9 March 2011
Plans for a cull of badgers in west Wales have been revived, eight months after the assembly government was forced to shelve the proposal.
Ministers called off the cull last year after opponents won a legal challenge in the Court of Appeal.
The Badger Trust appealed against a trial cull in north Pembrokeshire, part of an attempt to deal with bovine TB.
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has now said she decided to push ahead after fully considering the evidence.
She also announced new controls to deal with TB in non-bovines, which include camelids – such as llamas and alpacas – goats and deer. Like cattle, they will be slaughtered if found to be infected by TB after tests.
I am aware that this decision will cause some people genuine concern, but it is a decision I have taken based on full consideration of the matter”
Elin Jones AM Rural Affairs Minister
The badger cull will be carried out in an intensive action area of north Pembrokeshire and neighbouring parts of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.
The new order has been drafted so that it applies only to the intensive action area and not to the whole of Wales.
The cull is part of a plan to eradicate TB which includes stricter controls on cattle. Compensation for farmers whose livestock test positive has been linked to good practice.
Ms Jones said the management of bovine TB has been transformed thanks to a “comprehensive approach to dealing with the disease.”
“Farmers, vets, valuers and Animal Health in Wales have all worked with us to bring about significant changes to how the disease is dealt with in cattle,” she said.
“After full consideration of the evidence presented to me, including consideration of the responses to the recent consultation on badger control in the Intensive Action Area, I have reached the decision to proceed with legislation which would enable a government-led cull of badgers in the Intensive Action Area.
“I am aware that this decision will cause some people genuine concern, but it is a decision I have taken based on full consideration of the matter.”
The evidence presented to her will be published on the assembly government’s website.
She added: “Another part of our comprehensive approach is dealing effectively with the risks associated with bovine TB in non-bovines, such as goats, deer and camelids.
“I am, today, putting the prevention and management of incidents of bovine TB in these species on a similar footing to the arrangements already in place for cattle.
“The order will introduce controls to help prevent the spread of disease and provide for compensation to be paid when these animals are slaughtered due to bovine TB.”