Bovine TB wipes out north Pembrokeshire herd

A north Pembrokeshire farmer plans to invite Wales’ First Minister to witness first-hand the devastation Bovine TB has brought to her farm.

Angela Winsor is frustrated at the badger cull delay and says she feels let down by the Welsh Government after learning her herd of 50 suckler cattle could be slaughtered.

More than 20 of her Welsh Blacks are due to be culled next week.

Most will be loaded into lorries and taken to the slaughterhouse, but those too young to travel or heavily in calf will be shot on the yard. Her remaining Herefords and Hereford crosses, including a pedigree bull, could also be taken depending on test results.

Angela says her 300- acre Moylegrove farm is overrun with badgers and says something has to be done.

She said: “We are not anti-badgers, but there are more of them than cattle on the farm now.

It’s unacceptable for this to carry on. It’s a vicious circle, and until it’s broken north Pembrokeshire will be rife with bovine TB.

“It’s too late for us, but there are a lot of other farmers who could be in this situation.”

She added: “We are devastated, it’s terrible.

We have farmed here since the 1960s, and there have been cattle on this land for 400 years, but we will not buy anymore.

“It would be condemning any animal to death to bring it in.”

In October 2010 the impact of bovine TB was felt at the farm when around 20 cattle were killed. Another 23 were destroyed in November, and a further six have been lost after blood tests.

The decision was made to slaughter the herd after more than two years under TB restriction.

Angela now plans to write to her AM, MP and the First Minister about the situation, and invite them to the farm.

Plans for a cull in north Pembrokeshire were put on hold last June, when ministers appointed an independent panel to review scientific evidence.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “The Environment Minister received the report from the Bovine TB Science Review Panel on the science base for the Welsh Government’s bovine TB eradication programme in December 2011.

“He is now considering the report and its implications for the Government’s overall programme for the eradication of bovine TB in Wales. The Minister will report further shortly.”

Comments (1)

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12:46pm Wed 8 Feb 12

Aaron_Blair says...

According to Farmers Weekly, Angela Winsor "snapped up" a new Welsh Black bull at Llandovery in June 2009. And prior to that an inconclusive result had twice been found in her herd; the animal was eventually proved positive when tested with gamma interferon.

Buying in stock from markets is a known significant risk for TB infection and this herd has a history of hard-to-diagnose TB which can indicate longstanding infection.

The fault here does not lie with badgers, but with farming practices and the inadequacy of the bovine TB test.
According to Farmers Weekly, Angela Winsor "snapped up" a new Welsh Black bull at Llandovery in June 2009. And prior to that an inconclusive result had twice been found in her herd; the animal was eventually proved positive when tested with gamma interferon. Buying in stock from markets is a known significant risk for TB infection and this herd has a history of hard-to-diagnose TB which can indicate longstanding infection. The fault here does not lie with badgers, but with farming practices and the inadequacy of the bovine TB test. Aaron_Blair

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