In a statement to Assembly Members the Minister spoke of the importance of working in partnership with farmers, the veterinary profession and others in the agricultural industry to reach the shared goal of eradicating Bovine TB in Wales.
Between December 2012 and November 2013 there were 880 new herd incidents compared to 1,145 new herd incidents in the previous year. This represents a 23 per cent reduction. In the same period the number of cattle slaughtered for bovine TB control also reduced from 9,364 to 6,275 which is a reduction of 33 per cent.
This compares favourably with GB wide figures which show a 6% reduction in new herd incidents and a 14% reduction in the numbers of cattle slaughtered for TB control.
Alun Davies said:
“Bovine TB is a devastating disease which has a financial and social impact on farmers and the wider community in Wales. We know there is no quick fix to eradicating the disease from Wales. It will take many years and requires the whole industry to work together.
“The first stage of an eradication programme must be to stop the increase of the disease. The latest figures suggest that we have reached this first point.
“I am delighted that overall the figures have come down however we cannot be certain that this is a long term trend and there may still be more fluctuation in the figures.”
The Minister also announced that Wales would host the World mycobacterium bovis conference in June 2014 and that the Welsh Government would be actively seeking to learn from the experience of a number of other countries who have made great progress towards eradicating Bovine TB.
The Welsh Government will also share details of its own eradication programme which includes, tackling all sources of infection and looking at the disease on a regional and National level.