'No further action' over naming of badger cull farms

Badger Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The farms named had been involved trapping badgers, and killing those found to be infected with TB

A watchdog has decided not to fine the Welsh Government for accidentally sending details of farms where badgers were killed to an animal rights group.

Names and locations were released in response to a freedom of information request.

It prompted fears the farms could be targeted by activists and led officials to "urgently review" procedures.

The Information Commissioner's Office said further action was "not required".

Campaigners had shared the leaked details on Facebook and urged the public to "monitor" three farms - in different parts of Wales - taking part in a controversial government trial.

It involved trapping badgers, and killing those found to be infected with TB.

The group had requested a report, prepared for Welsh Government, which showed 37 were caught, and five put down - at a cost of £382,112.

But the document was released by officials without removing the names and locations of the farms, meant to be kept top secret.

NFU Cymru said it had been "deeply disappointed" by what the Welsh Government described as an "administrative error".

The farming union's president John Davies told BBC Wales he had written to the Welsh Government in the summer to express the union's concern for the welfare of those farmers affected.

"We have since received a detailed summary of Welsh Government's internal investigation into this matter and a formal apology," he said.

A spokesperson for the Information Commissioner's Office said it had looked into the matter, and "decided that further action is not required at this stage".

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