APRIL 16, 2008: AN ambitious three-year, £27 million bovine TBeradication programme for Wales looks set to go ahead.

Voting in Tuesday’s Plenary Session at the Welsh Assembly was not unanimous with 38 in favour, two abstentions and 12 against – 10 of which were Labour AMs largely representing urban constituencies.The proposals put forward by Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, include badger culling in selected disease “hotspot” areas yet to be confirmed, a one-off TB test for every cattle herd in Wales, tighter on-farm biosecurity measures and a review of slaughter compensation rates.“The impact of bovine TB is unacceptable and unsustainable for Wales. Simply trying to manage the disease, as we have been doing, is not only impossible, it is also irresponsible given the forecast future spread of the disease,” said the Minister.“I am very pleased there is agreement across political parties and importantly that it is recognised that the current situation is unacceptable.“There is no single solution to bovine TB. The approach to eradicate this disease has to be comprehensive, taking all factors into account,” she added.“There is simply no point tackling one source of infection and ignoring another. That would only allow the infection to return.”

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