The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has hit out at the UK Government after it refused to get rid of the post-movement testing requirement for farmers moving cattle across the border from Wales.
The Welsh Government has split the country up into low, intermediate and high TB areas, but the FUW argued the continued obligation for post-movement testing meant Defra was treating the whole of Wales as a high risk area.
Low TB areas in Wales have levels of the disease which are comparable to, or better than, those in the English low risk area.
Dr Hazel Wright, FUW Senior Policy Officer said: “Defra’s refusal to negotiate with the Welsh Government on this issue is incredibly frustrating as cattle coming into Wales from the English low risk area are not required to have either a pre-movement test or a post-movement test.
“Given the level of TB in the low TB Area of Wales, and the lack of any relationship between TB risk and the Welsh annual testing regime, the FUW has written to Defra to ask for clarity on the decision making process which led to the continuation of the current cross border post-movement testing requirement.
“In light of future Brexit negotiations, the stance taken by Defra on this issue is incomprehensible. If the devolved administrations cannot treat each other with some sense of equivalence within the UK, then this does not bode well for future relations outside the EU.”
A Defra spokesman said: “Defra is in contact with the devolved governments in Wales and Scotland to discuss a consistent approach to the testing of cattle moved from Wales’ low incidence area.”