The Welsh Government is under fire for trying to stop the broadcast of a television programme that touched on the bovine TB controversy.
The Environment Minister confirms badger vaccinations are underway as part of efforts to eradicate tuberculosis from cattle in Wales.
Vaccines to protect cattle against bovine TB will begin in Pembrokeshire in June
– John Griffiths AM, Environment Minister
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.
International experts gather in Cardiff later to discuss whether cattle vaccination could help the eradication of Bovine TB.
The event will look at how Wales could implement a vaccine programme if the idea was approved by the EU in the future.
– 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.
Pro-vaccination group Pembrokeshire Against the Cull has reacted warmly to the news that 275 badgers have already been inoculated against bovine TB.
This is a really positive action to tackle bovine TB in Badgers and is an infinitely more sensible and acceptable solution than culling.
TB can remain latent in our herds and as we learnt recently is masked at testing in infected cattle if they are also infected with liver fluke. Unfortunately this means there is no quick fix solution and the disease can be present in our herds for many years even with no new stock brought in.
We therefore support this action to get as many badgers as possible vaccinated this year and in future years.