Does culling badgers reduce bovine TB in cattle?
This question as to whether culling badgers will reduce bTB in cattle is getting rather tired now. If we look at the history of the disease and how we had previously managed to become virtually bTB free, and the various trials including RBCT all show it does work.
Now we have data coming in from both cull areas in Gloucester and Somerset showing a sharp reduction in bTB on farm see document below.
So I was dismayed to read No 3 of the Labour party manifesto 3) Labour will end the ineffective and inhumane badger culls
It is now becoming clear that this is a political game; it’s not so funny if you’re dealing with bTB on farm with the misery it causes, farmers and farming families. It is surly time for the eradication of bTB in the UK to be depoliticised with an independent body. It is so unfair to say that the pilot culls have been inhuman and ineffective when the data clearly show the opposite, and the care and attention to detail to make sure that they are indeed humane. I was made aware this week of a farm which has just had a new bTB outbreak, 2 in calf heifers close to calving will have 21 day in which to calve if they do not then they will be slaughtered. They may be only days from giving birth, is this fair is this humane? I don’t think so, but it is the policy that all political parties follow, the tightening up on bTB testing and cattle movements that’s in reality what it means.
It’s time for a common sense approach to tackle bTB and in doing so not only will we become bTB free in the UK there will be huge cost savings to the treasury see document below.