Commitment Shown to bTB Eradication Strategy

UK - Culling of badgers in two pilot areas of the UK to help eradicate Bovine TB is starting to show signs of success.
calendar icon 25 February 2015
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In the pilot area of Somerset, incidence of bTB have been reduced from 34 per cent to 11 per cent compared to two years ago.

And vets in Gloucestershire are also reporting a reduction in TB in cattle.

The success of the culling of badgers could see the scheme rolled out to other areas in the UK possibly as soon as this year.

Speaking at the National Framers’ Union conference in Birmingham, NFU president Meurig Raymond said that the latest figures nationwide show that the situation on bTB has not been getting worse but over the last year 28,000 cattle had to be slaughtered because of the disease.

“Not getting worse is not good enough for those many farmers suffering the consequences of the disease,” he said.

“It’s not good enough for those in the areas where it is still spreading.”

Mr Raymond welcomed the current government strategy which sees a mixture of movement controls, vaccination in areas on the edge of hot spots and culling cattle where necessary.

He said the strategy has the backing of the farming community and the European Commission and is being helped with EU funds.

He called on all the political parties in the UK not to turn back on the policy which he said is working.

Agriculture secretary Liz Truss said that the 25 year strategy had worked in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

“We will not let up, whatever complaints we get from protest groups,” she said.

“We’re in it for the long haul. We will not walk away.”

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