19 May 2000

Badger group not happy with report

MAFFs Husbandry Panel has published its fast-track review of potential solutions to the growing bovine tuberculosis problem. But the report has been condemned by the National Federation of Badger Groups for failing 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.

"There is next to no knowledge about what makes some cattle more susceptible to TB."

Panel chairman, Dr Clive Phillips from the University of Cambridge, denied focusing on badgers but said, "The dearth of information was actually on things like badger and cattle interaction." &#42