28/08/2015

Govt Announces Badger Cull To Be Extended Into Dorset

The Government has announced a badger cull used to tackle bovine tuberculosis (TB) in Somerset and Gloucestershire has been extended to Dorset.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) welcomed the move, although stated its disappointment that the policy had not been applied further.

Meurig Raymond, NFU President said: "Bovine TB remains a huge problem for beef and dairy farmers across the South West, large parts of the Midlands and beyond.

"Thousands of cattle farmers are fighting a daily battle against the spread of this disease. More than 32,800 cattle were slaughtered because of this disease last year and more than 4,700 herds that had been clear of it were affected by it.

"Badger culling is an essential part of the Government's 25-year strategy in areas where bovine TB is rife. While we are pleased that culling has been extended beyond Somerset and Gloucestershire we are very disappointed that more areas will not benefit from it this year."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said targeted badger culls in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset has been authorised this year.

Defra has already introduced tougher movement controls, more frequent testing and is supporting badger vaccination schemes in the 'Edge area', a buffer zone established to contain the spread of the disease.

Farming Minister George Eustice said : "England has the highest incidence of TB in Europe and that is why we are taking strong action to deliver our 25-year strategy to eradicate the disease and protect the future of our dairy and beef industries."

(LM)

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