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Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
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- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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Welsh languageWelsh-language technology and digital media action plan
The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
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Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.Learn more »
Written - TB Eradication Programme Update
This statement, providing an update on the programme to eradicate bovine TB, is made on the opening day of Wales’ biggest industry event outside of the summer show season - the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.
As the industry gathers to celebrate the best of Welsh livestock, it is fitting that we outline the progress that is being made on the TB eradication programme, and that we make clear our joint commitment to maintaining and promoting quality cattle production in Wales.
I am pleased to report that TB Health Check Wales, which is a one off test of all cattle herds in Wales and was launched on 1 October, is progressing well and that Animal Health and local vets have already made an impact on the extensive work that is to be done between now and the end of 2009.
Over this period of 15 months, vets across Wales will be testing an additional 3,500 herds, some of which may not have been tested for four years. This will provide us with a real opportunity to get ahead of the disease.
In the very first month of operation, the TB Health Check Wales has identified a number of additional reactors; including cases in both two yearly and four yearly testing parishes where the herds were not scheduled for a routine test until 2010. This clearly indicates how the TB Health Check Wales is proving to be a valuable weapon in our efforts to confront, control and eradicate the disease.
In addition, I can announce today that from 1 March 2009 there will be a revision in the current policy on TB testing which will further assist us in the fight to reduce the spread of bovine TB. I have authorised officials, working together with Animal Health, to remove Inconclusive Reactor cattle should they remain inconclusive following their first retest under standard interpretation.
An Inconclusive Reactor is an animal that has given skin test readings between the clear and reactor range. The current policy of having two retests will change for standard interpretation Inconclusive Reactors only from 1 March 2009. Prior to 1 March 2009, cattle keepers will be able to opt to have their cattle removed earlier in accordance with the new arrangements.
The revised policy will mean that where the result of the first skin test is inconclusive, then the animal will receive a further skin test which will take place approximately sixty days after the first test. Unless this test is clear, the animal will be treated as a reactor. It is estimated that an additional 580 reactors will be slaughtered annually in Wales under the revised policy which will result in an estimated compensation cost of £1m per annum which will come from the TB Eradication Programme budget.
The TB Eradication Programme Board unanimously agreed to endorse the policy of only allowing one retest of all standard interpretation Inconclusive Reactors. This change in policy is consistent with our overall TB Eradication Strategy, the recommendations of the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office and the European Directive.
The disease control benefits of this revised policy are clear and, working in association with our TB Health Check testing programme, this new policy will help us as we take preventative and remedial measures to accurately assess the level of the disease in Wales.
It is imperative that we deal with all sources of infection to reduce the spread of the disease. Animals other than cattle are susceptible to bovine TB as has been demonstrated by the rising incidence in Wales of the disease in camelids, such as llamas and alpacas. My officials will be developing a Framework for Camelids, and as I have mentioned in previous statements a decision on an Intensive Action Pilot Area will be taken in the New Year. I will also be publishing a consultation paper to stakeholders on proposals to revise TB compensation payments made to farmers.
I will continue to emphasise that actions by Government alone cannot defeat this disease. It is vital that all sections of the industry work alongside us and play their part. Farmers can help by co-operating with their vets to have their cattle tested at the appropriate time and by taking action to keep the disease out of their farms and make sure that it is not passed onto other farms in the area. The Regional Eradication Delivery Boards have met and will be meeting for a third time within the next few weeks. The first two meetings have been extremely productive and the Regional Eradication Boards are identifying actions that are specific to their local areas. These include the role of private vets and removing red tape. They are also helping to implement lessons learnt from the Biosecurity Intensive Treatment Area.
I will update you further on these, and the many other activities now taking place in Wales, in my next TB Eradication Programme Progress Report early in the New Year.