Following the announcement that TB vaccine trials will take place in Wales and England, which could enable the deployment of a cattle vaccine by 2025, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Energy, and Rural Affairs, has warned that the Welsh Government cannot subject farmers to another five years of serious distress.
In Wales 11,392 animals were slaughtered in the 12 months to the end of April 2020.
Commenting on the development, Mrs Finch-Saunders said:
“These field trials are excellent news in Wales’s biggest ongoing animal health crisis.
“A cost effective cattle vaccine could be an important new tool to tackle bovine TB, but we should not be blinded by this development.
“The reality is that all that is happening now is field trials, and that any commercial introduction will not be for at least another five years.
“Whilst I welcome the downward trend in outbreaks, we must acknowledge that the number of cattle slaughtered in the twelve months to April 2020 is higher than in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.
“Am I willing to wait five years and stand by whilst farmers and their families face economic and emotional devastation? Absolutely not. All options need to be put on the table for consideration as short term interventions to help our farmers”.