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Fury as TB Cattle Cull Heads to 40K

25 June 2008

UK - The NFU Council has demanded action from Government to introduce a comprehensive strategy to reduce Bovine TB - one that must include taking action against infected wildlife.

Fury as TB Cattle Cull Heads to 40K UK - The NFU Council has demanded action from Government to introduce a comprehensive strategy to reduce Bovine TB - one that must include taking action against infected wildlife.

After the meeting yesterday, Tuesday, NFU President Peter Kendall said: "There is widespread anger, frustration and despair among farmers at the unacceptable and rapidly rising incidence of TB in cattle, while absolutely nothing is done to address the spread of infection in badgers.


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"This is a criminal waste of good livestock. Failure to act now questions the Government's real attitude to animal welfare"
NFU President Peter Kendall

"Last year 28,000 cattle were killed at vast cost to the Government, taxpayers and farmers. In the first four months of this year alone, 13,500 more have been culled. At this rate the 2007 figure has the potential to have doubled by 2010.

"Reflecting this NFU Council unanimously repeated its appeal for Government to follow science and numerous reports that recommend action against infected wildlife as well as cattle if Bovine TB has any chance of being controlled.

"This is a criminal waste of good livestock. Failure to act now questions the Government's real attitude to animal welfare and it just cannot continue.

"And if that wasn't enough this is now beginning to have a real impact on milk and beef production in key farming areas, just at a time when food production really matters.

"This isn't just affected farmers and the NFU demanding action. Vets say it is the right thing to do. The Efra Select Committee recommends action, and so do numerous independent reports and groups set up by Defra, including the last chief scientist, Professor Sir David King. In Ireland, wildlife controls are part of the strategy and the incidence of TB is coming down.

"We recognise this is not an easy decision for ministers to make but Government is there to make the right decisions, not just the popular ones. If Government wants to restore the confidence of farmers on animal issues this decision needs to be made. I appeal to ministers to do what must be right."

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Bovine Tuberculosis by clicking here.

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