Welsh environment minister Carwyn Jones ridiculed the DEFRA consultation in England on whether and how badgers should be culled to help deal with TB.

Welsh farmers had expressed disappointment that Mr Jones’s initiative (announced at the same time, 20 December, 2005) amounted to no more than a survey for TB of badgers found dead.

But he insisted on sticking to his alternative TB Action Group project.

He said: “I am not sure there should be a consultation on a scientific process.”

The Welsh alternative is to gather scientific evidence about badgers – the aim is to test 400 dead badgers in a year; and then decide the next step.