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From the editor: Wales' farmers deserve to be taken seriously on bTB

Shows & SalesBrexit

Farmers have a tough enough job without feeling the weight of Government and bureaucracy is against them.

 

This is why the comments of Welsh farmers and unions in reaction to the new regionalised TB plan have an undertone of frustration at the country’s approach to tackling the disease.

 

While there is a cautious welcome that the new strategy acknowledges the link between badgers and the spread of bovine TB, there is also anger it does not go far enough in the face of a disease which cripples farm businesses and causes huge stress to individuals who have to watch their cattle be killed.

 

For those farmers on the English-Welsh border in particular, many on the Welsh side are no doubt looking enviously to England where, at least, there seems a commitment to taking action against bovine TB.

 

By perservering with a TB eradication policy based on vaccination and movement controls, the results of which are disputed by many in farming, scores of farmers in Wales feel abandoned by Government in Cardiff and unsure of when the cycle of slaughter will end.

 

Bovine TB is not just a disease which has an impact on individual businesses or people, it also affects the wider rural community. As seen at summer shows and autumn dairy events in Wales over the past few years, big name exhibitors are absent from the show rings as their herds remain on lockdown because of the disease.

 

The resultant fact is competitions can feel diminished and the social element of these events are missing pivotal characters.

 

Political leadership often requires MPs or AMs to be bold in their decisions, yet they too often blink in the face of wider public opposition and leave rural areas to bear the brunt of their actions.

 

The farmers of Wales deserve better than that and, without decisive action, the farming inudstry will only suffer more.

 

And finally..

 

With big money being passed around at Stirling bull sales this week, keep an eye on www.fginsight.com/galleries for more photos of the country’s best cattle

Farmers Guardian
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