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Positive Response Urged For TB Consultation

16 November 2010

UK - The National Beef Association (NBA) is urging its members, and everyone else keen to call a halt to bovine tuberculosis (TB) spread in England in the badger population, to respond positively to Defra’s consultation before it ends in just over three weeks time on December 8th.

The NBA is anxious that the Government is made aware of just how many are ready to back the introduction of Defra’s Option 6 – which will allow Natural England to license the culling, or vaccination, of badgers in areas burdened with heavy TB infection.

“Famers, and non-farmers, alike should press the point that culling badgers in these heavily infected areas will stop the disease spreading at 10 miles a year to healthy badgers which will in turn prevent many more badgers dying extremely nasty deaths,” explained NBA TB Committee chairman, Bill Harper.

If Option 6 is adopted it would allow the licensed culling or vaccination of badgers in areas of at least 37,000 acres (150 square kilometers) where TB levels are both high and persistent, and there is culling access to over 70 per cent of the land.

Within these locations co-ordinated culling by cage trapping, or shooting free-ranging badgers, would be undertaken by qualified operators expected to remove 70 per cent of the badger population and Defra wants to ensure that participants will maintain controls for at least four years.

Vaccination is included in Option 6 to cover individuals who do not wish to allow a cull on their land but are prepared to pay a trained and licensed operator to vaccinate instead – although Defra estimates it could be around ten times more expensive, and injecting and vaccinating badgers in infected areas is likely to protect only 1 in 10 badgers. Vaccinating uninfected badgers ahead of the spread of TB is more worthwhile as nearly half the badgers are then likely to be protected.

“Every person who wishes to make sure TB is prevented from spreading deeper into the English badger population should either reply to the consultation through email to [email protected] or write to the TBBC Mailbox at 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR to make clear their support for Option 6,” said Mr. Harper.

“Better still they could respond to the other seven questions posed in the consultation paper too at  

It is essential that as many as possible support Option 6, because TB will otherwise become endemic across the UK, creating new infection in free range pigs, sheep, goats, cats, dogs and people as well as cattle and many more badgers.”

TheCattleSite News Desk


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