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Bid to stop badger cull rejected

04 November 2009 - BBC News

A bid to halt a controversial badger cull in Pembrokeshire has failed. Assembly Members voted in favour of plans to trap and shoot badgers as part of a campaign to get rid of bovine TB. No cull will not happen until a final decision by the rural affairs minister, and not before the end of the closed season, between winter and spring. The vote was tabled by two AMs opposed to the planned cull. The vote on whether to annul a ministerial order underpinning the cull was defeated nine votes to 43.

Ms Jones said: "Both government-led culling and vaccination of badgers are appropriate strategies to pursue the eradication of bovine TB in Wales, which is why this order confers powers to carry out both. Culling removes infection through the removal of infected animals, whiles vaccination protects uninfected animals from becoming infected. So each will be necessary to pursue the eradication of bovine TB in Wales." She added that other measures were planned to help rid Wales of the disease, including improvements in moving infected animals from farms.

Labour AM Lorraine Barrett, who tabled the vote with Liberal Democrat Peter Black, called on the assembly government to concentrate solely on vaccinating animals. She said: "I have always been a loyal member of my party and this government here in the assembly, but I just couldn't stand by and let this order go through without a last-minute attempt to stop it. I don't believe that killing badgers as a means of tackling this problem is scientifically or morally justified. Pembrokeshire will be known as the killing fields. It's not a cull - it's a slaughter."

Meanwhile, the Badger Trust is seeking a judicial review of the decision to allow a cull.

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