22 November 1996

Reactors in SW cause concern

A RISE in cases of cattle tuberculosis in Wales and the south-west has prompted Lib Dem rural affairs spokesman Paul Tyler to call for a full investigation of MAFFs TB eradication policy.

Mr Tyler said the increase, which has seen twice as many new TB reactors in Cornwall this year than in 1995, should be examined by the House of Commons agriculture select committee.

MAFF figures show there have been 227 new confirmed TB breakdowns in the south-west during the nine months to September compared with 205 in the same period in 1995. And in Wales numbers in the corresponding period rose from 73 last year to 87.

"Throughout the country, spreading up from the south-west, the epidemic is causing consternation among dairy farmers," said Mr Tyler.

"Obviously, farmers and badger protection groups take sharply differing views. However, they both have to agree that the present ministry eradication programme is a self-evident failure."