The refreshed targets take into account plans for the whole of Wales and six-year localised interim targets.
Welsh farmers have been challenged to ‘commit everything’ as part of the Welsh Government’s refreshed targets to eradicate bovine tuberculosis (TB) which it suggested could be possible by 2036.
TB eradication targets have been established for Wales as a whole with six-year interim targets for each TB region, and will specify overall reductions in herd incidence alongside the transfer and reclassification of spatial units from higher incidence areas to lower incidence areas.
Progress will then be assessed at the end of each six-year milestone.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said she was determined the increase in improvement across TB areas was continued.
She said: “These milestones stress the urgency of the task at hand and reflect my ambition to see important progress in each region during each period.
“They will help convey the need for immediate action, to focus minds and to drive the progress necessary to achieve our collective goals.”
Ms Griffiths said while the targets would ‘not be easy’, co-operation and dedication from Government, the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA), the industry and veterinary colleagues could make the country officially TB free between 2036 and 2041.
“They are intended to be ambitious and stretch us,” she added.
“We now need to focus on protecting the Low TB Area from disease incursion and driving down disease in the Intermediate and High TB Areas.
“We will continue to build our programme as we progress towards our goal of a TB free Wales.”
The targets came as part of the Government’s 25-year plan for the whole of the UK to be TB-free by 2038, with plans for parts of the north and east of England to be achieved as soon as 2025.
Northern Ireland also has confirmed plans to eradicate the disease in the next ‘three or four decades’.
Farmers’ Union of Wales senior policy officer Dr Hazel Wright added: “Having a target date for Wales to be officially TB free provides clarity on the process and focusses the eradication programme.
“More importantly, it provides accountability and allows the industry to evaluate whether the strategy is working.”