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Written Statement - Additional support to deal with bovine TB

Alun Davies AM, Minister for Natural Resources and Food

In January this year my predecessor announced that Welsh Government officials were working with Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BCVA) to explore how private vets could become more involved with breakdowns or cases of TB in their clients’ herds. This is a fresh approach to the issue of new and long-standing breakdowns and I am delighted that the pilot project, which we have called Cymorth TB, will begin on 1 October.

It has been widely recognised that Official Veterinarians (OV’s) can provide a valuable resource and additional support to farmers, both during breakdowns and in the protection of Officially TB Free (OTF) farms against infection.

This pilot will extend support for farmers, providing better advice and guidance in order to increase understanding, encourage compliance and shorten breakdowns.

The pilot will be run on a voluntary basis in six defined areas across Wales until April 2014 and in the first instance concentrate on new breakdowns only. If successful, I expect the service to be rolled out nationally

Its key objectives are to minimise the impact of a breakdown, and to clear it up more quickly.

The 6 pilot areas are in:

  • Anglesey
  • Wrexham
  • East Carmarthenshire
  • Gower
  • East Monmouthshire
  • North Pembrokeshire


AHVLA currently manages and implements the bovine TB surveillance and testing system on behalf of Welsh Government and manages TB breakdowns in Wales.  I am grateful to all staff within AHVLA who have been involved in this work to date and  believe their support over the next 6 months  will prove crucial to the OV’s being able to provide this new and valuable additional resource in the fight against TB, both to AHVLA as our delivery partner and more importantly to farmers.

For more information about Cymorth TB please see online.