Farmers For Action has written to DEFRA secretary David Miliband warning him that it is calling on livestock farmers to withdraw their support for the current system of TB testing until action is taken to control the disease in wildlife.

FFA chairman David Handley said the organisation had taken the decision because it was very disappointed with the government’s stance regarding TB in both badgers and cattle.

“You have taken draconian measures to tackle this disease at farm level which is causing maximum stress to farming families,” says the letter.

“Surely you recognise if you are trying to eliminate this disease in UK cattle, you have to deal with the serious issue in wildlife. 

“It is the sick and unhealthy badgers we want dealt with in order to protect our healthy badgers. Remember healthy badgers = healthy cattle and I am sure the current chancellor would be delighted with that outcome.”

FFA added that it was calling on all livestock farmers to be non-compliant with DEFRA in respect of TB testing until the government showed it was “prepared to grasp the nettle and deal with unhealthy wildlife.”

A report by the Independent Scientific Group on bovine TB released on Monday (18 June) said that culling badgers “can make no meaningful contribution to cattle TB control in Britain.”

However, in a written statement to parliament about the report, Mr Miliband did not directly rule out the possibility of a cull.

Bovine tuberculosis: FWi special report

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