The Farmers' Union of Wales today described the High Court's decision to uphold an appeal by the Badger Trust against the Welsh Assembly Government's plans for a badger cull in West Wales as a "bitterly disappointing outcome".

"The focus must now be on looking at the judgement and drafting a further order so that moves to address the problem in badgers can go ahead," said the union's bTB spokesman Brian Walters.

"At the same time, we must ensure that farmers in north Pembrokeshire are not subject to extra costs and restrictions which are futile so long as the major wildlife source of the disease continues to infect their cattle.

"Farmers throughout Wales, from Anglesey down to Monmouthshire, have been doing their bit to combat bTB for decades, and are now subject to more movement restrictions and bTB testing than ever before, all at huge expense.

"In north Pembrokeshire the restrictions and financial burdens are even more onerous, yet we know that around one in every seven badgers in the area is infected with bTB, compared with around one in every 140 cows.

"Farmers are doing their bit to control this disease, yet the court has decided that the most significant obstacle to controlling this disease, namely a highly infected badger population, cannot be addressed until further consideration of the facts is undertaken by the Assembly's Rural Affairs Minister."