Thanks to a new government and extensive public pressure, including a petition and lobbying from NfA supporters, the Welsh Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development has decided to put plans for a cull in the Intensive Action Area on hold until a scientific review of the evidence has been carried out.
In his letter to Network for Animals, John Griffiths AM wrote, “During the review, the current regime of cattle surveillance and control will continue. This includes the additional cattle disease control measures introduced on 1 May 2010 in the Intensive Action Area. There will be no cull in the Intensive Action Area while the review is being carried out. I can assure you that the Welsh government remains fully committed to eradicating bovine TB and this review of the scientific evidence base will contribute to that objective.”
While this news spells a reprieve for badgers in Wales, an English decision from Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is expected in early July. Current reports indicate that the green light for a cull starting in May/June 2011 is likely to be given.
Network for Animals is committed to supporting this cause by providing financial resources, lobbying and calling on the voices of our dedicated supporter base. We are urging our supporters to contact Caroline Spelman and urge her to decide against a cull as there is insufficient evidence to justify this cruelty. As Dave Williams, Chairman of the Badger Trust, wrote to supporters in response to the expected decision and long-delayed announcement about the public consultation on this issue; “Despite not knowing the results of the consultation, we feel very strongly indeed that the weight of public opinion is against the unwarranted slaughter of thousands of healthy badgers. Their deaths will not make a significant difference to the incidence of bTB and in some instances might even make the situation worse.”
Please act now to make your opposition heard.
Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP
House of Commons
Tel. 020 7219 4189
Fax. 020 7219 0378