Responding to a statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, concerning the Welsh Government’s Bovine TB Eradication Programme, Claire Lawson, Assistant Director of External Relations – Wales, said:

“Bovine TB is a devastating disease, and causes grief to so many, particularly within the farming community.

“RSPCA Cymru has always supported humane, scientifically-supported and effective methods to tackle this disease.

“We will engage closely with the Welsh Government in relation to this new consultation, which we understand will explore the potential of tailoring certain responses, per geographical area, as a means of preventing the spread of the disease.

“We will make clear our strong belief that the culling of badgers has proven to be inhumane, is ineffective as a means of tackling the disease in cattle and actually risks making the problem worse. The Cabinet Secretary’s ruling out of an England-style cull, as such, is positive.

“Methods applied to tackle bovine TB must always be based on available scientific evidence and expert opinion.

“Improving cattle management and welfare, continuing a high frequency of testing, improving biosecurity and vaccinating badgers and cattle are all pivotal in dealing with bTB, and should be at the forefront of any new strategy.”