CLEO the cow was senselessly killed with testing revealing she was healthy, say heartbroken farmers after she was seized from their farm by government officials.

The pleas of Oakridge Lynch farmers Hilary and Trevor Ogden to spare Cleo were ignored by Defra officials who took her from their farm while the elderly pair had nipped out.

Now Defra’s testing has revealed that Cleo was healthy all along, and was killed needlessly.

“I knew all along that she was healthy,” said Mrs Ogden, who was devastated to receive the news that Cleo was in the clear yesterday, Tuesday.

Stroud MP David Drew, who is also Shadow Minister for farming and rural affairs is furious that the Animal and Plant Health Agency refused to allow further testing to be carried out to show that Cleo did not have TB.

“We asked APHA to allow further testing and they refused. Now to discover that Cleo was free from TB all along is devastating for the Ogdens, and shows how senseless this was,” he said.

APHA officials, seized Cleo, a mother of two calves on Thursday, November 2 from the farm while Mr and Mrs Ogden had nipped out.

They were shocked to return to the farm, which they have run for over half a century, to find that staff from the APHA, had taken her from their field, and presumably shot her.

“Whatever they do now, it won’t bring Cleo back,” said Mrs Ogden.

“I used to love looking out of the window and seeing her with her calves.

“Now she’s no longer there it’s heartbreaking.”

Mr Drew is calling for more accurate TB testing of cattle and has written to Defra to raise his concerns.

A Defra spokesman said: “Bovine TB causes devastation and distress for farmers and rural communities, that is why we have robust procedures in place to reduce risk of the disease spreading.

“England has the highest incidence of bovine TB in Europe and we are taking strong action to deliver our 25-year strategy to beat the disease and protect the livelihoods of dairy and beef farmers.”