Farmers’ leaders in Wales are urging the Welsh Government to “forge ahead” with a controlled badger cull.
The decision by the Westminster to move forward with a package of bovine TB measures, including tackling the disease in wildlife, has been applauded by unions and farmers in Wales. They want the Welsh Government to follow this lead.
FUW bovine TB spokesman, Brian Walters, said the Welsh Government’s decision to put a cull on holding pending a scientific review had led to a massive loss of momentum of the TB eradication policy and had left Wales well behind England.
“The English and Welsh proposals are very different and, given the hard work which has been put into the Welsh plan, it is essential we forge ahead with our own programme rather than procrastinate,’’ said Mr Walters.
He said the confidence of farmers in the Welsh bovine TB eradication programme was rapidly falling away.
“The only way to regain that confidence is for Wales to forge ahead with its original plans to cull badgers in north Pembrokeshire, which all the science shows will significantly reduce bovine TB incidences in the area,’’ he added.
Wales’ Environment and Sustainability Minister, John Griffiths, last week received the report of the panel that had been established to review the science surrounding bovine TB eradication and confirmed he would be making a statement on this early in the New Year.
NFU Cymru deputy president, Stephen James, criticised the review as an “unnecessary additional step’’ that had delayed Wales’ TB eradication programme.
“The evidence-base prepared by the previous Welsh Government and supported by the majority of AMs from all parties for badger control within an area of Wales where we know that badgers are suffering, alongside cattle control and biosecurity measures, was robust and I have no doubt would deliver positive results in terms of tackling the disease,’’ he said.
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