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CLA Wants WAG to Make Badger Culling a Priority
08/05/07

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.

badger

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 found.

"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 in 1988.

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.

link Badger study reveals TB upsurge
link CLA Welcomes Tesco Milk Price Move
link Cattle Industry urged to be vigilant in keeping Bluetongue out

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CLA WALES