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Herefordshire farmers dismayed at badger cull axe
A DECISION not to cull badgers on Herefordshire’s Welsh border as part of a battle against bovine tuberculosis has received a mixed response.
The Welsh Government decided against culling the animals in favour of a vaccination project to stop the spread of the potentially devastating disease.
In the past week both the National Beef Association (NBA) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have said they are disappointed at the news.
“We share the huge disappointment of Welsh farmers that no cull will now take place,” said Joanne Pugh, assistant director of the NBA.
“We believe a combined approach of culling and vaccinating would achieve better results more quickly, and have huge concerns about the effectiveness of vaccinating sick badgers who are already carrying and spreading TB.”
The CLA said a carefully planned cull needs to be carried out.
“The CLA believes that a strategic cull of badgers is necessary in areas with high incidence of TB as part of the package to eradicate TB in cattle and wildlife,”
said the association’s Wales director Ben Underwood.
“We are currently caught in a vicious circle which cannot be broken.”
But the news was welcomed by the Badger Trust which said vaccination is a “safe and satisfactory alternative”.
“Vaccination offers quicker and more permanent benefits to cattle farmers than shooting badgers for a benefit of only 12 to 16 per cent at best over nine years at great cost to the tax payer,” said trust chairman David Williams.