UK - A future Labour government in the UK would call an immediate end to the pilot badger culls as part of the strategy to control bovine TB.
The culls that have been running over the last two years in parts of Somerset and Gloucestershire have been designed to reduce the reservoir of the disease in the wild life population.
Bovine TB has seen the slaughter of 28,000 cattle last year in the UK and this week at the National Farmers Union conference in Birmingham it was announced that the pilot culls together with cattle movement measures and a vaccination programme had reduced the incidence of bovine TB from 34 per cent to 11 per cent in a year.
The National Farmers Union said that the chief veterinary officer had declared the pilot culls a success and the environment secretary Liz Truss had indicated that the government was considering extending the culls.
However, during a political debate on the second day of the conference, the shadow environment secretary Huw Irranca-Davies (pictured) declared categorically that a Labour government would end the culls.
He said there was strong scientific evidence that showed the culls were not a success and he said that the cost of policing the culls amounted to £3,500 a badger that was killed.
“We will not continue with these culls” Mr Irranca-Davies said.
However, farming minister George Eustice said that the trend of bovine TB could not be reverses unless the reservoir of the disease is tackled in the wild life population.
And Liberal Democrat agriculture minister Dan Rogerson said that the strategy needed to tackle all sides including restricting cattle movements, vaccination and culling.
TheCattleSite News Desk