Plans have been launched to try and stop the Welsh Assembly Government’s roll-out of a badger cull.
Rural affairs minister Elin Jones has faced heavy criticism from animal rights campaigners – including rock star Brian May – after resurrecting an order to eradicate bovine TB.
Last week, Queen guitarist Brian May – a long-time supporter of The Badger Trust said “It will have a profoundly negative effect on the future of Welsh farming.”
South Wales West AM Liberal Democrat Peter Black will lay a motion before The Senedd next week calling for the annulment of the Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011.
He said: “It has been made clear that it is possible to combat the disease with vaccination.
“A cull will not only decimate a protected species but it could end up costing the taxpayer £10 million.
“I hope my colleagues in the Welsh Assembly will lend support to my motion, but regardless of the result this is an important debate that needs to be had and the minister for rural affairs needs to be held accountable for her decision.”
Ministers were forced to shelve the cull last year after opponents The Badger Trust won a legal challenge in the Court of Appeal.
However, last week the Welsh Assembly Government revealed its desire to push ahead with a new order.
The proposed cull is to be carried out in an “intensive action area” of north Pembrokeshire and neighbouring parts of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire – a move welcomed by the Farmers’ Union of Wales.
Rural affairs minister Ms Jones said: “Current policies alone are not expected to produce a sustained reduction that would ultimately lead to the eradication of bovine TB in areas of Wales endemic with bovine TB whilst other main sources of infection remain unchecked.”
The Badger Trust today reaffirmed its position to try and stop the new order – as well as voicing its approval of Mr Black’s motion.
A spokesman for the trust said:
“In taking her decision Ms Jones has effectively ignored the verdict of a second public consultation forced on her last year by the Court of Appeal – but at the taxpayer’s expense.”
Mr Black’s motion is expected to be debated and voted upon in the Senedd, Cardiff, next Wednesday.