Call For Action After Decision On Welsh Badger Cull

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has called for action from Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew after the High Court in Swansea gave the go-ahead for a limited badger cull in west Wales.
calendar icon 19 April 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

UFU President Graham Furey said; “The UFU has consistently stated that the reservoir of TB in wildlife must be dealt with, otherwise we will not progress to an eradication of the disease. Today’s decision is a welcome development and allows Wales to now address all sources of the disease. Minister Gildernew must follow this example. In July of last year, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) made an informed policy statement which clearly stated that the wildlife factor has to be addressed. The BVA have advocated humane, targeted and managed culling in specific areas where badgers are regarded as a significant contributor to the persistent presence of TB.

“Farmers in Northern Ireland comply fully with one of the most rigorous TB eradication programmes in Europe. Three million tests are being carried out each year on local farms and over 8000 cattle were culled in 2009 as TB reactors. This leaves the taxpayer with a bill of around £20 million annually and yet we are no further forward. Other countries have made great progress towards eradicating TB, but they have been prepared to remove all sources of TB including removing diseased wildlife. The High Court decision in Wales is the latest example of this. “

Mr Furey added; “It is now time for Minister Gildernew to finally implement the third strand of her TB policy announced in December 2008. DARD have procrastinated on addressing the wildlife issue for too long. It is pointless to continue with the current situation where cattle go down with TB, the animals are slaughtered, the farm re-stocks and eventually goes down again with TB because the disease remained on the farm in wildlife. The incidence of the disease is higher now than it was in 1997. This demonstrates that the current policy is inadequate and must be revisited.”

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