FUW welcomes Welsh Government announcement to change on-farm slaughter measures around bovine TB

FUW welcomes Welsh Government announcement to change on-farm slaughter measures around bovine TB

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has today welcomed the news that the Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies accepts in full the recommendations presented to him by the newly established Technical Advisory Group on a suite of measures that will provide flexibility for the on-farm slaughter of cattle with bovine TB.

Farming families, already under emotional and financial pressure from TB breakdowns in cattle have been reduced to tears due to the harsh and harrowing experience of watching cattle being put down on their farmyards.

Dai Miles, FUW Deputy President said: “This is certainly welcome news that the Cabinet Secretary has listened to the concerns of the industry and most importantly taken action by accepting these recommendations in full.”

The TAG conducted its first meeting on 15 April under the guidance of Professor Glyn Hewinson, who is also chair of Sêr Cymru at the TB Centre of Excellence in Aberystwyth.

The majority of on-farm slaughter cases are due to cattle testing positive for bovine TB whilst under medicated withdrawal periods. Slaughtering also occurs on farmyards when cows are heavily pregnant or within the first week post-calving and are not permitted to be transported off farm under animal transport regulations.

Dai Miles continued: “The FUW were invited to provide written and oral evidence to the TAG for consideration, and we’re pleased that our work supported the changes announced today.

“Our recommendations were aimed at reducing the number of cattle slaughtered on-farm following bovine TB-breakdowns and to provide support in circumstances where on-farm slaughter is unavoidable.

“We welcome the pace at which this process has taken place and hope that these actions can be implemented as soon as possible to reduce the occurrence of on-farm slaughter. The effects of this process has a long-term detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of our farming families.

“However, we must not forget that the need to discuss the subject of alleviating the horrors of on-farm slaughter looks to remedy the symptom rather than address the root cause of the issue. This continues to be the abysmal track record of a long standing ineffective TB eradication programme in Wales.

“We will continue to work in partnership with the TAG and other stakeholders to address other ways in which the TB eradication programme can be improved for the benefit of all cattle farmers in Wales,” FUW Deputy President concluded.


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