The National Beef Association (NBA) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) have expressed disappointment at the Welsh Government's decision to scrap a targeted badger cull to tackle bovine TB in the Intensive Action Area.

Instead of continuing with a policy that includes the culling of badgers to tackle the wildlife reservoir of the disease, the Welsh Government will develop a badger vaccination project.

Carl Padgett, BVA president, said: "This is a political decision, rather than a scientific one, and will set back efforts to tackle this disease by many years."

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Pointing out that no scientific evidence exists to assess whether vaccinating badgers will reduce TB, Mr Padgett went on: "Vaccinating infected badgers has no effect. Yet the strategy to cull badgers was backed by scientific evidence."

"We are deeply disappointed that the Minister has failed to listen to those most affected – veterinary surgeons and farmers."

Joanne Pugh, NBA assistant director, said: "The only consolation is that the English pilot is going ahead and will show politicians that farmers are able to undertake a cull."

Market round-up

Lawrie and Symington Ltd sold 491 store bullocks in Lanark on Monday to a top of 307.9p per kg and an average of 226.4p, while 412 store heifers peaked at 259p and levelled at 208.3p.

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 22 prime heifers at Ayr on Tuesday to a top of 215p and an average of 198.9p, while 13 prime beef-bullocks peaked at 216p and levelled at 197.9p. There were three prime B&W bullocks averaging 155p and two young bulls levelling at 155p.

In the rough ring 49 beef cows averaged 136.8p while 126 dairy cows levelled at 123.5p. Twelve bulls averaged 136.8p. A small show of 11 dairy cattle saw Friesian calved heifers sell to £2300, £2200 and £1900.

The firm went on to sell 1457 prime hoggs in Newton Stewart yesterday to a top of £103 per head and 246.8p per kg to average 208.7p.

The 195 cast sheep forward were of a poorer quality. Ewes sold to £103 for SuffolkX and £88.50 for Blackfaces.