RW 2010: TB measures add to exhibitor cost

Tougher measures to tackle bovine TB have added to the costs of exhibiting at the Royal Welsh Show, livestock farmers have said.

The introduction of pre-movement testing cost an extra £50 for farmers showing although they voiced support for the move to help protect their animals.

It is the first time that the testing of all cattle exhibits ahead of the four-day event has been obligatory.

John Foxwell, who runs the Rhyddid herd of Welsh Blacks with his wife, Lynn, agreed that the test had added £50 to his show costs.

“It already costs us more than £700 or more to get here, the test is an additional expense,” said Mr Foxwell, who lives near Harlech, an area which doesn’t have an issue with TB.

Dairy producer Barry Evans questioned the sense in introducing the measure only for shows that extend beyond one day.

“I think there is more contact between animals tethered head to head at a one-day show that there is when they are housed with solid barrier in between as is the case in the Royal Welsh Show cattle sheds,” he said.

Mr Evans has also introduced additional measures to protect his stock, the Mydrim herd of Jerseys, from disease.

“We have brought our own barriers to erect at either end of our housing area as an extra precaution,” he said.

The number of livestock entries has this year swelled to 8000, with 1000 exhibits in the cattle sections alone.

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