14 April 1999
Badger cull is farce, say vets
By FWi staff
THE governments badger cull has been branded a farce which could result in some areas of the country losing their tuberculosis-free status, claim veterinary experts.
Current government policy regarding bovine TB is a farce and a waste of time and money, said Dr Tony Andrews of the British Veterinary Association (BVA).
If present trends continue, there was a risk that parts of the UK could lose their TB-free status Dr Andrews told a recent BVA council meeting.
The meeting, reported in the April 10 issue of The Veterinary Record, also heard that control measures were being hampered by public concern about badgers.
The cull, aimed at establishing whether the animals pass bovine TB to cattle, could result in the deaths of up to 20,000 badgers.
Dick Sibley, of the British Cattle Veterinary Association, said it appeared the government had largely abandoned any attempts at eradicating bovine TB.
But until a vaccine became available, there was no practical policy other than testing cattle for TB, culling badgers, and restricting the movement of animals.
Bob Young, a past-president of the BVA, said the way government officials were conducting the badger cull meant farmers were faced with a mad situation.