Speaking during the FUW’s Annual General Meeting, FUW President Glyn Roberts told members that an average of 36 cattle were culled every working day due to TB, representing an increase of 37 percent on the previous 12 month period, and an eight hundred percent rise since 1996.
“The pattern in the north Pembrokeshire Intensive Action Area, where millions have been spent on vaccinating badgers over the past four years, is no different”,Glyn Roberts told those present, referring to the latest scientific report into the impact of badger vaccination in the area, which found there was no improvement in TB rates in the area despite more than £3.7 million having been spent on vaccinating 5,192 badgers in the area since 2011.
We therefore look to this new government to finally grasp the nettle, and accept the basic facts which our Chief Vet has made clear to successive governments,” he said.Glyn Roberts also highlighted the experience of other countries where cattle TB controls, which are less stringent than those applied in Wales, quickly eradicate the disease and restore TB-free status, citing the example of Germany. The badger population here is proactively managed, and numbers are reduced by around 65,000 a year.
“Their badger population [in Germany] is not endangered by any stretch of the imagination - and nor is it infected with TB.”Glyn Roberts said such patterns are repeated around the world, and that scientific evidence gathered from across the EU and the globe showed that TB cannot be eradicated while the epidemic in wildlife is ignored.
“This truth, and the distressing figures in terms of the numbers of cattle being culled every day, is something we will be highlighting over the coming months, and we hope Welsh Government and those from across the political spectrum will work with us in helping educate the public about the severity of the situation, just as we have done in the past,” he added.
Pictured: (L-R) Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales Professor Christianne Glossop, FUW Deputy President Brian Thomas, Environment and Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths and FUW President Glyn Roberts