Badger cull to fight TB gets go-ahead
Published 17/04/2010 | 05:00
THE culling of badgers to control TB in cattle, one of the British countryside's most divisive issues, can go ahead in Wales, a judge ruled yesterday.
While the idea of killing badgers to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis has been abandoned in England in favour of vaccination, the Welsh assembly government's plan to cull the animals was upheld by Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, who rejected a legal challenge brought by animal welfare activists.
His decision was welcomed by Welsh politicians, farmers and vets, but attacked by angry wildlife campaigners led by the Badger Trust.
There is compelling evidence that badgers constitute a reservoir of the disease and can pass it on to farm livestock. But a 10-year study of the problem (which killed 12,000 badgers) concluded in 2008 that culling simply would not work as a method of control.
Brian May, lead guitarist of Queen, was among a group of protesters who backed the animal charity's opposition and spoke out against the plan, calling it "a tragic wrong turn". (© Independent News Service)