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Friday, June 11, 2010

Badger Cull: What the Minister said in Plenary

This is from the record of proceedings fof the Assembly on Wednesday for questions to the Minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones:

Peter Black: Minister, you will be aware of the huge concern in north Pembrokeshire at the activities of your contractors and officials in visiting farms and intimidating elderly people and pensioners in particular, wearing masks and being escorted by large numbers of police officers. How does that activity fit in with your vision of a rural Wales that is socially and economically well-off, and what impact will that sort of activity have on tourism in that part of Wales?

Elin Jones: Tuberculosis as an animal disease has a huge influence on securing a viable farming business in Wales. We need to eradicate it, and that is a No. 1 priority for me.

Later on the regional Labour AM for Mid and West Wales also asked about the cull:

Joyce Watson: You will know, Minister, that the Badger Trust has won the right to appeal against the legal foundation of the proposed badger cull based on the argument that there is insufficient scientific evidence to go ahead with the cull. In light of that decision, could you tell me how this might affect your strategy to eradicate bovine TB from Wales; and whether you will await the outcome before proceeding with the cull?

Elin Jones: I am aware of the fact that the Badger Trust is appealing the decision, but the work on progressing the eradication of TB in that area of west Wales will continue until a judge tells us as a Government that we are not able to do so.
Elin Jones has obviously learnt the artform of "Spin" and Avoiding the Question, Labour have taught their little helpers very well.
The minister for rural affairs should realise that rural Wales comprises many different parts of people, and that not everybody works or is associated with the livestock farm business, this is why a referendum on the subject is necessary
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