The BVA has welcomed new measures that will give Welsh officials powers to cull and vaccinate badgers in the principality.

The TB Eradication (Wales) Order 2009, laid today, will give the Welsh Assembly Government legal powers to use culling and vaccination of badgers as part of the tuberculosis eradication programme in Wales.

The move comes after a 14-week public consultation carried out by the Welsh Assembly Government. The rural affairs minister has not yet taken the final decision on implementing a cull, but the order confers the necessary powers on ministers ready for the decision to be made.

Professor Bill Reilly, president of the BVA, said: “TB eradication is a huge priority for the veterinary profession and we welcome this move by the Welsh Assembly Government towards implementing the targeted cull of badgers.

“We understand that they have to do this properly and we support the need for preparatory work to be carried out ahead of the cull. With the legal requirements being put in place today we hope that work can progress quickly, for the benefit of both badgers and cattle.

“Last weekend, the BVA held its annual congress in Wales, where TB eradication was one of the most hotly-debated issues. There is a strong appetite for action amongst the veterinary profession for tackling the spread of this disease.”

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