DEFRA’s decision to consult on proposals to cull badgers in areas suffering a high incidence of bovine Tuberculosis has drawn the attention of the House of Commons’ Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee (EFRA) who have decided to investigate the matter.

In conducting its inquiry, the Committee intends to focus on the key questions that Ministers must address in reaching conclusions on the issues set out in the consultation paper.

Announcing the inquiry, EFRA Chairman Michael Jack MP said: “The Committee recognises that very strong  positions exist both for and against the culling of badgers as a contribution to the strategy of countering the worrying spread of Bovine TB.

“In holding this short inquiry I hope that we will be able to extract from our witnesses, and from the written evidence we will no doubt receive, the fundamental issues which DEFRA’s consultation exercise must address.

“What is vital is that the outcome of the Minister’s further consideration of this matter is a plan to control the spread of Bovine TB that will work in practice.”

The Committee intends to call selected witnesses to give oral evidence on Wednesday 15 February 2006.