Reprieve for Welsh badgers

The Badger Trust welcomes the Welsh Government’s decision to conduct a review of the evidence and the best way forward in tackling bovine TB (bTB) based on the science.

The Badger Trust welcomes the Welsh Government’s decision to conduct a review of the evidence and the best way forward in tackling bovine TB (bTB) based on the science. The Trust hopes that the decision will mean that any further steps to implement a cull in West Wales will be put on hold while the review is under way. This will be necessary to reassure farmers and other residents in the area who oppose a cull and would be subject to a severe interference with their rights to peaceful enjoyment of their property if powers were to be exercised under the draconian Order made by the last administration. The Trust is pleased to learn that the badger trapping and shooting contract has been stood down pending the review.

While the Trust maintains that the evidence and reasoning underpinning the last administration’s decision to cull was legally flawed and was likely to have been quashed by the High Court on judicial review, the Trust is pleased that there is now to be a rigorous review by an independent panel of the strategy.

Although the Badger Trust remains determined to take whatever legal steps are required to safeguard this protected species against unjustified slaughter, the Trust now hopes that the proposed judicial review challenge can be avoided. Badger Trust and its co-claimant supporters in the proposed cull zone are carefully reviewing the Minister's statement overnight with the benefit of legal advice.

The Trust also notes that the latest official bTB figures for the first quarter of this year show a continuing reduction, acknowledged by the Minister, in the number of cattle slaughtered due to bTb in West Wales: a 10% reduction in comparison with the same period in 2010. Although this is only an interim figure it continues the trend during last year as a whole which saw a 44 percent reduction from the previous year. No badgers have been killed to achieve these figures, and there has been a welcome and much-needed emphasis on stringent cattle-based measures.

CONTACT

Jack Reedy
01564 783129

0775 173 1107