New herd TB incidents in Wales have fallen by 11 per cent in the year to July 2020.

During the recent virtual NFU Cymru conference, the union’s president John Davies welcomed the downward trajectory in the latest set of Welsh Government statistics covering the period April to June 2020.

“Credit should go to vets, technicians and our farmers in the work that is taking place to tackle this disease,’’ he said.

A total of 95 per cent of herds were officially TB free in the second quarter of 2020 compared to 94.4 per cent in this period in 2019.

But Mr Davies cautioned that Wales had a “mountain to climb’’ to eradicate the disease.

He said the reduction in breakdowns fell far short of the 40 per cent fall in new herd breakdowns in badger cull areas of England.

“The 10,674 cattle slaughtered and 1,291 herds under restriction at some point in the year to July 2020 shows the scale of the mountain we still must climb to eradicate this disease from our country,’’ he said.

Addressing Wales’ farm minister Lesley Griffiths directly, he urged her to reconsider Wales’ stance on badger culling.

“I know in the past that you have ruled out the approach that is adopted in England but I hope that on the basis on the evidence now published by Defra that you will reconsider,’’ he said.