RW 2010: FUW calls for badger cull licences

The Farmers Union of Wales has called for badger culling licences to be issued to cattle producers to help stem the spread of bovine TB.

The union’s call followed a court of appeal decision to block the progress of the Wales TB Eradication Order 2009 which included legislation for a limited badger cull.

Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show, FUW president Gareth Vaughan acknowledged that the assembly government had pledged to press on with its eradication plan but he said farmers needed action on TB now.

“We need the assembly government to act immediately and the best way forward is with a legal cull of badgers carried out under licence,” Mr Vaughan said.

“We fear that a cull may be a year away and that is too long for an industry which is suffering terrible hardship,” Mr Vaughan said.

“The assembly will need to begin the process of creating a new order which it cannot begin until the assembly is back in session in late September,” he added.

“A consultation on the process could have to be undertaken and sett survey work will have to be repeated.

“That could mean we are into the closed season when badgers cannot be killed. It may be May before we are in a position to tackle the disease and that is too long away,” he said.

• To see full coverage of the Royal Welsh Show click here