In response to the news that welfare group Badger Trust intends to appeal the High Court decision on a cull of badgers in west Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government has announced it will move ahead with a cull in the intensive action pilot area as soon as preparations are complete.
The Welsh Assembly Government has reacted to the news that the Badger Trust have been granted permission to appeal the decision of the High Court that the plan to implement a cull of badgers in west Wales is lawful.
A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said: “The Welsh Assembly Government is disappointed that the Badger Trust has decided to appeal the judgement of the High Court, especially after the judge comprehensively dismissed their complaints and subsequently refused them permission to appeal that decision.
“Since that original judgement, the Bern Convention (European Standing Committee responsible for wildlife) has also decided not to continue with a complaint brought by the Badger Trust with regard to the planned cull of badgers in west Wales.
“The bovine TB eradication programme involves a comprehensive set of measures including tighter cattle controls, increased cattle testing and better biosecurity, as well as a limited cull of badgers. The evidence shows that culling badgers can reduce the incidence of TB in cattle. We want to follow the example set by New Zealand; their Animal Health Board who have recently announced that the number of herds testing positive to TB has fallen to an all-time low.
“This disease has cost the taxpayer £100 million over the last ten years in compensation payments alone, and if we are to be successful in eradicating the disease from Wales, we must tackle all sources of infection, including the reservoir of infection in wildlife.
“It is our intention to begin to cull badgers from the intensive action pilot area in west Wales as soon as preparations are complete.”