Welsh Conservatives call on Welsh Government to end its “dithering” over bovine TB to prevent growing cattle slaughter

Welsh Conservatives have raised concerns that the Welsh Government does not have a current policy to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (TB), and called on them to “end their dithering” on the issue.

Yesterday the NFU Cymru published Government figures which revealed a staggering year on year increase of 78% in the number of cattle slaughtered in Pembrokeshire as a result of bovine TB.

Speaking in the Senedd Chamber yesterday, Deputy Leader and Shadow Spokesperson for Rural Affairs, Paul Davies AM, addressed the Leader of the House and urged the Government to bring forward its strategy for tackling TB.

He said: “Given that the Welsh Government has suspended its vaccination programme, it’s quite clear the Welsh Government does not have a policy to eradicate Bovine TB and in the circumstance, can you please encourage the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs to bring forward a statement on this issue as soon as possible? Welsh farmers urgently need to understand exactly what the Welsh Government’s approach for dealing with bovine TB will be in this Assembly.”

The NFU Cymru report showed that in the 12 months up to the end of February 2016, a total of 2523 cattle were culled due to bovine TB in Pembrokeshire alone, whereas for the same 12 month period up to end of February 2015 this figure was 1412 cattle lost from the county.

Speaking outside the Senedd Chamber, Mr Davies added: “The Welsh Government cannot continue to dither on this issue. Any strategy needs to be hammered out with the close involvement of farmers, farming unions, scientists and rural communities. We must ensure that a programme to combat this virulent disease is all-encompassing and permanent, ending once and for all the financial and emotional strain on Welsh farmers.”

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