TB reaction: CLA welcomes plans

The Country Land & Business Association (CLA) has welcomed plans announced by Caroline Spelman today (19 July) to allow a badger cull in England to tackle bovine TB.

CLA president William Worsley said he was “relieved” the government had given a go-ahead to the badger cull, and said it was the only way to work towards “eradication of this horrendous disease”.

“Badger culling, TB testing, cattle movement control and removal and slaughter of infected animals are all essential tools in the battle against the scourge of bovine TB.

“We also need to work to ensure the difficulties with vaccinating both badgers and cattle are overcome. However, we acknowledge this is some years away. All these measures are needed to get rid of bovine TB,” said Mr Worsley.

He described Mrs Spelman’s statement in the House of Commons as “courageous” and a step forward in preventing the estimated £1bn cost of bovine TB over the next ten years, if nothing was done to tackle the disease.

He added: “We also welcome the government’s commitment to invest £20m over the next five years to develop effective cattle and oral badger vaccines as quickly as possible.”

For more information visit our special report on badger culling and bovine TB.