Badger Culling Halted: Long Term Solution Sought – PAC Press Release

Pembrokeshire Against the Cull welcomes the Welsh Government’s statement on bovine TB  policy made by John Griffiths, Minister for the Environment and Sustainability.

The Environment Minister’s decision today to set up an Independent Panel led by Professor John Harries to review the science, and to halt the proposed badger cull meanwhile, is a sign of strength not weakness.

Science and our understanding of bovine TB has moved on since this debate began three years ago and we are confident that this expert group will look to long term solutions to managing bovine TB.

Celia Thomas Chair of PAC said in response to the statement  “PAC acknowledges the impact bovine TB has on those who live and farm in the Intensive Action Area (IAA) and the rest of Wales.  With numbers of cattle being slaughtered due to bovine TB now reducing, it is indeed timely to review the next steps to ensure this reduction is sustained for the long term. 

We are optimistic that a scientific review will favour a long term solution that reduces bovine TB in both cattle and badgers, a solution that culling cannot offer.

We have very encouraging indications from vaccination trials and very real concerns regarding the negative impacts of culling.”

Bovine TB is declining in Wales. The number of cattle slaughtered has reduced by 36% from 2008 to 2010

The latest figures published by Defra for January to March 2011, shows cattle slaughtered in West Wales which includes the Intensive Action Area, reduced by 10% over the equivalent period in 2010. This follows a 44 % reduction from 2008 to 2010.

Notes.

1. The latest DEFRA Statistics for Jan – March 2011 for Wales are available at http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/stats/documents/11/mar11wales.pdf

West Wales includes the proposed Intensive Action Area (IAA) where a badger cull was proposed. Figures for the previous years 2008, 2009 and 2010 can be downloaded from http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/stats/detailedstats.htm

West Wales/ Dyfed 2008 8361 Cattle slaughtered in connection with TB programme
2010 4634 Cattle slaughtered in connection with TB programme

This represents a reduction in infected cattle of 44% over two years.
The figures for all Wales showed a reduction of 36% in the number of cattle slaughtered due to bovine TB over the same period.

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