Minister will not appeal against badger cull quashing

Around 1,500 badgers would have been killed in the north Pembrokeshire area under the plan.

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has confirmed there will be no appeal after the Badger Trust won its court fight to stop a proposed badger cull.

The assembly government had hoped to carry out a cull in Pembrokeshire to try to prevent cases of TB in cattle.

However judges at the Court of Appeal quashed the order, saying it should have referred to the proposed cull area only, not the whole of Wales.

Ms Jones said legal advisors had said the all-Wales wording was appropriate.

She was answering an urgent question from the Conservative assembly leader Nick Bourne.

The legal advice came from internal assembly employees.

The minister regretted not being able to give clarity to farmers as to what the next steps would be, as she, along with her officials would need to consider the judges' decision.

Ms Jones said: "I have to give consideration to the judgement and the content of the judgement.

"I'm sure farmers in particular will have been frustrated by the judgement from the appeal court."

She added 64% of farmers in the proposed cull area had had experience of TB outbreaks since 2003, saying: "The reality of TB is something they live with day-to-day."

Disaster

The appeal court made its decision on Tuesday after the Badger Trust appealed against the cull, questioning its effectiveness.

Three judges announced the trust's appeal against a judicial review which had backed the cull had been successful, and quashed the order.

Lord Justice Pill said the assembly government was wrong to make an order for the whole of Wales when it consulted on the basis of a Intensive Action Pilot Area (IAPA) which only supported a cull on evidence within the IAPA

Around 1,500 badgers would have been killed in the north Pembrokeshire area under the plan.

Earlier, farmers' unions described the decision to stop the proposed cull a disaster for farming.

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