Help to Buy – Wales Shared Equity Scheme »This shared equity loan will make up the shortfall between the purchase price of a property and the funding available to buyers through their cash deposit and mortgage offer.Learn more »
“Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
Wales’ Finance Minister Jane Hutt has responded to the UK Government’s Autumn Statement – saying that it has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales.
- New guidance on care and support for over 65s
- Independent report revealed at the Event Wales International Conference 2013 outlines positive impact of games and events for Wales
- “Autumn Statement has done little to change the challenging public finance outlook for Wales” – Jane Hutt
- Consultation on Regional engagement partnership structures in the tourism sector
- Implementation of Commission Directive 2013/45/EU concerning the change to the botanical name of tomato
- School term dates regulations
- Beyond 2011: Consultation on Census and future provision of population statistics in England and Wales
- M4 Corridor around Newport Consultation
- Undertaking fatal and non-fatal drug poisoning reviews in Wales
Featured consultation »New guidance for the Risk Assessment of Walked Routes to School
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In this section
Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
Final Budget 2014-15 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2014-15 is £14.9bn.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Written - Bovine Tuberculosis Order under the Animal Health Act 1981
TB in cattle is one of the biggest threats facing the dairy and beef industry in Wales. Last year over 12,000 cattle were culled because of the disease, and nearly £25 million spent in compensation. This year alone around 8,000 cattle have been slaughtered, compared with just over 7,000 at the same time last year. By 2014 the cost to the taxpayer could be £80m, if we do nothing.
We have established a comprehensive programme to eradicate bovine TB. The majority of the programme is concerned with measures aimed at stopping cattle from spreading the disease.
TB Health Check Wales, an initiative to test all cattle herds in Wales before the end of December is ahead of schedule and has succeeded so far in identifying nearly 100 new herd breakdowns that may not have been discovered for another four years. All cattle herds in Wales will also be tested again in 2010.
In less than a year, we have also dramatically reduced the number of overdue tests pre Health Check Wales by over 97% from 711 tests to 18.
Later this term I intend to consult on draft legislation which would include changes on compensation for bovine TB and Pre Movement Testing exemptions. We are also developing policies in relation to other TB susceptible animals, namely camelids and goats.
But we cannot ignore the reservoir of disease that exists in our wildlife. If we are to eradicate the disease we must have an effective wildlife strategy.
From the outset I have made it clear that I will only sanction a badger cull as part of an overall programme to eradicate TB, if the available evidence shows that it is can make a contribution to reducing TB in cattle.
In March 2009 I announced, on the basis of the available evidence, that I was still of the view that a badger cull was necessary to eradicate TB in an Intensive Action Pilot Area and that I intended to bring forward and consult publicly on secondary legislation that would allow the Welsh Assembly Government to implement and manage a cull. That consultation on a draft Order also asked the public for their views on the powers needed to implement an effective badger vaccination strategy when it becomes practical to do so.
The consultation started in April and lasted for 14 weeks, longer than the standard Welsh Assembly Government consultation. I also published the relevant evidence on our website.
There was widespread interest in the consultation. Of the 741 responses that directly answered the questions, 54% of the respondents came from Wales, 31% from outside the country and 15% did not provide us with their address.
The draft Order asked six questions, but as expected, the issue of culling as part of a badger control strategy attracted most responses.
Three hundred and seventy three respondents (50%) opposed culling as part of the strategy; three hundred and sixty one respondents (49%) agreed that alongside cattle measures a badger cull could have an impact on TB eradication in endemic areas. 1% did not respond to this question.
Of the Welsh responses 85% agreed that culling needed to be considered as part of a badger control strategy., The majority of respondents who disagreed with culling as part of a wildlife control strategy were from outside
Two petitions, amounting to some four-hundred and eighty seven
signatures were also received. An additional one-thousand, one hundred and eighteen e-mails were received, which although relevant to the content of the consultation, did not directly refer to the consultation or answer any of the questions asked.
The majority of respondents agreed that the Welsh Assembly Government was the most appropriate body to deliver a badger cull. They also agreed that we should be allowed powers of entry to implement an effective vaccination strategy in the future.
Following the consultation and consideration of the responses submitted, I am still of the view that a badger cull in an Intensive Action Pilot Area is necessary as part of our programme to eradicate bovine TB. Today I am laying the Tuberculosis Eradication (Wales) Order 2009 before the National Assembly. This Order provides the legislative powers for a government managed wildlife strategy, which includes culling and vaccination. However, this legislation does not of itself mean the start of a badger cull.
Before I make a final decision on an Intensive Action Pilot Area, there are further steps that need to be taken.
I have always said that any cull of badgers could only go ahead when all preparatory work is complete. This Order is an important step towards completing that work, providing the necessary legal powers for a Welsh Assembly Government managed cull.
Work is well underway to assess the possible environmental impact of a cull on the area of the proposed Intensive Action Pilot Area, and we continue to consult with the Countryside Council for Wales. We have also been working over the Summer in the area, to make sure that it will, as far as possible, satisfy the Independent Scientific Group minimum criteria for a successful cull.
The outcomes of this work will inform my final decision on whether to proceed with a cull. I will update you on the next steps in due course.
I would like to remind Members that we do not intend to kill all badgers in Wales, but to eradicate a debilitating and infectious disease. Any cull would be targeted in an endemic area and carried out humanely. Our ultimate goal is a population of healthy cattle and healthy badgers. The badger remains a protected species and any illegal actions must be reported to the police.
Assembly Members can view the responses to the consultation at www.wales.gov.uk/bovinetb