20/03/2012

Badger Cull Scrapped

A controversial plan to cull badgers has been dropped by the Welsh government.

The plan was hoped to wipe out bovine TB in cattle but environment minister John Griffiths said after carefully considering the scientific evidence he has instead opted to vaccinate the animals.

The cull had been put on hold and a review of the science involved in controlling bovine TD was commissioned after last years assembly elections but Mr Griffiths has scrapped the cull altogether and said a five-year vaccination programme will be used instead.

Mr Griffiths said he remained committed to eradicating a "terrible disease" that had "devastating" consequences.

"I have visited and spoken to a number of cattle farming families across Wales," he said.

"I know from listening just how difficult it is and how the consequences of TB can be devastating."

"At present I am not satisfied that a cull of badgers would be necessary to bring about a substantial reduction in cases of TB in cattle," Mr Griffiths added.

The cull was drawn up under the previous Labour-Plaid coalition Welsh government. At last May's election, Labour said it would take a science-led approach to the policy.

(H)


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