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Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
On Saturday 25 May, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth will be host to US radio star, Peter Greenberg.
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- Draft action plan for pollinators
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
23 days left
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Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Oral - Animal Health
Over the weekend, a Highland cow on premises near Ipswich, Suffolk was killed after testing positive for bluetongue disease. That has added to the immense pressure on the agricultural community in Wales and the rest of Britain. On 24 September, another animal on the same premises tested positive, and it was also killed.
Bluetongue is unlike foot and mouth disease, because it is not spread by contact, from animal to animal, but by animals being bitten by infected midges. I stress that the disease is not confirmed on the basis of individual cases, but rather when it can be demonstrated that the disease is circulating in Britain. That has not yet happened in this instance. Other suspected animals are being tested, and the situation is subject to change at any time. Samples will be taken from animals on the affected farm, as well as animals on adjacent farms, in order to inform the analysis of whether the disease is circulating. Midges are also being collected and tested to establish whether they are carrying the virus.
This is the first ever case of bluetongue in the United Kingdom, and it is exactly the same strain as that detected in northern Europe in August 2006, namely the BTV 8 strain. That survived the winter, and has spread throughout Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium this year. This year has seen thousands of confirmed cases, particularly in Germany.
If bluetongue is confirmed to be circulating in Britain, a 150-kilometre restriction zone will be required to be put in place around the affected area, to impose movement restrictions on animals, although animals could be moved into and within that zone, too.
No bluetongue vaccines are currently authorised to be marketed in the United Kingdom. Live vaccines were originally developed in South Africa to be used on local breeds of sheep, but those vaccines can cause clinical disease in European sheep breeds. Live vaccines have been used in Europe, but that has led to the disease being transmitted. Inactive vaccines are currently being developed, but they are not expected to be available until spring 2008. Under the Bluetongue Order 2003, the Welsh Assembly Government can authorize the vaccination of animals.
On foot and mouth disease, since my statement on 18 September, the number of premises confirmed as infected has increased to seven, all of which are in Surrey. My officials have worked diligently to establish which animals, among those that were susceptible to the disease, were moved, both directly and indirectly, into Wales from the area 50 kilometres around Pirbright between 16 July and 12 September. That involved analysing tens of thousands of pieces of data. The findings of that work together with veterinary advice that I have been given have given me the assurance that I needed to make the announcement yesterday that farm-to-farm movements, subject to strict conditions, could commence today.
I have had regular meetings with stakeholders in order to keep them informed and to listen to their views on the issues that are affecting their members. Between meetings, they have been kept informed of any developments by my officials. In a meeting with Hilary Benn last week, he confirmed his commitment to reopening access to export markets as quickly as possible, region by region. Wales is likely to be in a good position to benefit from this move. However, we have to be realistic. It could be some time before we can resume the export of Welsh lamb and beef. In the light of this, I am doing all that I can to help Welsh producers to market their produce and to increase demand for our quality Welsh lamb and beef. My officials are working closely with Hybu Cig Cymru and the retailers in order to explore ways in which consumer demand can be increased. I have set aside more than £1 million to support a package of promotional and marketing work, and I will be announcing details of that shortly. Furthermore, the First Minister and I will be meeting senior personnel from the majority of the major supermarkets tomorrow, to explore with them how we can find ways of working in partnership to help the industry through these difficult times.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has agreed to keep under review the potential need for a scheme to provide for the humane slaughter and disposal of light lambs on welfare grounds. I am working closely with the Scottish Government to argue the case for having such a scheme. This could operate sensibly only on a GB-wide basis, and so it would need to be funded by the UK Treasury. If Wales were to take unilateral action, that could be problematic in terms of EU state-aid rules.
Finally, I reiterate the appeal that I made last week to the agricultural community. We need to remain vigilant for any signs of either disease. We need to maintain the strictest standards of biosecurity, and to observe the rules on the movement of animals. There are now two diseases that we have to protect Wales against, and we need to strive to do all that we can to keep them out.