WALES’ farming minister is standing firm on the Welsh Government’s badger vaccination policy as specially trained operators trap and inject badgers in the North Pembrokeshire Intensive Action Area for a second month.

As badger culling gets underway in England, Alun Davies has expressed his confidence in the Welsh Government’s vaccination approach.

“We know that vaccination works because the experiences we have had with human and animal vaccination programmes demonstrates this. That is why we have decided to vaccinate badgers,” he said.

The minister described the bovine TB eradication policy as “very positive and popular” and insisted it had the support of the ‘majority’ of the people in Wales.

“I understand that people are traumatised, upset and desperate to find a solution to bovine TB, but there is no silver bullet. I think it would be dishonest of any politician to suggest they have the solution.

“It isn’t a question of whether to cull or not,” he said.

Mr Davies has visited farms in Pembrokeshire where vaccination is taking place.

“I have seen the tremendous cooperation we are getting from the farmers and landowners in this area“As we move ahead with our programme our understanding of bovine TB is growing all the time,” he said.

Two months ago, the Welsh Government appointed an epidemiologist to strengthen its understanding of how bovine TB develops.

“What we are discovering is that the disease develops and grows in different ways in different locations so it might be that the tools needed to fight infection will not be the same for each region,”

said Mr Davies.

“I am not ruling anything out, but the Welsh Government’s policy is very much a dynamic approach. In principle, however, we know that vaccination works.”