1 September 1995

Controversy at TBoutbreaks

TUBERCULOSIS outbreaks in Gloucestershire have renewed controversy over MAFFs badger control strategy.

Cattle on six farms in the Cheltenham area have been slaughtered in recent weeks and 25% of badgers trapped in the area have been found to be TB carriers. MAFF figures show 39 herds in Gloucestershire under restriction at the end of July and 101 animals slaughtered since Jan 1.

One of the affected farmers, Jan Rowe, former Gloucestershire and North Avon NFU chairman, has lost 15 cattle. A neighbouring farmer has had one third of his 50 strong beef cattle destroyed.

Disease spreading

"I know of some farmers who are suicidal because they are going out of business as a result of TB restrictions," said Mr Rowe. "Its very important that badgers with TB are eliminated because badger populations are growing and the disease is spreading."

But badger lovers are still claiming there is no proven link between the animals and bovine TB.