Following the announcement this week that 10,974 animals were slaughtered in Wales in the 12 months to the end of May 2020, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Energy, and Rural Affairs, is calling on the Welsh Government to take urgent steps to tackle bTB.
The Shadow Minister said:
“When I was appointed Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs I made it clear that I was not willing to wait five years for a potential commercial rollout of a bovine TB cattle vaccine.
“The data released this week has revealed that 10,974 animals were slaughtered in the twelve months to May 2020, including a 36% increase in the low bTB area.
“The reality is that the disease situation in Wales is static, and that a high number of cattle are being slaughtered despite there being stringent cattle control and bio-security measures in place.
“Livelihoods are being destroyed and farming families being subjected to serious mental health concerns. Even here in low risk Aberconwy I know that farmers are already worried that it is now only a matter of time before the disease hits our area hard.
“Bovine TB must be tackled in the round, including cattle measures, bio-security, and addressing wildlife disease reservoirs.
“The Welsh Government needs to take urgent steps to implement a two-pronged approach which includes dealing with the disease in wildlife. For example, whilst it is the case that the Welsh Government already issues licenses for the euthanasia of positive badgers, the number of licences provided are low.
“Whilst the disease is seeing thousands of cattle slaughtered annually in Wales, not enough is being done to tackle the situation amongst wildlife. This has to change because the misery and fear faced by so many families in rural Wales because of ineffective Welsh Government policy cannot be allowed to continue”.