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Plaid AM’s anger and disappointment at Labour’s TB eradication programme U-Turn

21/06/2022

Rural Wales and Welsh farming communities have been let down by the Labour government’s decision to put the TB eradication programme on hold.  That was the message today from Plaid Cymru rural affairs spokesperson, Llyr Huws Gruffydd, who said that the government’s decision to delay the programme would cause huge uncertainty and anger for farmers and would impact greatly on the public purse. 

Llyr Huws Gruffydd accused the government of carrying out unnecessary work that had already been carried out by the previous government.  He highlighted the fact that all the current cabinet members had supported the eradication programme when it was last debated and questioned why their view on this had changed when no new evidence had come to light. 

Mr Gruffydd said that the last Welsh government had grasped the nettle on this issue, and expressed disappointment that the new Labour government had bowed to pressure threatening efforts to eradicate the disease. 

Plaid Cymru rural affairs spokesperson, Llyr Huws Gruffydd, said:

“Welsh farmers, their families and communities will greet this announcement today with sadness, anger and despair.  Bovine TB has a harrowing emotional and financial impact on farmers and their families.   And the disease also has far reaching, vast consequences for the public purse, its legacy has already cost Welsh taxpayers in excess of £120m – a totally unsustainable drain on the public purse. 

“The Labour government has shown a considerable lack of backbone by kicking this issue into the long grass.  No new evidence has come to light and therefore I can see no genuine reason for Carwyn Jones and his cabinet to have changed their mind.  The last government’s Rural Affairs Minister took an open-minded approach to finding out what would work to reduce and eventually eradicate Bovine TB and put a comprehensive package in place.  The current First Minister, Environment Minister and Deputy Minister for Agriculture all played their parts in this.  

“It was precisely because of the inaction of previous Labour only governments that this disease took hold and spiralled out of control.  Today’s announcement heralds a return to those bad old days of dithering, of indecision and of the lack of stomach to see a challenging proposition through.”