The Government’s agricultural culling teams have swung into action again, but this time it’s any talk of a Bovine tuberculosis ‘epidemic’ that’s being drowned in a bucket of di’spin’fectant.
North Wales divisional veterinary manager David Pugh, broke the story by stating that the rapidly increasing numbers of cattle contracting the disease could be the start of an epidemic “as serious, if not more serious” than the foot-and-mouth disaster of last year. In reply the government has more or less told everyone not to be silly and that there is nothing to worry about, while placing movement restrictions on a further 50 farms in Powys.
Phrases like cattle culls and movement restrictions struck terror into mountain bikers last year and unsurprisingly the Farmers Union of Wales has also stated alarm at the spread of the disease – which can lay dormant for up to 4 months – through the north and mid Wales areas.
Meanwhile back in the towers of power Elliot Morley, the agriculture minister, said any comparisons between TB and F&M were “unhelpful” and “misleading” and then blamed it all on badgers.
He did however admit TB testing has been doubled this year to catch up on ‘lost ground’ caused by F&M last year. Outdoor businesses crippled by closures last year without compensation will also no doubt be delighted to hear that the government spends over £45 million a year on bovine TB prevention alone.
Although most media sources are singing (suspiciously?) straight from the government hymn sheet at the moment we’ll do our best to remember our password for Farmersweeklyinteractive.co.uk and get the inside line. If anyone else is closer to herds of coughing Cambrian cows than please let us know what’s going on, before the whole countryside shuts down again.