Welsh Government
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Review of scientific evidence base for the eradication of bovine TB in Wales

Welsh Environment Minister John Griffiths has announced that there will be a review of the scientific evidence base regarding the eradication of bovine TB in Wales.

This review is part of the Government commitment made to take a science-led approach to evaluate and review the best way of tackling bovine TB.

Mr Griffiths said:

“Bovine TB is the subject of considerable debate. This is also true of the huge body of scientific research related to the disease.

“The eradication of bovine TB in Wales is a long term Welsh Government commitment.  It will require the application of new technologies and scientific developments as they become available.  The Welsh Government will continue to monitor these new technologies and the continued evolution of the policy.

“That is why I have commissioned a review of the scientific evidence base regarding the eradication of bovine TB in Wales. There will be no cull of badgers in the Intensive Action Area while the review is being carried out.”

The Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor John Harries will oversee the review and appoint an independent panel of experts. These experts will peer review the scientific evidence base for the comprehensive programme for the eradication of bovine TB in Wales. The panel will be chaired by an independent expert with the other members being recognised experts in areas relevant to the review.

Mr Griffiths said:

“The Welsh Government remains fully committed to eradicating bovine TB and this review of the scientific evidence base will contribute to that objective.

“This government recognises the significant financial and social impacts of bovine TB on farmers and the wider community in Wales. The Welsh Government paid out just over £12 million in compensation last year and at any time approximately 10% of cattle farms in Wales are under movement restrictions as a consequence of bovine TB.  This impact should not and can not be sustained and so as a government we are committed to the eradication of bovine TB in Wales.”

During the review, the current regime of cattle surveillance and controls will continue. This includes the additional cattle disease control measures, introduced on the 1 May 2010, in the Intensive Action Area. 

It is expected that the report will be delivered in the autumn.

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Bovine TB