27 February 1998
Badgers – "TB vaccine is best way"
THE National Federation of Badger Groups has stepped up its campaign to end all badger culling, suggesting instead that resources should be concentrated on developing a TB vaccine.
In response to the Krebs report, the NFBG called for an end to all culling on welfare, ethical, practical and economic grounds.
Elaine King, NFBG conservation officer, said that over the past 23 years MAFF had culled 25,000 badgers – most of which were healthy – yet cases of bovine TB were still rising.
The five-year experiment suggested by Krebs, with limited culling, would involve the slaughter of more than 10,000 badgers. But there was no firm evidence to prove that TB could be passed to cattle by badgers, said Dr King.
Instead of testing culling strategies, with plans to exterminate all badgers in some experimental areas and only infected animals in other trial sites, the money should be spent on developing a vaccine and improving the TB test.
The policy of culling infected badgers in areas of bovine TB outbreaks had been used by MAFF for years and had proved to be ineffective and difficult to administer, she said.
For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 27 February-5 March, 1998