Plaid Cymru: D-Day is approaching for the Labour Government on Bovine TB



3,500 cattle slaughtered since the eradication plan was halted

As the Independent Panel on Bovine TB meets for the last time at the end of this week, Plaid Cymru has renewed pressure on the Labour Welsh Government to stop delaying crucial actions to halt the spread of the disease in Wales.

Estimates suggest that almost 700 cattle are slaughtered each month due to TB, which amounts to 3,500 animals that have succumbed to the disease since Labour brought the eradication plan to a halt in June 2011. Plaid Cymru Rural Affairs spokesperson Llyr Huws Gruffydd said that if Labour’s inaction is allowed to continue, it will have a devastating effect on the Welsh farming industry.

As part of the previous Welsh government, Plaid Cymru introduced the comprehensive plan to eradicate bTB in Wales. Mr Gruffydd said that the problem snowballed under Labour’s years of inactivity in government, and their new Welsh Government has proactively halted the eradication plans.

Plaid Cymru’s Rural Affairs Spokesperson, Llyr Huws Gruffydd said:

“This politically motivated review was unnecessary from the start and all it has done is put further pressures on the industry and cost animals’ lives. Once the review panel’s final meeting is out of the way, the government must announce swift and decisive action to help our farmers. The Minister has indicated that a decision will be announced in December and we hope that Labour will continue with the plans already set out. D-Day has arrived – and we have a right to expect that the Welsh government fully implements the eradication programme which Plaid Cymru introduced.

“Earlier this year John Griffiths and his cabinet colleagues all voted in favour of Plaid’s proposals. Since the election there has clearly been a political decision to try and change direction.

“According to estimates, each month around 700 cattle are slaughtered due to bTB, costing more and more money for Welsh farm businesses and the Welsh taxpayer. It has already cost Wales more than £120 million. It also has vast and far-reaching emotional effects on those farming families that suffer the heartbreak of seeing their animals culled. This governments’ inaction becomes more painful and more costly with every day that it continues to drag its feet.

“I hope that John Griffiths proves to us that he has now understood that the brave and decisive actions taken by Plaid Cymru need to be maintained for the good of Welsh farmers”.