Leader of the Welsh Conservatives and local AM Paul Davies has laid the blame for increases in cattle slaughtered due to bovine TB firmly at the Welsh Government’s doorstep.

The message, during First Minister’s Questions from the leader of the opposition could not have been clearer: “The unsustainably high number of cattle being slaughtered in Wales is down to your Government’s failure to tackle this disease holistically, First Minister," he said.

"In the meantime, farming communities across Wales are feeling isolated, ignored and neglected.”

Mr Davies was grilling the First Minister in response to latest statistics on bovine TB published last week.

The figures – compiled by Defra – show a 24 per cent increase (from 10,303 to 12,742) in the number of animals slaughtered in the year to October 2019.

It also followed a Farmers’ Union of Wales Farmhouse Breakfast, at which bTB was top of the agenda.

The First Minister brushed off the shocking figures, saying that an increase in the number of cattle slaughtered “… is not a sign that [the Welsh Labour Government’s] policy is failing”.

Speaking later, Mr Davies said: “I am, again, disappointed at the response from the First Minister. He dismisses the concerns of the large farming community here in Wales – and the evidence recorded and provided by Defra – and fails to acknowledge the very real problem that exists.

“The First Minister’s Government is failing Welsh farmers and if it continue on this path, there will be no future for our livestock farmers.

“A Welsh Conservative Government would push for an holistic approach to the eradication of bTB and look at all options to achieve this, because we must bring this crisis to an end.”