Responding to the announcement from the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths AM, concerning Bovine Tb, a spokesperson for RSPCA Cymru said:
“Bovine Tb is a devastating disease for many animals, which can have a massive impact on Wales’ farming community. RSPCA Cymru remains steadfast in its commitment to working with stakeholders to support eradication, which must be the priority.
“We welcome the Welsh Government’s decision to not pursue an England-style cull of badgers, which has been little more than a costly distraction to the ultimate goal of eradicating Tb. The focus on cattle-based measures from the Welsh Government is also critically important, and very welcome.
“However – as part of this new tailored response to tackling the disease – we are deeply concerned at any moves to kill badgers unnecessarily. As we digest these new proposals, we will be seeking firm assurances that badgers will not be unnecessarily culled and how the Welsh Government intends to ensure this.
“It must not be forgotten that Wales has been making excellent progress – via cattle controls – in reducing the number of herd breakdowns, with new Tb outbreaks at a 12 year low and 95% of herds Tb free.
“Better cattle husbandry, increased levels of testing, improved biosecurity, and the prudent use of vaccination should be at the forefront of Wales’ approach to the eradication of this disease.
“We will continue to campaign for a humane, scientifically-supported and effective method to tackle this horrible disease.”