A cross party motion has been put forward for a Welsh Assembly debate on the eradication of bovine TB.
It comes in the wake of growing industry pressure for an all-species control approach and the existing badger vaccination programme hitting a brick wall.
Plaid Cymru, UKIP and Conservative AMs are supporting the debate bid and a meeting of the Assembly’s business committee on September 20 will decide whether the motion gets the go ahead. If given the green light the discussion will take place on the afternoon of September 28.
Mid and West AM, Simon Thomas, Plaid’s Shadow Cabinet member for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs, says the Welsh Government must commit to using the most effective measures to control and eradicate bovine TB.
“The party’s consultation on the future of rural policies following the decision to leave the European Union has meant I have visited agricultural shows from Anglesey in the north to Pembrokeshire in the west over the summer,” he added.
“I have listened to the concerns of farmers and their representatives and bovine TB has been an important part of all the discussions.
“My AM colleague Elin Jones did not shy away from difficult decisions over this issue when she was the Welsh Minister responsible for rural affairs. It is now up to the present minority Welsh Government to do the same.”
North Wales AM, Llyr Gruffydd, who lives on a family farm, added: “The Welsh Government is currently reviewing its strategic framework for the eradication of bovine TB which comes to an end this year.
“I sincerely hope the new strategic framework will include a wider range of measures, including stronger action to tackle TB in wildlife.
“As part of the Welsh Government from 2007 to 2011 Plaid Cymru took bold decisions to back the Welsh farming industry. We would like to see the same leadership from the Labour Welsh Government now.
“We are also calling on the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, to ensure that testing and movement restrictions are proportionate to the disease status of an area.
“This debate would be an opportunity to highlight to the Government what more needs to be done to tackle bTB and I hope many AMs will support this cross party motion so it will be debated on the floor of the Senedd.”
The bid for a debate on the subject of the eradication of bovine also has the support of UKIP’s Mid and West Wales AM, Neil Hamilton, and Preseli Pembrokeshire Conservative AM, Paul Davies.