Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food
Earlier this year I consulted on a proposal to change our legislation to enable us to publish information on bovine herds affected with TB. After considering the responses to the consultation I have decided to change the legislation and introduce this new power.
I intend to use this power to provide individuals with information on bovine herds affected with TB. This will enable them to take appropriate precautions to protect their herds from the spread of the disease. It will also raise awareness of the risk of purchasing animals with hidden infection.
It is important that Wales achieves and maintains the highest standards of animal health and welfare to improve farm incomes and realise our potential in the market place. I have taken this decision to support individual farm businesses and help them to minimise the risk of TB affecting their business.
Raising standards of animal health and welfare is key to a profitable farm business and one of the primary aims of the TB Eradication Programme is to prevent the disease spreading to TB-free farms. Whilst there has been an improvement in the disease situation over the past five years, TB continues to provide significant socio-economic costs to farmers, the wider farming industry and to keepers of other animals such as camelids. The majority of the respondents agreed with the proposal to change the legislation.
The power does not override the requirement for any proposed use to be compatible with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights. After careful consideration I have decided that the most useful way of publishing TB information is on a website. I have asked my officials to further explore this option and I will make a further statement on this in November.
The summary of responses to the consultation on sharing the location of TB infected farms has been published today on the Welsh Government website