19 May 2000
Badger group hits out at MAFF report

By FWi staff

THE Ministry of Agriculture has published a fast-track review of its husbandry panels potential solutions to the problem of bovine tuberculosis.

But the report was condemned by the National Federation of Badger Groups, which claims it fails to highlight the lack of practical knowledge in key areas.

The report says that badgers are likely to be the main wildlife reservoir of the disease in the UK.

It recommends that farmers should attempt to limit contact between cattle and badgers by fencing off badger setts and burying any dead badgers found on farms.

But Dr Elaine King, conservation officer for the NFBG, warned: “This report turns the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing on its head.

She added: “There is next to no knowledge about what makes some cattle more susceptible to TB.”

Panel chairman, Dr Clive Phillips, denied focusing on badgers but said: “The dearth of information was actually on things like badger and cattle interaction.”