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FUW highlights TB concerns to MP

FUW senior officials met Mr Davies at FUW members Rhys and Judith Parry’s farm at Penterry Farm, St Arvans near Chepstow.


(L-R) Monmouthshire MP David TC Davies, FUW senior policy officer Dr Hazel Wright, FUW vice president Brian Walters, Rhys Parry, FUW president Glyn Roberts and FUW Gwent county executive officer Glyn Davies

Cross border differences in bTB cattle control measures and concerns surrounding the proposed provision of open access farm-level Welsh bovine TB data next year were some of the issues highlighted to Monmouthshire MP David TC Davies at a recent farm visit.

FUW senior officials met Mr Davies at FUW members Rhys and Judith Parry’s farm at Penterry Farm, St Arvans near Chepstow, to discuss several aspects of TB policy in Wales in order to identify areas of concern and potential future strategies.

The couple farm the 400 acre of organic beef just a mile from the English border and supply Waitrose with 200 fat cattle a year, with replacement store cattle being purchased between July and November.

“A TB breakdown in July prevented us from buying in replacements until the first week of October. This has meant that we missed a number of sales and will result in us being around 100 cattle short for the coming 12 months. The impact on cash flow for the business is therefore enormous, and it will take years to recover the position,” explained Rhys Parry.

“TB has restricted the market for our cattle, and this has led to a loss of up to £300.00 per head compared to what we would normally expect,” added Mr Parry.

FUW senior policy officer Dr Hazel Wright said: “The recent TB Order consultation issued by the Welsh Government takes this issue further by proposing to reduce the compensation provided to cattle that have legally, with a licence, been moved onto a TB restricted holding if such cattle subsequently go down with TB. This could place members in an untenable position, due to issues such as breaches of their milk contract, and places them on a no-win situation.”

“The FUW is currently seeking members’ views on this consultation and we will reply on behalf of our membership in due course,” added Dr Wright.

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