In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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- Business and economy
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- Improving public services
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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.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
30 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
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.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Written - The Bovine TB Eradication Programme
I would like to update Members on the TB Eradication Programme.
The TB Eradication Programme is comprehensive and aimed at tackling all sources of the disease. While media focus is mainly on the proposed badger cull, the majority of the programme deals with measures to address the disease in cattle.
In order to eradicate the disease we have changed policies and tightened up on their delivery. Notable successes include cutting down the number of overdue tests, and in the case of tests that were overdue at the beginning of TB Health Check Wales, by 99%. The majority of cattle deemed infected are also being moved off farms within 10 days by Animal Health.
TB Health Check Wales, which started almost fifteen months ago, comes to an end on 31 December. The aim of the initiative was to test all cattle in Wales in a short timescale so that we get a better understanding of the level and location of bovine TB across Wales.
We are ahead of schedule and to date 12,540 cattle herds have been tested to the end of October against a target of 12,245 cattle herds.
This programme has been crucial in identifying and removing infection early, and in stopping disease gaining a foothold in more areas across Wales. An additional 3,555 tests have been completed on herds that would not normally have been tested during this period, including some tests not due until 2012.
From this additional testing, infection has been found in a total of 95 herds in what were considered ‘TB free or lower risk’ areas. And more may emerge before the test comes to an end.
I have previously informed you that while we analyse the results of TB Health Check Wales, all herds in Wales will be subject to an annual test and compulsory Pre-Movement Testing in 2010.
However, there is more to be done to bear down on this disease.
I would like to inform Members that an eight week consultation on The Tuberculosis and Brucellosis (Wales) Order 2010 starts today. The Order will allow Welsh Ministers to amend legislation in Wales in a number of areas.
Firstly, there remain a number of exemptions to Pre-Movement Testing that are not compatible with our goal of eradication and we propose to amend these.
Secondly, I want to link the compensation system to good practice. Most farmers act responsibly, but cattle owners who do not comply with regulations and put their neighbours at greater risk of introduction of TB would see their compensation cut. The Order also makes provision for issuing of fixed penalty notices and changes to terminology.
Improving the current testing regime for bovine TB is being taken forward on a GB level. In addition, my officials have reviewed guidelines for the use of the Gamma Interferon (y-IFN) blood test, which can be used in conjunction with the Tuberculin skin test, the primary bovine TB test used throughout Europe. From 1 January, y-IFN testing will be compulsory in new breakdowns in areas where TB incidence is relatively low, including most of north Wales in order to stop to disease from spreading and becoming established in those areas.
The three TB Regional Eradication Boards were established just over a year ago, and some important work is now underway, including a biosecurity project in Wrexham.
However, badgers as well as cattle are responsible for spreading TB which is why we are proposing to set up an Intensive Action Pilot Area. In this area we would be trialling a new approach to eradicating the disease, through tighter cattle surveillance and controls, continuing to slaughter reactor animals, and also addressing the disease in badgers.
Detailed work on these proposals is still progressing, though I hope to be in a position to consider these matters fully and make further decisions shortly. I will of course keep Members and the public fully informed of next steps.
In the meantime my officials have been working with local vets and farmers to identify additional cattle controls that would be put in place in the IAPA. Local vets are also visiting farms in the area to work with farmers to put in place measures for improving biosecurity.
Last year over 12,000 cattle were slaughtered because of this disease. The picture for 2009 will be worse. Compensation levels reached almost £24 million last year. Worst case scenario is that if current trends continue, it could reach £80 million by 2014. Bovine TB is a serious animal health problem that is seriously affecting our dairy and beef industries and the wider rural community. By working together, we can eradicate it.