NFU Scotland praises ‘more proactive’ policy

NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller has described DEFRA’s announcement to introduce two pilot cull areas to tackle bovine TB as “more proactive and responsible” than previously.

Commenting on the announcement made by Caroline Spelman in the House of Commons yesterday (19 July), Mr Miller said: “TB is a devastating disease of cattle and wildlife, and it is in the interests of all parties that difficult decisions are taken that will ultimately improve the health and welfare of all species.”

He said Scotland was currently TB free as a result of difficult decisions previously made by the Scottish government and Scottish industry stakeholders.

“While our testing regime is robust and has ensured TB incidence in Scotland is very low, the reality is that Scotland’s TB status remains under threat while the disease continues to rage in parts of England and Wales,” added Mr Miller.

“And while vaccination may provide an additional tool in disease control in the long term, culling badgers and controlling the wildlife disease reservoir in the worst-affected areas appears a necessary and justifiable short-term measure to bring the spread of this disease to a halt.

“It will underpin existing cattle testing and movement controls and deliver a more effective disease control strategy.”

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