Frustrated farmers ‘could be killing badgers’

Welsh current affairs programme Y Byd ar Bedwar will investigate whether farmers frustated by the government’s stance on TB are taking the law into their own hands and killing badgers, in a episode due to be screened on Tuesday evening (17 April).

Following the Welsh Government’s U-turn on badger culling in North Pembrokeshire, the TV programme will hear from farmers who claim their livelihoods are under threat due to the policy change.

During the programme, due to be aired on S4C at 9pm tonight (Tuesday 17 April), former rural affairs minister Elin Jones warns that scrapping plans for a badger cull could prompt frustrated farmers to take matters into their own hands.

Ms Jones, who lent her vocal support to a pilot cull of badgers in Wales, criticised the government for performing a U-turn, saying farmers had been let down.

During the programme, Ms Jones also reveals how she received personal threats from animal rights campaigners when she was working on the plan to cull badgers and, as a result, was forced to seek police protection.

“I had to take security measures in the house and the office and I had to be careful what I was doing with my time and where I was,” the 46-year-old Ceredigion Assembly member tells the programme.

In a U-turn last month, the Welsh Government announced it would vaccinate rather than cull badgers to prevent the spread of bovine TB.

Welsh environment minister John Griffiths announced on 20 March that he was abandoning proposals for a targeted badger cull to tackle bovine TB after a review of scientific evidence.

Instead of continuing with plans for a cull in the Intensive Action Area of Pembrokeshire – the policy of the previous Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition – the Labour-only government will develop a five-year badger vaccination project.

Over the past 10 years, bovine TB has led to the slaughter of 100,000 cattle in Wales, costing taxpayers £120m in compensation alone.

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Badger cull background and information

Forum on badger cull in Wales

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