A report suggests that livestock farmers in Wales who illegally cull badger sets may be contributing to the spread of bovine TB. Researchers say around 10% of Wales' 14,000 livestock farmers had killed badgers in the 12 months preceding the study
The proportion of farmers estimated to have killed badgers should be considered by policymakers and in the wider debate.
Intensive badger culling is one approach being considered by policy makers, in an attempt to control the spread of tuberculosis in cattle. However, studies investigating the effects of badger culling on TB outbreaks in cattle have not factored in the prevalence of illegal badger killing, and its potential to spread disease.
The Welsh Government is committed to eradicating Bovine TB, one of the biggest health problems facing cattle farmers in Wales.
There is no quick fix to tackling this disease. It demands a sustainable and long term approach and the application of a comprehensive range of measures including strict biosecurity , cattle testing and movement controls. Last year we vaccinated over 1,400 badgers against TB and will resume vaccination later this year.
"Badgers are protected animals in the UK and the issue of illegally killing them is therefore a matter for the police.