Rooker hints at badger licence go-ahead

UK - Lord Rooker on Tuesday gave the clearest indication yet of how the Government intends to deal with the reservoir of bovine TB in badgers.
calendar icon 28 February 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
National Farmers Union

He said when the ISG (Independent Scientific Group) delivers its final report in May or June of this year he expects groups of farmers to apply for licences to carry out culls. Licences are currently suspended until the final report is published.

He said: “We haven’t put a flag up that says we’re open to applications for licences as of today’s date, but it’s a possibility that that may come into play in some parts of the country.”

The NFU welcomed the news, but said the responsibility for the culling strategy must be shared by Defra and any culls must be carried out in the context of a strategy drawn up with the full co-operation of the State Veterinary Service.

Lord Rooker said a decision was expected shortly but it would be taken by the whole Government.

“It’s a Defra issue but, like all issues, it will be a Government-wide decision. We will put a recommendation to Government with the best available evidence, with common sense, with our practical nous.

“We’re not looking to do anything that requires new legislation as far as I’m aware because that would be fraught with dangers.”

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