WALES is to get a share in millions of pounds of European money to help shoulder the cost of bovine TB compensation paid to farmers.

The European Commission has approved Wales’ approach to eradicating bovine TB, which includes a badger vaccination programme and new financial penalties for farmers who don’t comply with TB testing within a specified test window.

Wales has also initiated a survey of badgers found dead and runs a scheme known as Cymorth TB - Support TB – delivering practical support to cattle farmers to manage bovine TB.

The EC approval of the eradication plan will entitle Wales to a share of an estimated £22.9 million (€31m) awarded to the UK to help eradicate bovine TB. The money will not only be used to help foot the bill for compensating farmers who lose cattle to TB but it will offset some TB testing too.

Wales’ Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans, said the news was welcome and recognised Wales’ commitment to tackling the disease.

“It also includes commitments to strengthen cattle control measures in place through the continual monitoring and review of the remaining Pre-Movement Testing exemptions,’’ she said.

It was announced last month that two delivery partners would be responsible for TB testing in Wales from April 1 following a government shake-up of farm veterinary services.

All new TB testing and other official veterinary work in Wales will be the responsibility of Menter a Busnes, in North Wales, and Iechyd Da (Gwledig), in South Wales.

Farmers will continue to be responsible for ensuring that TB testing is completed on time, but in future they will need to contact their regional delivery partner to make the arrangements.