'Passions high' over Pembrokeshire badger cull
10 July 2010 - BBC News
The result of an appeal by the Badger Trust against the
Welsh Assembly Government's plans to trial the culling of badgers is expected early next week.
As the verdict is awaited, tensions are running high among the rural
community of north Pembrokeshire and in parts of Ceredigion, where the cull is
to take place. While everyone agrees that something needs to be done to
eradicate TB within cattle, the methods of achieving this are hotly disputed by
people on either side of the debate, leading to frustration, anxiety and anger.
Some landowners have protested against the cull, arguing that they were not
properly consulted and that the badgers should be vaccinated rather than shot.
Gavin Wheeler of
Against the Cull tried to prevent contractors
and police coming onto his land to count badger setts. "I ended up being
arrested merely for asking to see the faces of the contractors," he said. "Their
faces were covered in balaclavas and they stayed within a car with dark windows.
We were told it was because they were feeling intimidated."
He was later released without charge, but fears the issue is damaging
community relations. "Splits are occurring within the farming community, between
the farming and general community, or indeed between the police and the general
Welsh author and poet Owen Sheers presents a special edition of
BBC Radio 4's
Open Country programme from the Pembrokeshire cull zone on Saturday at 0607 BST
and on Thursday at 1500 BST.
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