of bTB tests.

If you would like to support the family, visit gofund.me/b5e41777.