Four more ‘hard’ years of culls ‘to control bovine tuberculosis’
Westcountry farmers hope bovine tuberculosis in cattle could be controlled within four years, amid Government claims the badger cull may drag on until 2038. Ahead of two pilot schemes due to start this…
Bill Harper, chairman of the National Beef Association, makes an assertion about badgers in this interview that overlooks the fact that bovine TB is primarliy a disease of cattle. Cattle to cattle transmission is the main route of infection.
Or is he admitting that it is the high density of cattle on farmland, the crowded conditions in which they are kept and the 14m cattle movements that take place each year in the UK that is the real problem?
||”TB is a disease of overcrowding and poor conditions and this is about getting to a population density that can live healthily,” he added.
“It is a hard nettle to grasp but unless we take action the consequences are quite alarming – a disease like TB knows no bounds and will not just die out.||
Badger populations are already at a sustainable level; pastures rich in earthworms and unguarded cattle cake and forage maize create ideal conditions for them to thrive. The farming industry must address every aspect of bovine TB control and stop obsessing about the badgercull.
Farming leaders are not making clear to beleaguered colleagues that at the end of the four year period there will have been no significant reduction in bovine TB herd breakdowns. At best the impact of badger culling is marginal and ironically at the margins it is negative.
As Professor Krebbs has said “Culling won’t solve the problem nationally (across England),” he told BBC News in a recent interview. “But farmers in Devon, Cornwall and Gloucestershire are arguing that it can get between a 16% and 20% reduction which they think is significant and that they are willing to pay for.
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