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Welsh Government: 'Issue of illegally killing badgers is matter for police'

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.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Study: 10% of Wales' livestock farmers illegally cull badgers

A report suggests that livestock farmers in Wales who illegally cull badger sets may be contributing to the spread of bovine TB.

Researchers from Bangor University say around 10% of Wales' 14,000 livestock farmers had killed badgers in the 12 months preceding the study.

The data was gathered by talking to farmers at markets and livestock events in Wales last year. The report concludes that policymakers have to factor in illegal killing when tackling Bovine TB.


International experts at Cardiff conference

Experts from New Zealand are among those in Cardiff for a conference hosted by the Welsh Government on the possible use of cattle vaccination to eradicate bovine TB.

Cattle vaccination is not currently allowed under EU legislation, because the best vaccine interferes with the main diagnostic test used to establish if herds have tuberculosis.

More than 1,400 badgers have so far been vaccinated under the Welsh Government's pilot programme to tackle bovine TB, which is being carried out in north Pembrokeshire, and parts of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.

Bovine TB: cattle vaccination programme?

I am very pleased to welcome some of the world's leading experts in cattle vaccination to Wales for what I am confident will be a valuable event, and one that will move us closer to our goal of a cattle vaccination strategy for Wales.

Such a strategy is a high priority for the Welsh Government. We know it is going to take time to get there, and that there are technical and legislative hurdles to be overcome but we are keen to do all we can to accelerate the process and make cattle vaccination a reality in Wales.

– John Griffiths AM, Environment Minister


Pobol y Cwm row: Welsh Government 'should apologise' says farmers' union

The Farmers' Union of Wales is calling for the Welsh Government to apologise following its complaint over an episode of 'Pobol y Cwm'.

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.

– Emyr Jones, President FUW

S4C: Pobol y Cwm episode reflected 'public debate' of bovine TB

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.

– Dafydd Rhys, Director of Content, S4C

Welsh Government: No 'right of reply' over Pobol y Cwm episode

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.

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.

– Welsh Government spokesperson
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