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Farmers welcome constructive bovine TB talks with minister

26 Jul 2023 3 minute read
FUW meeting Minister Lesley Griffiths

Farmers leaders have welcomed “constructive” talks about the Welsh bovine TB Programme with the Minister for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, at the Royal Welsh Show.

The minister published a Refreshed five-year delivery plan to eradicate bovine TB last March which promised to build on “steady progress” made in recent years.

Official figures have recorded new TB incidents fell by 49% in Welsh herds while prevalence decreased by 32% between 2009 and December 2022.

94.7% of herds were TB free at the end of December 2022.

Farmers however remain concerned at rising levels of the disease in some of the lower risk areas of Wales and NFU Cymru Deputy President Abi Reader described the new five-year delivery plan as “light on detail” and said “it will do little to inspire confidence in Welsh farmers”.

She added: “While the plan points at positive progress and downward trends in some areas, this will be of little consolation to those farmers who have had cattle culled after seeing their herds ravaged by this disease.

“Despite the industry implementing stringent protocols to keep the disease out, we still have hundreds of farm businesses under bTB restrictions and thousands more living with the fear of what their next on-farm TB test will bring.”

Discussions

Following talks with the minister at the Royal Welsh on Tuesday, Dr Hazel Wright, FUW Deputy Head of Policy said: “We had a constructive discussion with the Minister regarding industry involvement in future bovine TB control policies in Wales.

“We reiterated many of the concerns outlined in our response to the last Refreshed TB programme in Wales and we were pleased that the Welsh Government repeated their commitment to partnership working on the future control programme.

“We would warmly welcome the opportunity to engage in all aspects of future TB policy in Wales in order to work together towards the joint aspiration of a TB free Wales.”

As part of the discussion, the union also highlighted concerns relating to the ban on feeding unpasteurised milk to calves on Officially TB Withdrawn premises and reiterated concerns over the lack of epidemiological evidence for this proposal.

“The FUW previously welcomed the establishment of a TB Technical Advisory Group in Wales and we believe that this issue should be examined by this group of experts when it is established with a view to determining the appropriateness of this potential regulatory requirement.

“It is essential that future control and eradication plans consider TB science, cattle welfare, farmer wellbeing and farm finances in equal measure in order to deliver a sustainable and pragmatic programme of TB control for Wales,” added Dr Wright.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
8 months ago

…at the end of the day, and I have paused on airing this thought for a few years because the last time I brought it up my sister called me a “dangerous Marxist”, farmers and FUW can no longer be trusted to be advocating responsibly for the “industry”. Agriculture is a matter of national importance that is too often overlooked by many countries that are in thrall and in pawn to the Tech Zaibatsu, only now are some waking up to the fact that Agriculture is important….and whilst governments have been loathe to make sure farmers and organisations like FUW… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Cathy Jones

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