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Williams: Action on bovine TB in Wales

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I welcome the Minister's comments on this issue, and I am pleased that he has accepted all the Environment, Planning and Countryside Committee's recommendations.

However, to progress this matter forward and tackle it, it is imperative that these issues are resolved in a constructive, cross-party manner, where all viewpoints are considered.

It is important, Minister, that we send out a strong signal to the farming community that we are finally doing something about it in the Assembly, and that we are taking immediate action to tackle bovine TB. I support the committee's recommendation to tackle this issue holistically and pragmatically, which is the only way forward.

The committee's recommendations touched on working in partnership with all stakeholder groups—I could not agree more. With the continuing sharing of information, the approach will be strengthened, and the success rate will be higher.

It is important that the Minister has committed the Welsh Assembly Government to authorise an intensive treatment area in hotspots that have experienced prolonged problems with TB.

I believe that the cost of this will be met by the Welsh Assembly Government, which I welcome. I look forward to hearing recommendations from the Wales TB action group, which is advising on establishing a project group to take the work forward.

The next recommendation notes that the Welsh Assembly Government would incrementally roll out the intensive treatment to other areas in Wales. This would be done if it was suitable in controlling TB.

The costing issues need to be considered as soon as possible, as informal discussions have suggested that the funding could be shared, possibly, between the farming industry and the Welsh Assembly Government.

For progress to be made, it is essential that the Welsh Assembly Government establishes a Wales TB action group to deliver short-term measures to tackle TB in cattle and to investigate long-term measures.

I understand that the membership should be small, but it is important that no interested party should be excluded. For this committee to be effective, regular reports should be made available and publicised to stakeholders. It was important that everyone concerned supported the fact that longer term and larger scale investigations, such as vaccine development and trials, continue to be undertaken in the UK.

However, I welcome the fact that the full consultation will be conducted in the spring of 2005 to discuss the increases in testing in clean areas from every four years to every two years, and the implementation of pre-movement testing across Wales."

"Croesawaf sylwadau'r Gweinidog, ac yr wyf yn falch ei fod wedi derbyn holl argymhellion Pwyllgor yr Amgylchedd, Cynllunio a Chefn Gwlad. Fodd bynnag, er mwyn cael cynnydd ar y mater hwn a mynd i'r afael ag ef, mae'n hollbwysig i'r materion hyn gael eu datrys mewn modd adeiladol, trawsbleidiol, lle yr ystyrir pob safbwynt.

Mae'n bwysig, Weinidog, inni ddweud yn glir wrth ffermwyr ein bod am wneud rhywbeth yn ei gylch o'r diwedd yn y Cynulliad, a'n bod yn cymryd camau ar unwaith i ymdrin â TB mewn gwartheg. Cefnogaf argymhelliad y pwyllgor y dylid ymdrin â'r mater hwn mewn modd cyfannol a phragmatig, gan mai honno yw'r unig ffordd ymlaen.

Cyfeiriwyd yn argymhellion y pwyllgor at weithio ar y cyd â'r holl grwpiau sy'n rhanddeiliaid—cytunaf yn llwyr. Drwy barhau i rannu gwybodaeth, ceid dull gweithredu mwy cadarn, a cheid mwy o lwyddiant. Mae'n bwysig bod y Gweinidog wedi rhwymo Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru i awdurdodi creu ardal driniaeth ddwys mewn mannau y cafwyd problemau ers amser maith mewn cysylltiad â TB.

Credaf mai Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru fydd yn dwyn y gost am hynny, a chroesawaf hynny. Edrychaf ymlaen at glywed argymhellion gan y grwp gweithredu ar TB i Gymru, sy'n rhoi cyngor ynghylch sefydlu grwp prosiect i hyrwyddo'r gwaith hwn.

Mae'r argymhelliad nesaf yn nodi y byddai Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru'n ehangu'r driniaeth ddwys yn raddol i ardaloedd eraill yng Nghymru. Gwneid hynny os cafwyd ei fod yn ddull addas o reoli TB. Bydd yn rhaid ystyried y materion sy'n ymwneud â phrisio cyn gynted ag y bo modd, gan fod trafodaethau anffurfiol wedi awgrymu y gallai'r diwydiant ffermio a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru ariannu hyn ar y cyd, o bosibl.

Er mwyn gwneud cynnydd, mae'n hollbwysig i Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru sefydlu grwp gweithredu ar TB i Gymru i gymryd camau tymor byr i ymdrin ag achosion o TB mewn gwartheg ac i ymchwilio i fesurau tymor hir.

Deallaf fod yr aelodaeth yn debygol o fod yn fach, ond mae'n bwysig na chaiff unrhyw barti cysylltiedig ei gau allan. Os yw'r pwyllgor hwn i fod yn effeithiol, rhaid rhoi adroddiadau rheolaidd i randdeiliaid a darparu cyhoeddusrwydd ar eu cyfer.

Yr oedd yn bwysig bod pawb sy'n gysylltiedig o blaid parhau i gynnal ymchwiliadau ehangach, tymor hir, fel y rhai i ddatblygu a rhagbrofi brechlynnau, yn y DU.

Fodd bynnag, croesawaf y ffaith y cynhelir ymgynghoriad llawn yng ngwanwyn 2005 i drafod cynnal profion mewn ardaloedd lle na chafwyd achosion o TB bob dwy flynedd, yn hytrach na phob pedair blynedd, ac y bydd profion cyn symud gwartheg yn cael eu rhoi ar waith ledled Cymru.

Mae'n werth rhoi cynnig arni. A fyddai modd defnyddio rhai o'r colegau amaethyddol, ac un y Gelli Aur yn benodol, fel ardal sydd â phroblem TB neu ardal debyg i ddibenion bioddiogelwch ac, yn hynny o beth, ddefnyddio rhai o ffermydd enghreifftiol Cyswllt Ffermio, Weinidog?"

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