TB reaction: Devon farmer expresses her relief

After years of waiting for the government to tackle TB in badgers, the overwhelming reaction to yesterday’s announcement is one of relief.

“I am massively encouraged by this – I really did feel that the decision hung in the balance,” said Jilly Greed, who keeps beef cattle at Fortescue Farm, Thorverton, Devon.

“If the decision had been against any form of culling policy the industry would have felt abandoned yet again – it would have been the last straw.

“So many individuals have worked so hard to achieve this; it’s like climbing a mountain. There are some times when you just can’t see the summit. But the summit is now in sight and we’re not far from really moving forward to eradicate TB.”

Mrs Greed said the government’s decision to consult on the best culling method, and to hold a pilot trial in two hotspot areas was very sensible.

“We can now take it forward on a science-led basis. The minister has realised we can’t go on like this anymore, and it is a bold and courageous move to resolve the transmission from wildlife vectors.

“There is still a long way to go, and it is essential that communication is built between the industry and the public, so that there is a wider understanding of the need to achieve both healthy livestock and healthy badgers. This is the beginning of achieving that.”

Farmers Weekly has set up a dedicated channel for all stories connected to proposals for a badger cull.

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View a transcript of our live chat about the badger cull decision.