Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 19°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK: Farmers’ leaders ‘bitterly disappointed’ at decision not to roll out badger culls to help reduce TB

13:38 03 April 2014

A badger cull report was released today

A badger cull report was released today

Archant

Farmers will be bitterly disappointed in the decision not to roll out badger culls to help reduce TB in other areas where the disease remains persistent and high, farmers’ leaders said today.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) statement comes after the Government TB Free Strategy for England was published today, together with the Independent Expert Panel report.

Pilot badger culls will continue this year as part of efforts to tackle tuberculosis (TB) in cattle, but the controversial scheme will not be rolled out to other areas, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has announced.

An independent report on the culls found they could be conducted safely and the majority of badgers were killed humanely but the pilots did not kill as many badgers as hoped, Mr Paterson told the House of Commons.

The second year of the two pilots, in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset, will go ahead with changes made in light of the report to improve the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of culling.

The changes will be monitored to assess their impact before decisions are made on whether to extend the programme to other areas next year.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “Firstly, I want to thank those that helped manage and deliver these important badger cull pilots. They were the first time controlled shooting of badgers was used as a culling method and they were to test the humaneness, safety and effectiveness of this method. As pilots, there was always going to be the potential to make improvements as a result of knowledge gained. After all that is what pilots are for. They have helped to gain a greater understanding of how we can tackle the wildlife element of this terrible disease cycle.

“Importantly, the Independent Expert Panel has found this method of culling badgers by controlled shooting can be safe with best practice followed, even with the presence of protestors. And we do have to remember that some of these protestors carried out a sustained campaign of intimidation and harassment and were, in some cases, aggressive and completely irresponsible.

“While we don’t agree with all of the assumptions made in the IEP report, and we are concerned it paints a picture that is not recognised by those on the ground, we will need to examine the report in more detail. The panel does make some useful recommendations to improve the delivery of culling which will be implemented in Gloucestershire and West Somerset in subsequent years.

“TB remains a terrible disease for cattle and cattle farmers where it is persistent and high. Statistics released by Defra show there were 4,815 new herds infected with TB in 2013 in Great Britain, with 32,620 cattle slaughtered in an attempt to control the disease. As today’s strategy sets out, it is hugely important that any cattle controls go hand in hand with measures to tackle the disease in badgers. And culling must play a part in that where TB is rife.

“Members are our priority. For our beef and dairy farmers, TB remains a terrible disease which is having a huge impact on their cattle and their farm business.”

0 comments

Bacton Community Middle School development plans. Left to right, David Barker MBE, chairman of Westhorpe Parish Council, Phil Webb, chairman of Wyverstone Parish Council and chairman of Bacton Parish Council Richard Peaty.

Suffolk County Council has been accused of hypocrisy over the Olympic legacy – just days after it backed calls for people to get more active in the wake of the UK’s medal success.

The road has been closed since the incident

Three fire engines were called to help free a trapped driver whose car ended up in a ditch at Bramfield.

Fire crews tackled a blaze on farmland near Bury St Edmunds

A fire crew remains at the scene of an overnight fire in Great Barton which saw 50 tonnes of straw go up in flames.

Rita King, the victim of the Walton care home shooting

An 87-year-old man who shot his wife dead at a care home is due to be sentenced today.

Benefit cheat to be sentenced

A benefit cheat who falsely claimed around £37,000 over nearly 10 years has been told she will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court.

Sudbury Bus Station.

A staunch opponent of moving Sudbury’s bus station to Girling Street has admitted to a change of heart after a meeting with Babergh’s deputy leader.

Manningtree band Superglu

A band from north Essex will be headlining at stage at one of Britain’s biggest music festivals this weekend.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24