CLA Wales is calling on the Welsh Assembly Government to introduce
badger culling in order to bring the TB epidemic in cattle under
control. Wales Director Julian Salmon wants the new Countryside
Minister to make culling a priority once he or she is appointed.
His comments follow a report in the Sunday Telegraph that the
Independent Scientific Group is due to report to DEFRA within weeks
and is expected to acknowledge that culling badgers can be an effective
means of controlling the disease. The Wales TB Action Group would
take any decision in Wales but Mr Salmon feels it would not make
any sense to introduce a culling policy on one side of the border
and not on the other.
"We will be calling on the new Countryside Minister to make
this issue a priority and to get to grips with TB in cattle and
in wildlife", added Mr Salmon. "The disease has to be
tackled in wildlife as well as in cattle if a solution is to be
"We have to face reality on this and unless you address the
reservoirs of TB in both domestic and wildlife then it is a waste
of time. It is a huge economic and emotion problem for farmers
in Wales and so far no one has seemed willing to address a problem
which has seen herds built up over generations wiped out".
Mr Salmon represented the CLA on an international symposium in
Ireland at which 300 scientists shared evidence from around the
world. Campaigns in Canada, North America, Ireland, South Africa,
Australia and New Zealand had shown that culling was an important
part of any successful eradication programme in order to protect
both domestic and wildlife.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that DEFRA was conducting four secret
trials to find the most effective way of killing badgers – snaring,
trapping, shooting, or gassing. DEFRA had indicated to industry
figures that following publication of the ISG report it would struggle
to justify the moratorium on licences to kill badgers introduced
The newspaper added that TB in cattle cost the taxpayer more than £99
million last year, £40 million of which went to compensate
farmers whose animals were slaughtered.
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