Union calls for Welsh badger cull programme to be reinstated following English results

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has called on the Welsh Government to reinstate the badger cull following the publication of new figures showing the positive impact culling has had on bovine TB levels in the High Risk Area of England.

Data from DEFRA shows that the completion of the four year badger culls in both Somerset and Gloucestershire has reduced the number of new TB outbreaks by around half. The English badger cull programme forms part of the strategy for achieving Officially Bovine TB Free Status for England by 2038.  The positive results have prompted Defra to roll-out the cull in the remaining High Risk Areas of England.

And according to the Welsh Government’s official figures that have been released today, in the 12 months to June 2018, there were 747 new herd incidents across Wales, which is a two per cent increase on the previous year.  

In the 12 months to June 2018, 10,051 cattle were slaughtered due to bovine TB control – a 4 per cent increase on the previous 12 months when 9,680 cattle were slaughtered.

Welsh Conservatives have called on the Cabinet Secretary and the Welsh Labour Government to ‘follow the evidence.’

Commenting, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Andrew RT Davies AM said:

“Today’s figures show another alarming year on year rise in bovine TB, with the number of cattle slaughtered across Wales continuing to increase.

“If the science points in a certain direction as the evidence suggests in the English cull, then it is incumbent on the Labour Welsh Government to revisit its stance. 

“Many farmers across Wales continue to be severely affected by bovine TB, and to date the Welsh Government has been painfully slow to act, leaving many rural businesses in limbo.

“It’s time the Cabinet Secretary and her government stepped up to the plate and delivered a long-lasting solution to the bovine TB crisis in Wales.”

Ends/

Notes to editors:

The FUW press release can be accessed here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/news/13210-fuw-calls-for-welsh-badger-cull-programme-to-be-reinstated-following-english-cull-results

Welsh Government statistics can also be accessed here: https://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/incidence-tuberculosis-cattle-great-britain/?lang=en