TB committee due to deliver final report

The committee reviewing badger culling plans in Wales is expected to complete its evidence-gathering sessions next week, ahead of delivering a final report to the Welsh Government.

The review was convened in the summer after Labour regained power in the May elections and put badger culling plans on ice. The move angered farmers who had already seen plans for a cull delayed 12 months earlier.

It is now understood that the committee will hold its last meeting on Friday 28 October and will hand the report to the Welsh Government soon after.

NFU Cymru called on the Welsh Government to end the long wait and make a decision quickly.

The lack of progress towards a bovine TB eradication policy and badger cull in Wales is a sad indictment on the Welsh Government, NFU Cymru deputy president Stephen James said.

Speaking at the Welsh Dairy Event in Carmarthen, Mr James said that the TB policy had lost momentum as everybody waited for the decision.

He called for Wales’ environment minister, John Griffiths, to deliver his decision quickly. “We have lost momentum on this, a cull should have started in May 2010 and yet we are still awaiting a decision,” he told farmers.

For 18 months farmers in Wales have been subject to stringent testing and movement restrictions introduced to coincide with a planned cull.

Mr James referred to a rule introduced earlier this year which affects farms that neighbour herds with TB breakdowns. The rule, which he said was introduced without consultation, meant neighbouring farms were subjected to restrictions until they had also had two clear tests.

He added that farmers needed the support of the Welsh Government in their fight against TB.

“We need John Griffiths to give us a positive message that the Welsh Government is going to sort out TB once and for all.”