The Welsh Government is under fire for trying to stop the broadcast of a television programme that touched on the bovine TB controversy.
After Welsh Government's 'U turn' on badger culling Y Byd ar Bedwar speak to farmers claiming their livelihoods are now at risk
The Welsh government has dropped plans to cull badgers as part of an attempt to wipe out bovine TB in cattle.
– BBC Cymru Wales spokesperson
We take all complaints very seriously. We are aware of this complaint and are currently looking into it
The Farmers' Union of Wales is calling for the Welsh Government to apologise following its complaint over an episode of 'Pobol y Cwm'.
– Emyr Jones, President FUW
The programme made comments which were very derogatory for farmers but we have not received a single complaint because our members understand they were made by a character in a soap opera and should be taken in context because these are not real people.
For the Welsh Government to formally ask for censorship of a soap opera because it contains characters criticising them is not just an overreaction, but a major concern for anyone who believes in having a media free from political censorship by the ruling government or anyone else.
– Dafydd Rhys, Director of Content, S4C
S4C has now received a copy of the Welsh Government's complaint to the BBC regarding a storyline on last night’s Pobol y Cwm.
We are satisfied that the drama includes a variety of viewpoints which reflect the public debate about plans to eradicate Bovine TB.
Last night's episode will be repeated as planned this evening at 6.30pm on S4C, and is available to watch on demand on Clic.
A spokesperson for the Welsh Government confirms an official complaint has been made to the BBC and S4C following the repeat broadcast of an episode of 'Pobol y Cwm', which it believes included 'a serious breach of BBC and Ofcom guidelines'.
The episode concerned involved a storyline including a discussion about bovine TB, and the Welsh Government's decision to cancel a planned cull of badgers in March.
– Welsh Government spokesperson
The BBC's editorial guidelines are clear that programmes are expected to ensure that 'controversial subjects' are treated with due impartiality in all their output. We do not believe this to be the case in this instance.
The BBC's guidelines also state that organisations criticised in programming "should be given a "right of reply", that is, given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations." In this case, the Welsh Government was not afforded a right of reply.
We have submitted a complaint to BBC Wales. It would be inappropriate to comment until we receive their response to our concerns.
The Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, Antoinette Sandbach AM, is calling on the Welsh Government to review its opposition to badger culling.
It follows a ruling by the High Court today that rejected an appeal by The Badger Trust to stop a badger cull going ahead in England.
Ms Sandbach says, "Wales was once in the forefront of TB eradication. It would be a tragedy for Welsh farmers if they were left behind due to political cowardice.”
The Badger Trust was fighting against a decision by the UK Government to hold two pilot culls.
In 2010, it successfully appealed a decision by the Welsh Government to kill badgers - leading them to choose a vaccination method instead.
But today, Mr Justice Ouseley rejected the legal challenge on the grounds that vaccination would not be a "sufficient response to the problem" in England.
The Farmers' Union of Wales claims that the resignation of a scientist from the Welsh Government’s bovine TB eradication programme highlights what it calls the 'flawed nature' of the u-turn on holding a badger cull. Prof Chris Pollock is an expert in biological, environmental and rural sciences.
– Prof Chris Pollock
Vaccination is effectively untried so you are exchanging an approach which has a track record of success in Ireland and elsewhere with one not really tried at all.
Environment Minister John Griffiths halted a cull in Pembrokeshire and ordered vaccination instead. He's accepted the professor's resignation with regret. The shadow minister, Antoinette Sandbach, says it's damning for the minister to lose the confidence of one of his scientific advisors.
Labour says comments made by Plaid Cymru's Elin Jones in the wake of today's decision not to go ahead with a badger cull are 'grossly irresponsible.' As Rural Affairs minister, Ms Jones had overseen the earlier cull plans, and reacted to this afternoon's announcement in the Senedd.
– Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM
Farmers will now have to decide how best to protect their cattle and I for one would not blame them for anything they do.
Labour Assembly Member Rebecca Evans has herself responded by calling on Plaid Cymru's new leader Leanne Wood to take action.
– Rebecca Evans, Labour AM
Leanne Wood should now publicly distance herself from Elin Jones’ grossly irresponsible comments and formally ask her to withdraw them.
Welsh Government expects that vaccination of Pembrokeshire badgers will start within the next two months. Work will be carried out by contractors originally engaged for the abandoned badger cull. It's hoped that 70% of badgers in the intensive action area will be vaccinated.