Calls for Drakeford to apologise after ‘inaccurate and irresponsible’ Bovine TB claims
Welsh Conservatives have called on the First Minister to apologise after making 'misleading' claims regarding Bovine TB in the Senedd.
Last week, Mark Drakeford – in response to a question on TB from Janet-Finch Saunders – claimed 'the reason why low area statuses have moved up is because of the importation of TB by farmers buying infected cattle and bringing them into the area.'
Rural affairs spokesman, Samuel Kurtz MS, raised the comments this afternoon in questions to Welsh Labour Government minister, Lesley Griffiths, and asked whether she endorsed Drakeford's view, which she declined to do so.
Yesterday, the National Beef Association wrote to the First Minister to express their 'incredulity' that he 'would choose to make such a statement which is clearly factually incorrect and insulting to the farming community which you serve.'
Commenting outside the Senedd, Welsh Conservative rural affairs spokesperson, Samuel Kurtz MS said:
"The First Minister was wrong, and his comments were an insult to the Welsh farming community.
"In recent days, I've been inundated with correspondence from farmers who have been deeply offended and hurt by the First Minister's unfounded allegations.
"Farmers across Wales are owed an apology. To accuse them of being the only cause of the spread of TB is inaccurate and irresponsible, particularly given the recent incidents of farmers taking their own lives over the disease.
"The First Minister should be fully aware that Welsh farmers cannot buy in any cattle unless they have been premovement tested – they are his rules.
"He should now do the right thing, correct the record, and apologise to Welsh farmers for this gross misrepresentation."