The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has cautiously welcomed the government’s plans to select two pilot areas for badger culling in a bid to tackle bovine TB.
TFA national chairman Jeremy Walker said the association welcomed the “first steps” towards eradication of the disease which results in tens of thousands of animals being destroyed every year.
He said: “After many years of waiting, we welcome these first steps towards a coherent and sustainable strategy to eradicate bovine TB. Cattle controls have been in place for many years but have proved ineffective on their own to control this terrible disease.
“The impact on farm businesses, farm families and rural communities has been and continues to be devastating and I am glad that we now can begin to use control measures which do not involve having one arm tied behind our backs.”
He said the association was committed to working with the government to ensure the cull was carried out in a humane and efficient way, and the sooner the pilots were up and running, the sooner lessons could be learned to ensure a “smooth and successful roll-out of essential culls”.
“We take no delight in the process of culling but truly believe that we have no other choice if we are to see bovine TB being brought under control and eradicated in the long-term,” he added.
“The government will have the TFA’s full co-operation in ensuring that the procedures and licence arrangements are as robust as necessary to ensure that the highest standards of animal welfare are maintained in the context of an efficient cull.”
For more information on badger culling and bovine TB, visit our special badger cull page.