Winter Show opportunity for Government to explain bTB rationale


Minister must not delay announcement to avoid scrutiny

Plaid Cymru Rural Affairs spokesperson Llyr Huws Gruffydd has today challenged the Welsh Government to show the courage of its conviction and make an announcement on the future of the bTB eradication plan in Wales before the Royal Welsh Winter Fair at the end of this month.

Questioning the First Minister in the Assembly today the Plaid Cymru North Wales regional AM urged the Government to use one of the biggest events in the agricultural calendar to explain directly to the Welsh farming community the rationale behind its decision - whether it is in favour or against a cull of badgers.

Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM said:

"The Winter Show offers the Government the perfect opportunity to explain directly to the farming community in Wales the reasoning behind any decision it takes on tackling bTB.

"The Environment Minister confirmed in a BBC interview in July that he would abide by the recommendation of the panel he set up to review the scientific evidence around the issue. That panel completed its deliberations last week. When the Government announced it was reviewing its bTB eradication programme back in June the Minister stressed it was essential to maintain a momentum in the fight against the disease. He also promised to make a final announcement 'in the autumn', yet five months later we are still awaiting his decision. Now the Deputy Minister for Agriculture has said the government hopes to make a decision before Christmas. The Government has failed to meet its own deadline and the Minister has failed to keep his word.

"I urge the Government not to cynically slip out its decision days after the Winter Show and right before the Christmas recess in order to avoid proper scrutiny.”