The amount of bovine TB compensation paid to Welsh farmers has risen by an alarming 15 percent in just 12 months, and now stands at over £18.2 million, according to new figures uncovered by the Welsh Conservatives.
According to a Written Assembly Question (WAQ) by Andrew RT Davies AM, the £18.24m was paid in compensation to farmers in 2018/19 as a result of incidences of bovine TB. In 2017/18, £15.9m was paid out to Welsh farmers.
Over the past five years, compensation to Welsh farmers totals just under £74m.
Commenting on the figures, Mr Davies - the Shadow Rural Affairs Minister - said they were further evidence of the Labour Welsh Government’s failure to listen to the farming community and implement an effective strategy to eradicate Bovine TB.
Mr Davies said:
“These figures highlight the Welsh Labour Government’s spectacular failure to tackle and eradicate bovine TB, as well as the devastating impact that this disease continues to have on farming communities.
“Compensation pay-outs are spiralling, and the costs of administering the wider scheme are also going upwards. The action and measures Labour has implemented to date are letting down the farming community and wildlife population in Wales, and a lasting solution is overdue.
“As Welsh Conservatives we have long called for a comprehensive, scientifically-led programme of TB eradication as it’s clearly not sustainable to preside over such an ever-increasing compensation bill.
“Labour ministers must now listen to the farming industry and change course as bovine TB is doing irreparable harm to agriculture and our rural communities – financially and emotionally – and decisive action from the government is now required.”