Chair named to review Welsh cull science

Wales’ chief scientific adviser has named the expert who will chair the review examining the science behind a proposed cull of badgers in Wales.

Just a day after the Welsh Government was criticised for its delay in establishing the panel of experts to undertake the review, scientist and vet, Professor Christopher Gaskell, has been appointed to chair the panel.

The announcement was made today (19 July) by Professor John Harries who described Professor Gaskell as a man with “a wealth of experience in the field”.

“He is a vet and a scientist of the highest integrity and distinction. I know he will lead a proper, thorough and objective review of the scientific evidence that exists on this complex and potentially devastating disease,” said Professor Harries.

“Professor Gaskell is a member of the Science Advisory Council for Wales, which offers advice and challenge to me as chief scientific adviser, across all science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.”

Professor Gaskell has been the principal of the Royal Agricultural College since August 2007. He was previously a pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Liverpool.

Last month a planned cull of badgers in west Wales was put on hold after environment minister John Griffiths commissioned a review of the scientific evidence base relating to bTB eradication.

The full panel has yet to be announced, but Professor Harries said this would happen following discussions with Professor Gaskell and other advisers. The report is due to be delivered in the autumn.

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