22 March 2002

Assembly sees costs of farm TB

DETAILS of extra costs on farms with bovine tuberculosis have been presented to the Welsh Assembly.

A series of case studies collected by Rebecca Williams, the Farmers Union of Waless Pembrokeshire executive officer, was given to the Glyn Davies, chairman of the assemblys agriculture committee, at a TB seminar in Clynderwyn.

"They all show that considerable extra costs are associated with any TB breakdown on a farm," said Ms Williams.

Labour was required for testing, which was often repeated over many months, and extra feed was needed for animals that could not be sold. One farmer estimated that his additional outlay was over £2000. Another had been forced to spend £670 on extra penning to isolate cattle that had provided inconclusive results until they were retested.

"None of these costs can be recovered by farmers, making them a weighty financial burden on already overstretched businesses."

The FUW fears that unless politicians in Cardiff press for the culling of diseased badgers TB will spread outwards from the 214 herds currently under restriction in Wales. &#42