Union Fully Backs Proposed TB Eradication Order

UK - NFU Cymru has fully backed the Welsh Assembly Government’s proposed Tuberculosis Eradication (Wales) Order 2009. The order will give the Welsh Assembly Government the power to pursue badger control strategies alongside cattle measures and is part of the ‘one Wales’ commitment to pursue a programme of Bovine TB eradication in Wales.
calendar icon 3 August 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

NFU Cymru President, Dai Davies said: “The Order will put in place the framework necessary to implement a successful eradication strategy that will help to return the Welsh countryside to a situation where healthy cattle live alongside a healthy wildlife population.

“Having studied evidence from the UK and around the World, NFU Cymru is adamant that the only way to eradicate bovine TB is through the removal of badgers from infected areas of Wales alongside cattle control measures.

"There has been a significant tightening up of cattle measures in Wales in recent years but these alone have failed to curb the escalation of disease which is why it is necessary to deal with the infection in wildlife alongside stringent cattle measures.”

NFU Cymru also agrees that the development of a badger vaccination policy should be pursued and included in the Order and it is hoped that vaccination may become part of the strategy in the longer term to eradicate TB from Wales.

However, Dai Davies sounded a note of caution: “It must be recognised that any potential vaccination policy will not address existing infection which is why it is essential that action is taken to reduce the level of infection in badger populations in Wales.

"It is also clear that whilst a significant amount of work is taking place on the development of vaccines we are still some years away from a vaccination strategy that can deliver benefits in terms of a reduction in the number of herd breakdowns.

“The TB programme board also looked at the potential of a combined test vaccination and cull strategy for the intensive action pilot area in north Pembrokeshire but modelling has shown that this policy could actually make the situation worse when social perturbation was factored into the model.”

In its response to the consultation on the proposed Order NFU Cymru also appreciated the extensive work done by the office of the Chief Veterinary Officer and the TB Programme Board which has ensured that the Minister for Rural Affairs makes decisions on bovine TB eradication based on sound evidence, research and fact.

In conclusion Mr Davies said: “We now hope that this Order can be implemented as soon as is legislatively possible so that the Welsh Assembly Government will have the power to move forward with practical measures to rid both cattle and wildlife from this hideous disease which presently wreaks havoc throughout many of Wales’ rural areas.”

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