TB reaction: Welsh farmers praise English cull decision

DEFRA’s announcement on a TB cull has angered Welsh farmers, following a recent decision not to cull badgers in Wales.

Ed Bailey, president of NFU Cymru, accused the Welsh Government of “dithering” but praised the English Government for taking the difficult, but necessary, decision to address the disease reservoir in wildlife.

He said: “Today’s announcement from the Westminster Government is obviously good news for farmers in England. The science has clearly shown a policy which includes badger controls is fundamental to reducing and ultimately eradicating bovine TB, it is pleasing to see this recognition from the Westminster Government.”

He blamed the Welsh Government of hiding behind a peer review while the English Government took the decision to tackle the disease head on.

“I am sure that as in countries such as Ireland and New Zealand, where a wildlife policy has been introduced, English farmers can now have some confidence that at last they have a chance to get on top of and ultimately eliminate TB from their countryside,” he said.

However, Mr Bailey welcomed the appointment of Professor Christopher Gaskell, who will chair the review of the scientific evidence base regarding the eradication of bovine TB in Wales, but questioned how long farmers would have to wait for the results of the review.

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