Last year the Minister announced her intention to implement a comprehensive, practical and proportionate programme of action in order to tackle the disease. Since that statement, the number of cattle slaughtered due to TB has continued to increase. In 2008 over 12,000 cattle were slaughtered in Wales: 52 per cent more than in 2007, with associated rises in costs. The Welsh Assembly Government believes that this acceleration in incidence is unacceptable and unsustainable.
Speaking at the National Assembly for Wales the Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones said,
“There have been attempts over many years to control this disease and they have failed. Each member state is however obliged under an EU Directive to develop an eradication programme in order to “accelerate, intensify or carry through” the eradication of the disease..
After describing a programme to test every herd in Wales and its progress, she continued:
“There is no point, however, tackling one source of infection only to ignore another. This only allows the infection to return. I want to see a Welsh livestock and Welsh wildlife co-existing in a disease free environment.”Don't we all?
The cull area described by the Welsh Assembly, is likely to be in the Pembroke area, which has already seen cattle carnage on a vast scale, after years of a steady, pernicious and expenisive drip feed of recycled 'environmental' infection.
As the minister says,
" There is no point in tackling one source of infection, only to ignore the other."Precisely.