DAIRY EVENT: Committment To TB Eradication

UK - The British government has reaffirmed its committment to a badger cull in England, as part of a bovine tuberculosis (tB) eradication programme, which has been welcomed by the agricultural and related industries.
calendar icon 10 September 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

Almost 14,000 cattle have been slaughtered in the first five months of this year according to Defra and at the end of May going on 6,000 herds were under movement restrictions, said David Cotton, Chairman at the Royal Association of Britsh Dairy Farmers.

"We also welcome Agriculture Minister Jim Paice's continuing commitment to implement a badger cull in specific areas in England. That commitment is of immense reliet to thousands of farmers whose livelihoods have been hugely affected by the impact of tB and also to those who live in fear of their herd becoming infected."

In a press briefing at the Dairy Event and Livestock Show, Jim Paice, Agriculture Minister reaffirmed the coalitions committment to a badger cull, saying that steps are being taken to prevent any legal challenges that may arise - as has happened in Wales.

Mr Paice says that it is almost guaranteed that any proposal put forward will be met with objections. "At the moment, we are working hard to ensure that we can overcome any objection met now or in the future," he said.

Mr Paice said that he will release a statement in the next few weeks, to give the public more information about the tB eradication programme.

Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: "Reports that the Government wishes to move forward with a badger cull to tackle the spread of bovine TB in England are very welcome. The BVA has been championing the need to tackle the spread of the disease in wildlife for some time and we are delighted that the Government has listened to these calls."

There is unrest in the veterinary sector at the moment, as the government body, Animal Health, has said that tB testing will be put to tender.

The veterinary sector feels that this will take away business, as often other work is carried on farm, when visits are undertaken for tB testing.

"At the end of the day, it is about who can come back with the lowest price," said David Black, from XL Vets.

No deadlines have been announced as of yet, leaving the industry on edge.

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