More than 28,000 cattle were slaughtered in England last year as a result of bovine tuberculosis, a rise of 7% on the previous year, official figures show.
A total of 28,284 cattle were slaughtered in 2012 because they tested positive for TB or were a high risk because of close proximity to an infected animal, figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) showed.
The number of new incidents of TB in herds was 3,941, a 5% increase on 2011.
Ministers said the figures showed the growing impact of the disease on dairy and beef farming and highlighted the need to take action.
The Government has given the green light to two pilot culls of badgers, which can spread the disease to cattle, in Somerset and Gloucestershire this summer as part of efforts to tackle TB.