Welsh farm leaders have renewed their calls for a badger cull after figures showed steep rises in the number of cattle being slaughtered due to the disease.

The latest figures from the Welsh government showed that in the year to April, 8,932 cattle were slaughtered in Wales due to bovine TB – a 41% increase year on year.

The Clywd area alone saw a 125% increase in the number of cattle condemned to TB.

See also: Bovine TB threat to EU trade deal, says farm union

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show, NFU Cymru president Stephen James, who farms 330 dairy cows near Narberth in Pembrokeshire, told Farmers Weekly: “We have said all along that where disease is endemic you have got to control cattle.

Watch the video of farmers reacting to the Welsh bovine TB policy.

 

“We are not getting rid of it. Some of us go clear for a couple of years and then we go down again because the disease comes back in wildlife.

“The reality is that you only have to get one animal diseased from a badger and that animal is passing on the disease to another badger.

“To say that only 6% of TB cases are caused by badgers is a nonsense – it only needs one diseased badger to start it up.”

Ukip assembly member in Wales Neil Hamilton said: “The Welsh government has not got a proper TB policy in place. It has a vaccine-based TB programme in place without a vaccine.”

The Welsh government is monitoring the results of the ongoing badger cull in England. The Labour-led administration is expected to make a statement on the future direction of its bovine TB policy this autumn.