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Badger cull for Pembrokshire scrapped

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:22 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Welsh government has dropped plans to cull badgers as part of an attempt to wipe out bovine TB in cattle.

Environment Minister John Griffiths said he had instead opted to vaccinate the animals after carefully considering the scientific evidence.

A review of the science involved in controlling bovine TB was commissioned after last year's assembly elections.

badgers feeding

Badgers feeding.

The Farmers' Union of Wales attacked a "cowardly betrayal", while the RSPCA said it was "delighted and relieved".

The previous government had planned a pilot cull of badgers in west Wales.

But Mr Griffiths revealed on Tuesday that he was scrapping the plan, saying a five-year vaccination programme will start in the intensive action area - the TB hotspot in north Pembrokeshire where the cull was due to take place.

Find out more on BBC News


  • Comment number 1.

    Recent scientific research has shown that amongst those responsible for the spread of TB are the several thousand fox hounds, horses and 4x4 hunt support vehicles that charge across farmland up and down the UK every year. In TB 'hotspots', fox hunting appears to be more prevelant. Almost all hunts say that they want to 'trail hunt' rather than drag hunt as 'trail hunting' is more 'natural'. A drag hunt has an organised route taken through countryside, but a 'trail hunt' is more random, taking the hounds through areas where the fox may run if being pursued by the twenty or so hounds and their many followers and riders. It doesn't take much to realise that any area where there is TB then the hunt will surely help to spread it as it covers that land in pursuit of the fox...oops, I mean in pursuit of the man running with a fox scented bit of cloth.

    Look at the UK TB 'hotspots' and look at just how many hunts cross that land up to three times a week. The evidence speaks for itself.

  • Comment number 2.

    Far from demonstrating a "cowardly betrayal" the minister has bravely followed the science and stood up to the ignorant and powerful farming lobby. Farmers and the FUW are very selective in the way they present the science to try to scapegoat the badger. In fact, looked at as a whole, it quite clearly demonstrates that a cull would be of no or miniscule significance in the cull area and is likely to increase the incidence of bovine TB in bordering areas and that a vaccination programme could be much more effective particularly if coupled with improvements in husbandry and controls on cattle movements (trading).

    Well done Mr Griffiths.

  • Comment number 3.

    I am delighted with the stand of the Welsh Minister. Before the Bill to stop fox hunting with dogs (Totally ignored) it was the foxes that were a menace & caused all sorts of diseases, now it's the badgers, it's also the badgers that dig up the front lawns of houses in urban areas, when all gardeners know that there are small white grubs that feed on the grass roots, then the magpies crows etc. scratch at the loose grass to eat the grubs. It seems to me that the farmers with the help of the Government, are just hell bent on getting their own way, by spreading nasty rumours. Oh! I forgot the one about the hundreds of dogs that would have to be destroyed if they wern't allowed to hunt with dogs.
    It's time they showed a little humanity, & stopped being so hoeeible & nasty.
    So Thank You to the Welsh Assembly for NOT BOWING DOWN to these people.
    Cynthia Howells. PS I'm not Welsh, but do have family in Wales.

  • Comment number 4.

    The taxpayer must send a clear message to the government and the farmers in denial about their own destructive practices that we will no longer subsidise them to treat our environment with contempt. They are already subsidised to the total value of their product, we don't have to pay through the nose for them to murder the animals we love. This genocide will bring animal farmers into the public’s contempt when they should be selling their products on the back of the undoubted environmental benefits of pastoral farming practice. If you lose the public’s good will you will eventually lose your privileged position in this country in terms of public subsidy, even under your captured Tory ministers. Beware that you don't cull yourselves out of existence as well as these fine mammals that have always been part of our lives. This is great news for Welsh farmers as well as the the poor Badgers. Mr.Grifiths, is there anyway you can talk some sense and humanity into your vested interest captured English counterparts?


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