Somerset Badger Cull Ends07 November 2013
UK – The Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs has announced the completion of the Somerset badger cull.
Across England and Wales the rise of cattle slaughtered because of bovine tuberculosis has led to the government decision to eradicate dense and infected populations in designated cull zones in the south east of England.
Natural England, Defra’s environmental policy organisation, granted a three week extension to the cull which the National Farmers Union had described as starting to bring the disease under control.
Gloucestershire’s cull will run until 18 December after a lengthy extension was granted last month.
Both areas sit in the south west of England, where a considerable number of cattle farms operate under disease restrictions.
Last year, bovine TB resulted in over 28,000 cattle being slaughtered in England, a figure that Defra Secretary Owen Paterson said cannot be allowed to increase.
“Bovine TB is an infectious disease that is spreading across the country and devastating our cattle and dairy industries,” said Mr Paterson.
“If we had a workable vaccine we would use it," he added. "A badger vaccine would have no effect on the high proportion of sick badgers in TB hotspots who would continue to spread the disease.
"We are working on new badger and cattle vaccines but they are years away from being ready and we cannot afford to wait while TB gets worse.”
TheCattleSite News Desk