NORTHERN IRELAND – The second year of badger culling will start in Northern Ireland as part of a national bovine tuberculosis eradication strategy.
Under the test, vaccinate or remove (TVR) wildlife intervention research project, any badgers that test positive will be culled via a lethal barbiturate injection.
Year one of the project cage trapped badgers, tested them for bovine TB and then released them.
Simon Doherty, president of the British Veterinary Association Northern Ireland Branch and North of Ireland Veterinary Association called for more government engagement with the veterinary profession on eradication decisions.
He said the results from the TVR tests should “provide some quantification and validation” for the deployment of diagnostic tests.
He said: “The next phase of the TVR research project is in a focused pilot area using trained staff. It will help us to learn more about the complex issues relating to bovine TB in both cattle and badgers in Northern Ireland, where farming practices and badger ecology differ to Great Britain.”
BVA President John Blackwell said his organisation supports targeted, humane badger culling as part of a comprehensive TB strategy in conjunction with strong cattle and biosecurity measures.
He added: “All parts of the UK are taking a different approach to tackling bovine TB and we look forward to seeing the results of the TVR project as it progresses to help inform policies in other regions, as well as in Northern Ireland.”
TheCattleSite News Desk
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