Vets wanting to have a say on how to control bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in the English badger population have just two more days to get their views in to Government. Consultation closes December 8.

Vets wanting to have a say on how to control bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in the English badger population have just two more days to get their views in to Government.

The consultation on badger controls, launched on September 15, closes this Wednesday (December 8).Back in September, DEFRA minister Jim Paice announced proposals that could see farmers and landowners in hotspot bTB regions apply for licenses to both shoot and vaccinate badgers at their own expense.

The consultation on badger controls, launched on September 15, closes this Wednesday (December 8).

Speaking at the consultation launch Mr Paice said: “No country in the world has eradicated bTB without dealing with the reservoir in wildlife.”

In 2009 some 250,000 cows were slaughtered because of bTB and testing, movement controls and compensation cost more than £60m in England alone.

James Paice  MP“We can’t go on like this,” said Mr Paice. “It’s clear that the current approach has failed to stop the spread of this terrible disease.”

While admitting no single measure would defeat bTB, he said the science was clear and there was “no doubt” badgers were a significant reservoir of the disease.

Cull plans were immediately welcomed by veterinary groups and farming and rural lobbyists, however, since the consultation launched three months ago it has come under extensive media scrutiny and welfare groups such as the RSPCA have lambasted the proposals as “a recipe for disaster”.
 
The consultation document, entitled bTB: The Government’s approach to tackling the disease and consultation on a badger control policy is available online and interested parties can submit responses by emailing tbbc@defra.gsi.gov.uk

 

Badger image iStockphoto.com/Freder
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