NFU proposes badger culling to DEFRA

THE NFU has unveiled a set of proposals which it believes will significantly reduce the incidence of bovine TB.

The proposals are based around the targeted removal of diseased badger populations in the short to medium term.

But the document also acknowledges that a comprehensive TB-control strategy also needs to include measures to reduce cattle to cattle spread of the disease.

Speaking at the Royal Show on Mon (Jul 4), union president Tim Bennett said the paper contained five proposals to reduce the incidence of TB in badgers and cattle,

The proposals are:

Clearing specific areas in which diseased badger populations are present (farms, parishes and districts); Targeted clearance of setts found to be infected through the use of a gas; Alternatively, area clearance could be carried out through the use of snares; Lifting the moratorium on the issuing of badger culling licences for disease control purposes; A general reduction in badger numbers, irrespective of livestock disease.

“The NFU is not seeking to eradicate badgers, rather we wish to see a healthy badger population and healthy cattle populations,” said Mr Bennett.

“It is unacceptable to suggest waiting until the results of the Krebs trial are published in one to two years; action is required now to combat this disease.”

Mr Bennett said he felt the government was starting to listen to the industry’s call for action.

“I think the government now realises that the policy they have now is just not sustainable.”