FUW WELCOMES ENGLISH TB COURT RULING.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales today welcomed a High Court ruling that proposals to cull badgers in England to control bovine TB are legal.
The Badger Trust had challenged the English proposals on three grounds, all of which were turned down.
Responding to the decision, FUW’s TB spokesman, Carmarthen dairy farmer Brian Walters, said: “During the hearings the Badger Trust’s barrister acknowledged that they were not challenging the science behind culling badgers, but the legality of the decision.
“The judge has made it clear that the English decision is legal and that licenses to cull badgers ‘for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease’ can be issued.”
Mr Walters said that the decision highlighted the extreme contrast between the Welsh government’s failure to grasp the nettle and the Westminster government’s decision to stand by a robust decision in order to save the lives of cattle.
“The scientific and economical arguments in favour of a badger cull in Wales are irrefutable. The Welsh government’s own figures suggest that vaccination will lead to an overall loss of £3.5 million, whereas a cull would have actually saved money as well as cattle lives.
“The Welsh government has bottled it over a decision regarding which the English government has stood its ground.”
Mr Walters said he hoped the Badger Trust would not launch an appeal against the decision as this was likely to delay a cull and cause more English cattle to be culled because of bTB.
“The Badger Trust challenged the Welsh decision and ultimately stopped a cull going ahead in Wales. That has led to more cattle being culled and more financial losses and devastation for farming families in West Wales than would otherwise have been the case.
“I hope that they show some compassion over the border and finally accept what needs to be done to control this disease so we can all look forward to badgers and cattle sharing an environment which is free of bovine TB.”
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