The new measures contribute to a comprehensive package of measures put in place over the past three years, including improved surveillance and cattle disease controls, linking compensation to good practice, enforcing the testing regime, and establishing a regional approach to the disease.
The Minister has laid the Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011, authorising the destruction of badgers in a specific area of West Wales known as the Intensive Action Area.
The Minister has also announced new controls to deal with TB in non-bovines, which include camelids, goats and deer.
Elin Jones said:
“Over the past three years, the management of bovine TB in Wales has been transformed thanks to our comprehensive approach to dealing with the disease. Farmers, vets, valuers and Animal Health in Wales have all worked with us to bring about significant changes to how the disease is dealt with in cattle.
“After full consideration of the evidence presented to me, including consideration of the responses to the recent Consultation on Badger Control in the Intensive Action Area, I have reached the decision to proceed with legislation which would enable a government led cull of badgers in the Intensive Action Area.
“I am aware that this decision will cause some people genuine concern, but it is a decision I have taken based on full consideration of the matter. The evidence presented to me will be made public on the Welsh Assembly Government website.
“Another part of our comprehensive approach is dealing effectively with the risks associated with bovine TB in non-bovines, such as goats, deer and camelids. I am, today, putting the prevention and management of incidents of bovine TB in these species on a similar footing to the arrangements already in place for cattle. The Order will introduce controls to help prevent the spread of disease and provide for compensation to be paid when these animals are slaughtered due to bovine TB.”