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Monday, February 21, 2011

Minister continues to ponder badger cull as TB declines

Whilst the Rural Affairs Minster considers responses to her consultation on whether to instigate a cull of badgers in North Pembrokeshire, the rationale behind her proposal continues to be undermined by the success of the other measures she has put in place.

According to Pembrokeshire Against the Cull, cattle controls and biosecurity measures are having a significant impact in reducing the numbers of cattle being slaughtered and the associated taxpayer compensation being paid in West Wales due to bovine tb.

The latest bovine TB statistics published on 18th February 2011 by DEFRA show a significant reduction in the number of cattle slaughtered in West Wales over the last two years. Between January and November 2010, there was a reduction in West Wales of 34% over the equivalent period in 2009.

They say that overall, since the introduction in 2008 of the stricter testing regime and subsequently improved cattle control measures, the proportion of cattle slaughtered in West Wales is down by a projected 41%.

This appears to be long-term trend linked to specific action by the Welsh Assembly Government and not just a short-term blip. And yet as the PAC spokesperson says, if a badger cull had gone ahead last year Elin Jones would have been claiming that these reductions show that culling works. In fact the figures show that the other measures are working and that culling badgers is unnecessary.
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