Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change & Rural Affairs

I am happy to introduce the Bovine TB Technical Advisory Group (TAG) ahead of its first meeting on Wednesday 17 April 2024. 

As previously announced Professor Glyn Hewinson will chair the TAG, with a wealth of knowledge and as Sêr Cymru Chair of the TB Centre of Excellence in Aberystwyth, he will be at the forefront of leading the group. 

Members of the group are:

  • Robert Smith is a Clinical Scientist and public health infectious disease epidemiologist with over 30 years’ experience in zoonotic, parasitic and gastrointestinal infections with Public Health Wales and its predecessors. 
  • David Grove-White was Head of the Department of Livestock Health and Welfare at the University of Liverpool until retirement in 2019.  He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Liverpool in 1975 and spent his working life with both beef and dairy cattle in the UK and overseas in the Middle East and Africa. 
  • Gwenllian Rees is a Lecturer in Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth University, Veterinary Development Manager with Menter a Busnes and President of the Welsh Branch of the British Veterinary Association.
  • Sarah Tomlinson is a Farm vet with over 22 years’ experience in clinical practice. She is the Technical Director of the TB Advisory Service (TBAS), a Defra funded project delivering bespoke TB biosecurity advice to livestock keepers across England, through private vets.
  • Gareth Enticott is a Professor of Human Geography at Cardiff University. For the last 25 years, his work has examined the social dimensions of the management of animal disease, focusing on bovine Tuberculosis in England, Wales and New Zealand.
  • Gareth Edwards is a Veterinary surgeon from North Wales. His career has included working in rural veterinary practices in north Wales, research, the pharmaceutical industry and Government.
  • Ifan Lloyd is a Veterinary surgeon with over 35 years’ experience working as a clinical vet and 17 years as a Partner in a mixed veterinary practice in Swansea. A director of Iechyd Da (gwledig) the veterinary delivery partner covering South Wales.
  • Keith Cutler is a practising cattle vet and has a particular interest in infectious disease diagnostics and control on an individual animal and herd level and after several years on the CHeCS board and involvement with the CHeCS Technical Group he now chairs the Technical Group.
  • Sarah Woollatt is a Veterinary surgeon of over 6 years with experience largely in farm animal practice alongside both vet student and farm client education.

The Welsh Government understand the impact Bovine TB has on Welsh farmer’s mental health and have listened to the views of the farming community. The TAG’s first priority will be to review the current on farm slaughter policy. In addition, following the recommendations of the Task and Finish Group, the TAG will also be inviting external organisations to give evidence to inform the group findings.

Last Thursday (11 April) I visited a farm participating in the Pembrokeshire Project, alongside Professor Hewinson to see, and hear, first-hand about some of the innovative, Welsh Government funded partnership work being carried out between farmers and their vets at the local level. It is essential this kind of collaborative approach is at the heart of the Eradication Programme, the TAG will be central to this. 

The TAG will meet quarterly and provide advice to Welsh Ministers through the forthcoming TB Programme Board. In the interim, until the Programme Board is established, advice will come to me via the Chief Veterinary Officer, Richard Irvine.