Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 17:36 UK

Cameron backs Welsh badger cull

David Cameron
David Cameron visited the Royal Welsh on its closing day

Plans for a badger cull in Wales have won the support of Conservative leader David Cameron during a visit to the Royal Welsh Show.

He said the Labour-Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly Government was taking a "sensible approach" to bovine TB.

A similar cull in England has been rejected by the Labour UK government.

Mr Cameron also said a Welsh Assembly Member suspended as a parliamentary candidate after remarks about Italians had made a "terrible mistake".

The Tory leader arrived at Wales' premier agricultural show in Llanelwedd, Powys, on its final day.

He said his party would look closely at what happens with the cull. A trial was announced in April in an attempt to eradicate tuberculosis in cattle.

"If it works there might be lessons to be learned," he said. "What we want is healthy badgers and healthy cattle."

Alun Cairns
He made a terrible mistake
David Cameron on Alun Cairns, pictured
The Welsh cull has, however, been opposed by some MPs and AMs, most of them Labour, who called for a return to "science-based evidence".

It has also emerged that bovine TB has been found in goats in Carmarthenshire, and 22 of the golden Guernsey breed have been slaughtered as a result.

Mr Cameron also discussed Alun Cairns, the South West Wales AM who has been suspended as the Vale of Glamorgan prospective candidate after likening Italians to "greasy wops" on a BBC Radio Cymru programme.

Bicycle stolen

The AM has resigned as the party's Welsh education spokesman and as chair of the assembly's finance committee and apologised.

"There is a review taking place," said Mr Cameron. "Alun Cairns is hard working and cares deeply about the Vale of Glamorgan.

"He made a terrible mistake and politicians have to be responsible for the words that come out of our mouths. That's why he is suspended."

Meanwhile, Mr Cameron joked after his bicycle was stolen from outside a supermarket near his home in west London.

He was at a Tesco branch on Portobello Road when the bike, which was locked, was taken.

"I'm very upset because I had this bike for about six years," said Mr Cameron.

"I was very sad to lose it. I'm thinking of introducing sharia law for bicycle theft. I will consult the mayor of London, but I'm sure he will agree."

Mr Cameron was also asked about a report by former Welsh Office minister Lord Wyn Roberts into further powers for the Welsh assembly.

The report was supposed to have been released in July, but it could now be delayed.

Mr Cameron said: "I have received a draft of the report and it will be published before long. Lord Roberts has made thoughtful observations and it will be published soon."

Cameron's bike stolen as he shops
24 Jul 08 |  UK Politics
Goats are slaughtered in TB scare
23 Jul 08 |  Mid Wales
Bovine TB outbreak in Welsh goats
22 Jul 08 |  Mid Wales


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