Questions were raised in the Senedd last week following the recent clash between landowners and Welsh Assembly Government officials over the proposed badger cull.

Tensions ran high in north Pembrokeshire when men wearing black balaclavas attempted to access land to carry out preliminary work for the cull.

AM Peter Black raised concerns about the tactics used during an Assembly debate, and called for an urgent statement on the way the government has implemented the badger cull.

Mr Black said: “There has been great consternation in the area about Assembly contractors going around the countryside wearing masks, accompanied, mob-handed, by large numbers of police officers, thereby intimidating residents.” He added: “It seems that all the trappings of a police state have been put in place in north Pembrokeshire by the Assembly Government.”

A statement from AM Elin Jones said: “The overwhelming majority of this surveying work has already been carried out, quietly, peacefully and largely unremarked on. It is our aim for all the work we carry out to go ahead in the same way.

“I’m confident the decision I have taken to press ahead with our own unique approach to eradicating bovine TB will prove to be the right one.”

Meanwhile, the Welsh Assembly Government said that new data shows the effect of culling badgers on reducing bovine TB is long lasting.

Dr Christianne Glossop, chief veterinary officer for Wales said: “Evidence from a number of studies shows that culling badgers can substantially reduce TB in cattle.

“We are taking a new approach to eradicating the disease, combining cattle controls and biosecurity advice alongside a proactive cull of badgers. “We are dealing with a bovine TB crisis that is threatening cattle farming across Wales.

“It cannot be ignored and needs to be dealt with as quickly and effectively as possible.”