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BADGER culling will not form part of the measures used to eradicate bovine TB from Wales, John Griffiths, the Welsh environment minister, announced on March 20. Mr Griffiths instead announced a programme of badger vaccination as he launched the Welsh Government's Strategic Framework for Bovine TB Eradication.
Speaking to members of the Welsh Assembly, Mr Griffiths said: ‘I have considered a number of options including whether culling or vaccination of badgers are appropriate. After careful consideration I have decided to pursue a badger vaccination project within the Intensive Action Area.’
He said that his decision had been made after considering the review of the evidence base for the bovine TB eradication programme in Wales, which he had commissioned last year (VR, June 25, 2011, vol 168, p 654). He described the decision not to proceed with a badger cull in the Intensive Action Area as a difficult one to take. ‘In making it, I have considered the likely benefits that vaccination or culling could have. Any decision to cull would need to be justified on the basis that it would be necessary to eliminate or substantially reduce the incidence of bovine TB in cattle.
‘I have considered the evidence provided to me, including scientific and legal advice, and have noted the advice on potential benefit that might be obtained by vaccination or culling. At present I am not satisfied that a cull of …