Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Motion to annul badger cull

The assembly government's decision to resume the culling of badgers to control bovine TB was challenged by a number of AMs on 23 March 2011.

In a fraught session assembly members spoke passionately on the subject but remained split on whether the cull order should be annulled.

Peter Black AM, Irene James AM, Jenny Randerson AM, and Lorraine Barrett AM called the motion to stop the cull eight months after the government was forced to shelve the proposal by the courts.

Ms Barrett AM said that more time was needed to evaluate other methods before the slaughter of wildlife, saying that out of 300,000 cattle to have died last year, bovine TB caused only 36,000 of these deaths.

She called the proposal to cull 1,500 badgers in west Wales "draconian".

Labour AM Christine Chapman, who has long campaigned against the cull, also supported the call for an annulment and rallied colleagues to vote against the cull order.

However, Kirsty Williams AM spoke in support of the rural affairs minister's order and said that until an effective vaccine was available, action was need to tackle the disease.

Independent Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates also supported TB eradication plans, saying that AMs needed to look at the problem in a holistic way.

He said that evidence from the British Veterinary Association had made the science clear and that this would on the whole benefit wildlife.

One of the main speakers of the debate, Peter Black AM, said that the cull would be a "foolish and reckless folly" if it went ahead and would split rural communities.

In response Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones AM said that she would do whatever was necessary to eradicate the problem and protect rural communities.

In the last 10 years, £120m has been paid in compensation to Welsh farmers who have lost cattle to TB.

Read this in Welsh.

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