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Badger cull warning as Royal Welsh Show opens in Powys

19 July 2010 - BBC News

The Royal Welsh Show has opened in Powys with a warning to farmers not to think of breaking the law by killing badgers on their land. The National Farmers Union (NFU) in Wales warning follows a court move to quash plans for a cull in Pembrokeshire.

Ed Bailey, NFU president in Wales said he hopes the plan for a cull could be eventually reintroduced, and said he could understand farmers' frustrations at the situation. "I know it's very difficult. I'm fully aware of the problems that TB causes on farms. But if we were to take the law into our own hands, I'm afraid it will make matters worse and we will lose any public support that we have at the moment. Unless it's a co-ordinated cull you'd be making matters worse. We have to stand on the science."

The Farmers' Union of Wales (FUW) claimed a badger cull in north Pembrokeshire could reduce TB in cattle by 30% over five years. It published what it referred to as a "paper" prepared by themselves to predict the outcome of badger culling in a number of areas. The paper has not been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, so many people question how legitimate its opinions and conclusions are.

Meantime, WAG Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said an approach involving a cull was the right one. Incredibly, Elin Jones (elin.jones@wales.gov.uk) denied that the policy on TB was in "disarray" following the quashing of the cull, and said she would be taking the judgement into consideration when considering her next move. "The policy itself is far more comprehensive than that and all other aspects of that policy are continuing today," she told BBC Radio Wales. "The setback from the Court of Appeal has stopped me in my pursuit in one aspect of that policy but I need to consider how next to pursue TB eradication in a holistic way in Wales."

Badgerland say: The most common infection route of the Bovine TB virus is from one cow to another cow and that is a fact. Such circumstances are most commonly encountered in cattle sheds, cattle trucks, cattle in the same or adjacent fields, cattle markets and agricultural shows (where cows from many farms get to meet up with one another).

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