Rural affairs minister, Elin Jones, published the proposals last week. While the location and details of the cull have yet to be unveiled, the Welsh Assembly is set to decide on a one-off test of all cattle and a review of the compensation system.

The chief veterinary officer of Wales, Christianne Glossop, said bovine TB was out of control and the current policy was not working. In a recent briefing she noted that incidents had increased dramatically over the past decade with compensation payments to farmers rising from £1.3m in 1999-2000 to £15.2m in 2007-2008.

Announcing her decision to the Welsh Assembly, Elin Jones said: “This is a difficult decision to take and it has not been taken lightly. I am very aware of the strong views on this issue. I want to make it absolutely clear that the badger remains a protected species in Wales and the conditions of the Badger Act are firmly in force. Illegal action will not be tolerated.”

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The rest of this article appears in 17 April issue of Shooting Times.

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