A decision over whether a badger cull will go ahead in Wales has been delayed until next month, sparking a backlash from opposition politicians who accuse the Welsh Government of pushing the patience of farmers to breaking point.
The government initially promised it would publish results of a scientific review last autumn but, after yet further delays, Assembly Business Minister, Jane Hutt, confirmed this week that an announcement would not now take place until early March.
Wales’ Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Antoinette Sandbach AM, who has used the Freedom of Information Act to request a copy of the scientific review report, insisted the Welsh Government was “dragging its heels”.
“Welsh Labour repeatedly voted in favour of the eradication policy in the last Assembly, yet they now appear unwilling to take the tough but necessary decisions to tackle this disease,” she said.
Plaid Cymru Rural Affairs Spokesperson, Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM, suggested that if the cull did not go ahead the relationship between the government and the farming industry would hit an all-time low.
“Less than 12 months ago each member of today’s cabinet voted in favour of a badger cull as part of a package of measures to get to grips with bovine TB and no new evidence has been presented to justify a change in policy,” he said.
• For more on the badger cull and bovine TB to to our dedicated pages
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