Priority is to be given to tackling bovine viral diarrhoea in Welsh herds by a group of experts in animal health and welfare issues.

At the launch of the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework, during the Royal Welsh Show on Tuesday ( 22 July), strategy group chairman Peredur Hughes said initial priorities had already been set.

“As a committee we have had our first meeting to look at our priorities. One of those will be BVD, which we hope to move forward on in the very near future,’’ said Mr Hughes, who runs a livestock farm on Anglesey.

See also: Animal health team to raise standards in Wales

The framework will increase partnership working within the industry with an emphasis on prevention, management and eradication of animal disease in Wales.

Wales’ deputy farm minister Rebecca Evans said it was important to raise welfare standards for both livestock and companion animals.

“The way we treat animals, whether they are kept on a farm or live in our homes, is an important reflection of our society’s values and I am keen to ensure we continue to raise the bar when it comes to animal health and welfare standards in Wales,’’ she said.

“This new framework offers us the opportunity to introduce lasting improvements in health and welfare standards for all animals in Wales. This is vitally important to our food producers and essential in helping us sustain a profitable farming industry.”