Farmers to bear brunt of TB test costs in Wales

Welsh rural affairs minister Carwyn Jones has been accused of “farmer bashing” after he announced the bulk of pre-movement testing costs for bovine tuberculosis in Wales would be borne by the industry.

Farmer and Welsh Assembly member Brynle Williams highlighted the fact that the government would pay just 90p for each test with a remainder of about £15 per animal paid by the farmer.

The order comes into effect on 2 May, and official papers cost pre-movement testing at 1m a year, with £760,000 paid by the industry.

Assembly papers admit that small-scale farmers will be disproportionately hit.

Glyn Davies AM said Wales should follow the Irish in administering vaccine to badgers through food; a four-year test starts in June following successes on possums in New Zealand using chocolate-flavoured vaccine.