15 March 2002

Help dispose of trapped stock

A WELSH farming leader has called for a welfare disposal scheme for cattle trapped on overstocked farms by tuberculosis control rules.

Gareth Vaughan, vice-president of the Farmers Union of Wales, told farmers weekly that many upland farms would be in deep trouble if movement restrictions prevented the marketing of reared calves and store cattle in the spring.

"Grass is needed for ewes and lambs and farms that have reactors do not have the buildings, feed and straw to carry extra cattle," claimed Mr Vaughan of Bancyfelin, Dolfor, Newtown.

"I am in a TB hotspot and surrounded by farms that are under movement restrictions. Many others are likely to find themselves in the same situation because testing delayed by foot-and-mouth is revealing an explosion in the number of reactors.

But a DEFRA spokesman said a welfare scheme wasnt needed because TB movement restrictions were less severe than restrictions for F&M. &#42