The Welsh Assembly Government is determined to go ahead with a cull of badgers in an attempt to halt bovine tuberculosis.
Plans to introduce a similar scheme last year were defeated in the High Court by the Badger Trust. The trust is taking advice about the reasons given for the decision, and says the proposal is "expensive, futile and clearly unnecessary".
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said she welcomed support today from Assembly Members which will allow the Welsh Government to proceed with the implementation of the Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011.
Elin Jones welcomed the opportunity to debate the motion to annul the Order and for the chance to explain again why, on the available evidence, she considers that a targeted, government managed, cull of badgers in an Intensive Action Area is necessary.
The Minister said:“After full and open consideration of the wide evidence base presented to me, including detailed consideration of the responses to the consultation, I decided to make the Badger (Control Area) (Wales) Order 2011.
"This authorises the destruction of badgers within the Intensive Action Area which includes parts of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion where bovine TB is endemic and is having a considerable effect on the farming industry and Government. I am pleased that this decision has received the backing of Assembly Members today.
“I am satisfied that TB exists in badgers in the IAA, that it is being transmitted from badgers to cattle in the IAA, and that it is necessary to destroy badgers in the IAA in order to substantially reduce bovine TB in cattle in the IAA, and therefore that it was appropriate for me to make the Order
.“All-Wales statistics do not demonstrate the level of disease at a local level. For instance, the number of new TB breakdowns in Dyfed between January and November 2010 was 456 compared with 565 for the same period in 2009 (19% decrease). The situation within the Intensive Active Area in 2010 was 79 new TB breakdowns compared with 55 in 2009 a 44% increase.
“It is important to remember that the culling of badgers will not be carried out in isolation but alongside the continued additional cattle controls and improved biosecurity measures that have been in place within the IAA since May 2010.
“This is only one part of a larger programme to pursue the eradication of bovine TB in Wales by dealing effectively with all main sources of infection.”