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NFU Cymru Supports 2010 bTB Testing Regime

10 July 2009
National Farmers Union

UK - The Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, has today announced the cattle testing arrangements for bovine Tuberculosis that will prevail in 2010. All cattle in Wales will be tested for bTB in 2010 following on from the Health Check Wales initiative, which will see all cattle herds in Wales tested between October 2008 and December 2009.

Dai Davies, President of NFU Cymru, welcomed the Minister’s decision to test all cattle in herds in Wales during 2010, whilst the information obtained from Health Check Wales to establish where disease is, is evaluated.

Dai Davies said, “We have known all along that there would be elements of the bTB eradication strategy in Wales that would be painful for the industry to bear. Health Check Wales has already identified 77 reactor herds which would probably not yet have been identified had it not been for this initiative. I believe that it is a sensible approach to repeat the testing regime across all bovine herds in Wales next year.

“NFU Cymru has consistently advocated annual testing as an alternative to pre-movement testing but in 2010 as a consequence of today’s decision all herds in Wales will now also have to comply with pre-movement testing requirements. This will clearly add significantly to the industry’s costs and the demands on the industry in management terms but, I would hope that this will be regarded by the Welsh Assembly Government as a temporary measure until such time as it can establish whether pre-movement testing is making a meaningful contribution to the reduction of this devastating disease.”

Dai Davies continued, “The Welsh Assembly Government has been under pressure from the EC to relook at bTB testing intervals which are set at parish level and has decided for the future not to determine testing intervals on this basis. I am aware that the testing for bTB on a parish has given rise to some very significant anomalies in the past which should now be obviated by today’s decision.

“We have recognised all along that the bTB eradication strategy would require some difficult and painful decisions. The generality of farmers will, I believe, endure this provided that they can see that a holistic approach is being taken and that steps will be taken to control the spread of disease in wildlife too, for the problem will never be solved unless all sources of the disease are addressed.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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