The Welsh Assembly has announced that it’s scrapping its controversial badger cull and will instead carry out a vaccination programme to try and minimise the spread of Bovine TB.
The HSA would like to congratulate PAC (Pembrokeshire Against the Cull) and everyone else who has fought tirelessly against this ridiculous cull and we hope that Westminster now follows suit and stops the English cull due to begin this Autumn.
John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development in the Welsh Government said:-
“After careful consideration I have decide to pursue a badger vaccination programme…..I have asked my Chief Veterinary Officer to design the project to begin in the Intensive Action Area this summer and continue for five years. I have also asked her to consider other geographical areas where vaccination could also contribute to TB eradication …
I have noted the advice on the potential benefits that might be obtained from vaccination or culling. My conclusion is that I am not at present satisfied that a cull of badgers would be necessary to bring about a substantial reduction in the incidence of bovine TB in cattle in which case I cannot authorise a cull under the Animal Health Act 1981.”
There were many questions in the Senedd with several opposition AMs saying that the Minister had betrayed the rural community by not authorising a badger cull. (Elin Jones’ comments re killing badgers were appalling and she was rightly called to order by the Presiding Officer). John Griffiths responded with clarity and knowledge about the nature of bovine TB and options for its control , and robust reasoning for choosing to go ahead with vaccination without delay. He has clearly taken on board key issues such as latency of TB, and perturbation of badgers and possible spread of TB from culling.