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CLA: Scotland's Move On bTB Show Lack of Faith

05 August 2009

UK - The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have said that the feeling that Defra cannot be trusted in dealing with bovine TB (bTB) effectively has been highlighted by a move by Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament wants to make Scotland officially bTB free. In July last year, Defra announced there would be no wide-spread cull of badgers in England to prevent the spread of bTB.

CLA Deputy President William Worsley said: "The CLA has been disappointed with Defra's handling of the desperate bTB situation in England. Scotland's move – along with the Welsh – demonstrates the wide lack of faith in Defra on this issue. Both devolved administrations are making a strenuous effort to disassociate themselves from Defra's failed bTB policy. They, along with the rest of Europe, wish to eradicate bTB whereas Defra appears to regard mere 'management' as adequate.

"The Government has shown it is unwilling to bite the bullet and adopt necessary but unpopular measures to cope with bTB in English wildlife. However, they are perfectly happy to slaughter over 40,000 infected cattle a year. The social side of this is often overlooked, the impact on a farmer both emotionally and financially cannot be overestimated.

"Erecting arbitrary frontiers to the movement of livestock causes economic damage to livestock farmers throughout Great Britain. Yet worst of all Defra is not merely in danger of inflicting serious long-term damage on the English livestock industry by adopting this approach, but is also contributing to one of the root causes of the fragmenting of British animal health surveillance with the devolved administrations running independent policies because they no longer trust Defra."

Further Reading

- Find out more information on bovine tuberculosis by clicking here.

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