The Welsh rural affairs minister is pressing ahead with controversial plans to cull badgers in an effort to combat TB in cattle.
Ministers called off the cull last year after opponents won a legal challenge in the Court of Appeal.
Today Elin Jones says she has altered her plans following last year’s legal judgement and that she is extending the TB testing regime to include other animals like goats and alpacas.
The badger cull will be carried out in an intensive action area of north Pembrokeshire and neighbouring parts of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.
Ms Jones said that after careful consideration of scientific evidence and following a public consultation that the cull is necessary:
“I am aware that this decision will cause some people genuine concern, but it is a decision that I have taken based on full consideration of the matter, including the substantial scientific evidence available and after careful consideration of the responses to the public consultation.”
The order will be laid before the National Assembly today with the intention of it coming into force on the 31 March 2010.
“This Order will enable a government managed cull of badgers specifically in the Intensive Action Area.” explained Ms. Jones.
“This will not be carried out in isolation but alongside the continued additional cattle controls and improved biosecurity measures that have been in place since May 2011.”