RSPCA Cymru is urging the Welsh Government not to adopt measures which could result in badgers being killed unnecessarily, as efforts to tackle bovine TB in Wales continue.
The charity has largely welcomed the Welsh Government’s new plans, which are primarily cattle-based, and rule out a cull of badgers like the one being pursued in parts of England.
However, as part of a refreshed approach to eradicate the disease, there are concerns the Welsh Government is considering alternative ways of managing the disease in badgers, such as a trap/vaccinate/remove plan, similar to one being trialled in northern Ireland.
The TVR method requires that some badgers be killed and risks unnecessarily culling healthy badgers that may be TB-free, the RSPCA says.
Members of the public are now being urged by RSPCA Cymru to sign a petition, endorsing the charity’s consultation response to emphasise the strength of feeling that exists within Wales as to the importance of ensuring animal welfare is at the heart of any bovine TB eradication plan.
Currently, the Welsh Government is operating a vaccination policy for badgers in an Intensive Action Area, instead of culling.
Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) is an infectious disease of cattle. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M bovis) which can also infect and cause disease in many other mammals, including badgers.
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