Skip to main content

Badgers (Culling)

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2008

6. What discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on policy on culling badgers to tackle bovine tuberculosis. (205955)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular discussions with Welsh Assembly Ministers on a range of issues, including bovine TB.

Has the Minister studied the Welsh Assembly strategy for badger control? Does he agree or disagree with it, and what discussions have taken place about it?

As the hon. Lady will know, the issue is devolved, but we do have discussions with Welsh Assembly Government colleagues. In 2007 more than 7,900 cattle were slaughtered in Wales as a result of bovine TB compared with fewer than 700 in 1997, and the cost of compensation has risen from £1.8 million in 2000-01 to £15.2 million. While the approach is targeted and part of a wider strategy, we are watching with interest to see how the situation unfolds in Wales.